(redirected from Fresian)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
Related to Fresian: Andalusian horse


, Friesian
a language spoken in the NW Netherlands, parts of N Germany, and adjacent islands, belonging to the West Germanic branch of the Indo-European family: the nearest relative of the English language; it has three main dialects



the language of the Frisians. Frisian is spoken mainly in the province of Friesland in The Netherlands, which includes the West Frisian Islands of Terschelling and Schiermonnikoog (population, approximately 350,000 people). It is also spoken in the northwestern part of the Federal Republic of Germany, mainly in the Saterland, in the Land of Lower Saxony (approximately 3,000), and the far north, in the Land of Schleswig-Holstein, including the North Frisian Islands and Helgoland (approximately 16,000).

Frisian, a West Germanic language, was once spoken on a vast territory along the North Sea. It includes three dialects: West Frisian (Friesland), East Frisian (Saterland), and North Frisian (Schleswig-Holstein). Urban Frisian, which is commonly spoken in the towns of Friesland, has been significantly influenced by Dutch. Frisian is closely related to Old English.

The phonological system of Frisian is notable for its rich vowel system, which has nasal vowels, 26 diphthongs, and six triphthongs. Nouns have two genders, and the declension system has been virtually lost; the one remaining case, the genitive, is used only to a limited extent. The language has strong and weak verbs, and its tense system is typical of the majority of the Germanic languages.

The first examples of written Frisian date from the 13th century. Since the 16th century, when Friesland lost its independence, Dutch has been used for all official purposes, and Frisian primarily for spoken communication. The most important poet who wrote in Frisian was Gijsbert Japicx (17th century). In recent decades, Frisian has been taught in schools in The Netherlands. The number of books published in Frisian has notably increased, and periodicals in Frisian have appeared.

The Frisian language uses the Latin alphabet.


Fokkema, K. Beknopte Friese spraakkunst. Groningen-Batavia, 1948.
Sipma, P. Phonology and Grammar of Modern West Frisian. Ljouwert, 1966.
Pietersen, L. De Friezen en hun taal. Drachten, 1969.


References in periodicals archive ?
Gan fod y rhain allan o fuwch Fresian, roedd carcas digon safonol iddyn nhw, ac yn cael graddau da yn y lladd-dy.
Sid Turner (SJ and Victor Spinetti) were bored insurance company clerks who jacked it all in to buy Clover Farm which came with Zsa Zsa the Jersey cow, Fanny the Fresian and Anna the Aylesbury duck.
The four-year-old Fresian had already been dragged by the strong current over another larger weir upstream.
Trying to follow this extended competition has been like running the London Marathon in one of those comedy Fresian cow outfits - you never seem to get anywhere.
Both are stamped with a picture of a fresian cow - one of the pedigree herd bred by four generations of the Brindley family at the farm in Weddington near Nuneaton since 1959.
Visitors can sample a new range of super premium ice cream from The Rying Fresian -- the company's psychedelic American bus.
With a grant from Defra's Rural Payments Agency and money from Government agency Business Link (two organisations keen to see farmers diversify in the 2000s) Angie learnt to make ice cream from the farm's Holstein Fresian, Ayrshire and Jersey cows.
The Fresian bull has been kept in isolation at the Skanda Vale Temple in Llanpumsaint ever since.
Elvis Presley materialised in the bracken of the Ochil Hills above Tillicoultry, while football commentator Jimmy Hill was once spotted on the side of a fresian cow.
The festive flavoured ice cream is produced at Cestersover Farm, Pailton, using milk from the farm's Ringswood Fresian cows.
44 375m THE SUFFOLK MAIDEN STANDARD STAKES - DUPLICATED 1 Bridge Fresian (Wiseman) 2 Knocknanuss Gold (Brighton, Swaff) 3 Lobinstown Star (West, RyeHse) 4 Lennys St John (m) (Barratt) 5 Nice Life (m) (Craske, Ymth) 6 Guapo Chico (w) (Crawley, MKns)
Two, ruminally fistulated multiparous Holstein Fresian crossbred (75% Holstein Fresian and 25% Red Sindhi) dairy cows during their dry period (530 and 550 kg of BW) were used in this study.