West Frisian Dutch

This article is about the dialect as spoken in the north of North Holland, the Netherlands. For the West Frisian language as spoken in West Frisia, see West Frisian language.
West-Frisian dialect in the Netherlands

The West Frisian dialect (Dutch: West-Fries) is a Dutch dialect spoken in the contemporary West Friesland region, Wieringen, Wieringermeer, the coastal area from Den Helder to Castricum, and the island of Texel. It is a Hollandic Dutch dialect but is influenced by Frisian (a group of languages distinct from Dutch). It is not to be confused with the language of the Friesland Province internationally indicated with the name West Frisian language (in Dutch simply Fries) although they are related to each other.

The dialect in itself is not a fixed one, as there is a diverse number of subdialects (sometimes referred to as the West Frisian dialect group) that consists of some widely spoken regional dialects, namely Wierings in Wieringen, Tessels or Texels in Texel and the dialect of Vlieland known as Vlielands, which has fallen into disuse. The smaller regions and villages, such as Zijpe, Andijk, Enkhuizen and Schagen, have some distinct differences between them. Slightly more different from the rest of the group is Derps, the dialect of the village Egmond aan Zee.

The dialect descends from an older form of the Hollandic dialect. Only about 7 to 9% of the people speak the strong dialect or a mixture of strong and light. The light dialect is much more widely spoken but it is also slowly beginning to become lighter and sound more like Dutch.

Since the 1970s there has been more interest in reading and writing the dialect, not much was written before since it was mostly a spoken language of the common people.

See also

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