Do we actually need to be able to translate into Frisian?

Google translate has just added Frisian. And it does have to be said that maybe English to Frisian translation isn’t entirely necessary.

Hello and good morning

Hello en goede moarn

There’s supposedly native speakers of English, from England, who would make more of a mess of it than that.

24 thoughts on “Do we actually need to be able to translate into Frisian?”

  1. If it had not been for the Normans apparently today British English would be even more similar to Frisian. So definitely no translation needed.

  2. A friend of ours studied Anglo-Saxon at Oxford and was slightly surprised to find, when working in Iceland, that it was close enough to modern Icelandic that she could hold conversations (albeit with what the Icelanders though was a hilarious accent)

  3. So Much For Subtlety

    I bet somewhere there is a Frisian National Liberation Front. And now TW has made their sh!t list.

    Luckily they are too busy freeing dairy cows.

  4. So Much For Subtlety said:
    “I bet somewhere there is a Frisian National Liberation Front.”

    A while ago I spent an afternoon in Sweden drinking with a group of Skånian separatists, so it wouldn’t surprise me if there is a Frisian National Liberation Front.

  5. So Much For Subtlety

    Justin – “Even the pirate ones like Dairyme?”

    Especially the pirate ones! Presumably they are the ones going “Moooooaaaarrrhh me hearties”.

    Richard – “A while ago I spent an afternoon in Sweden drinking with a group of Skånian separatists, so it wouldn’t surprise me if there is a Frisian National Liberation Front.”

    Well I continue to support Hebrides Independence. And I have met someone calling for independence for the Faroe Islands. Independence from whom I am not sure.

    In fact the best approach to Scottish independence is to refuse to accept the artificial nature of Scottish identity. The lowlanders just speak English with a thick accent. Scotland, if it exists at all, must be along the linguistic divide that marks the Gaelic speaking Highlands. Offer them the oil money. Watch the fur fly.

  6. Tim, don’t annoy Frisians. They tend to be built like brick privies. For amusement, they run tractor pulling competitions.

  7. Flatcap Army:
    My mother was a native Welsh speaker, and on a visit to Brittany could talk to the locals in Welsh and be understood.

  8. “I bet somewhere there is a Frisian National Liberation Front. And now TW has made their sh!t list.”

    There is, actually. 😛
    Although I doubt Tim would rate their ire, other than that those peeps tend to growl at everything non-Frysk.

    As for cows… There may be a reason they’re proud of them… 😛

    But honestly… Google translate is worse than babelfish in places. And english only retains a minority part of the original Saxon, almost half is french/latin and doesn’t really translate well into Germanic/Saxon anyway.. nd as for grammer, or what passes for it…pfffttt..

  9. Bloke in North Dorset

    “I wish there was an app to translate between English and Geordie”

    When my son was about 5 we were driving through France to visit some friends in the Black Forest. When we stopped for coffee we warned him that it was France and that he wouldn’t be able to understand the language.

    While we were drinking our coffee he stood watching a couple of truck drivers in the way that only a 5-year-old can. After a while and turned to us and announced that we were right, he couldn’t understand French. We explained that the were English and they were from Newcastle and know as Geordies.

    He turned round to listen again, by which time the truckers had heard the exchange and really thickened their accents, and after a minute or too walked off announcing to all and sundry that they weren’t English. Much to everyone’s amusement.

  10. There’s an accent of Swiss German that sounds like northern Irish, which amuses me greatly whenever I hear it.

    As for Frisian, if you know English and Dutch, you’ve got 90% of it. The rest is just a few odd words. I took an interest in it when I was back in Holland and started learning it. I could watch the Frisian channel on the TV and get most of it without any particular effort.

    Random Frisian trivia tip: like English, Frisian is one of the very, very few Germanic languages that don’t put a “ge” on the front of any past participles.

  11. BiND you win the thread.

    When google translate is able to produce more than gibberish the Frisian translate options will be helpful for those that don’t speak English. For now the focus needs to be on correct translations for current languages. When “Yes, I have a cat.” translates* into “My cat has two bananas.” there are more pressing problems than the 500k speakers of a minor language.

    *English to Farsi. We worked out the missed translation through a series of images pilfered from the net by google so I guess translate worked but not in the intended manner.

  12. On a recentish trip to Norway I was amused to learn that to order three cups of coffee one needed to ask from Tree Cuppa Carfee.

  13. Watched something set in Iceland that was subtitled and there was a definite sense of I think I understood that bit eben without subtitles

  14. So Much For Subtlety

    The Germanic languages are traditionally divided into three groups: West, East and North Germanic.

    East Germanic, basically Gothic, is extinct. West Germanic is the largest group of Germanic languages:

    The three most prevalent West Germanic languages are English, German, and Dutch. The family also includes other High and Low German languages, Scots, Afrikaans (a daughter language of Dutch), the Frisian languages, and Yiddish.

    So that is us then. The Northern Germanic languages are:

    Jutlandic dialect
    East Jutlandic
    West Jutlandic
    South Jutlandic
    Insular Danish
    Bornholmsk dialect
    South Swedish dialects
    Göta dialects
    Svea dialects
    Jamtlandic dialects
    Norrland dialects
    East Swedish dialects (Finland Swedish and Estonian Swedish)
    Gotland dialects
    Bokmål (written)
    Nynorsk (written)
    Trønder dialects (Norway and parts of Sweden)
    East Norwegian dialects (Norway and minor parts of Sweden)
    West Norwegian dialects
    North Norwegian dialects

    Which is a long way of saying I don’t follow Dutch or Yiddish when it is spoken. Much less Afrikaans. Not even Frisian. But they are all closer to English than Icelandic is so I admire anyone who understands a word.

  15. If you want a really great introduction to how to speak Swedish, here’s The Two Ronnies ………

    Ronnie Corbett: L.O.

    Ronnie Barker: L.O.

    Ronnie Corbett: R.U.B.C?

    Ronnie Barker: S.V.R.B.C.

    Various Characters: [enter waitress carrying a large ham on a silver salver] L.O.

    Ronnie Barker: L.O.

    Ronnie Corbett: L.O.

    [exit waitress into kitchen]

    Ronnie Corbett: F.U.N.E.X?

    Ronnie Barker: S.V.F.X.

    Ronnie Corbett: F.U.N.E.M?

    Ronnie Barker: 9.

    Ronnie Corbett: I.F.C.D.M.

    Ronnie Barker: [insistently] V.F.N.10.E.M.

    Various Characters: [enter waitress from kitchen still carrying the ham] A. V.F.M.

    Ronnie Corbett: R.

    Ronnie Corbett: O.

    Various Characters: C. D.M.

    [exit waitress into kitchen]

    Ronnie Barker: O.S. V.F.M.

    Ronnie Corbett: O.K. M.N.X.

    Ronnie Barker: M.N.X.

    Ronnie Corbett: F.U.N.E.T?

    Ronnie Barker: 1 T.

    Ronnie Corbett: 1 T.

    Ronnie Barker: O.K. M.X.N.T.

    [he finishes writing it on his pad with a flourish and calls at the kitchen door]

    Ronnie Barker: M.X.N.T.4.1.

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