West Frisian language

West Frisian
Native toNetherlands
RegionFriesland, Groningen
Native speakers
470,000 (2001 census)[1]
Official status
Official language in
Netherlands (Province of Friesland)
Regulated byFryske Akademy
Language codes
ISO 639-3fry
Frisian languages in Europe.svg
Present-day distribution of the Frisian languages in Europe:
  West Frisian
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Map of the West Frisian-speaking areas in the Netherlands

West Frisian, or simply Frisian (Westerlauwersk Frysk or Frysk, pronounced [friːs(k)]; Dutch: Fries [fris]) is a West Germanic language spoken mostly in the province of Friesland (Fryslân) in the north of the Netherlands, mostly by those of Frisian ancestry. It is the most widely spoken of the three Frisian languages.

For English linguists, West Frisian is notable as being the most closely related language to English outside of Britain, the two being part of the Anglo-Frisian branch of the West Germanic family, and is therefore often considered to be "in-between" English and Dutch (Dutch itself is dubbed as being "in-between" English and German).


The name "West Frisian" is only used outside the Netherlands, to distinguish this language from the closely related Frisian languages of Saterland Frisian and North Frisian spoken in Germany. Within the Netherlands, however, "West Frisian" refers to the West Frisian dialect of the Dutch language while the West Frisian language is almost always just called "Frisian" (in Dutch: Fries for the Frisian language and Westfries for the Dutch dialect). The unambiguous name used for the West Frisian language by linguists in the Netherlands is Westerlauwers Fries [ˈʋɛstərˌlʌu̯ərs ˈfris] (West Lauwers Frisian), the Lauwers being a border river that separates the Dutch provinces of Friesland and Groningen.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Wes-Fries
azərbaycanca: Qərbi friz dili
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Заходнефрыская мова
Fiji Hindi: West Frisian bhasa
Frysk: Frysk
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Sî Frisia-ngî
hornjoserbsce: Zapadofrizišćina
Bahasa Indonesia: Bahasa Frisia Barat
lumbaart: Lengua frisona
Nedersaksies: Westlaauwers Frais
Nordfriisk: Weestfrasch
norsk nynorsk: Vestfrisisk
Plattdüütsch: Westfreesch (Spraak)
Seeltersk: Wäästfräisk
Simple English: West Frisian language
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Zapadnofrizijski jezik
svenska: Västfrisiska
Tiếng Việt: Tiếng Tây Frisia