People who study the evolution of the English language have always had a fascination with Frisian.
In their older forms, the two languages shared vocabulary and grammar patterns that differed from other Germanic languages.
It's less clear today. The Norman invasion of England in 1066 resulted in a French invasion of English, while Dutch has rubbed off on Frisian, or at least the version of Frisian that is spoken in the Netherlands.
So what about that connection with English? It goes back at least 1,400 years. The English king Ethelbert oversaw the establishment of the so-called Kentish laws, the first laws that we know of written in any Germanic language. The Kentish Laws are the oldest surviving documents in Old English.
Courtesy of Han Nijdam
I spoke with Nijdam and many others in Friesland about the Frisian language: writers, artists, teachers, students and just plain old speakers of a language that has refused to die.
00:30 The Kentish Laws and the Frisian connection
1:05 Soundtrack provided by "Furious Frisian folk" band Baldrs Draumar.
4:02 Frisian in America. You can hear it, if you're lucky.
6:22 The Frisian view: "Dutch people can really be so stuck up."
7:20 The Dutch view: "I get a bit tired by Frisians going on about how special their language is."
8:50 Teaching and language activist Anna Marije Bloem: "Do you think we are stubborn?"
9:30 I am on Frisian TV.
12:26 Clubbing Friday. Not what you think.
14:52 Frisian-speaking Dutch MP Lutz Jacobi gets cute with the new king of the Netherlands.
17:30 English and Frisian are grammatical bedfellows.
19:30 Why Frisian today sounds so similar to Dutch.
Omrop Fryslân/Annet Huisman
20:46 Theater director Ira Judkovskaja: "There are some people who call me 'Our Frisian Russian.'"
21:52 A play about Friesland's epic speedskating race.
25:20 Learning in three languages.
27:08 Weirded out at the very idea of writing in Frisian.
28:10 Social media is reintroducing Frisians to written Frisian.
29:10 Standard written Frisian may not remain standard.
29:30 Why novelist Willem Schoorstra never corrects people's written Frisian on Facebook.
30:30 "In 100 years, our language will be very different."
31:00 Willem Schoorstra's first novel is being made into a film.
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