An Indo-European language and a member of the West Germanic group, spoken by some 700,000 speakers mainly in the Province of Friesland in the Netherlands, where it has official status, some northern provinces of Germany and in some parts of the Frisian Islands in the North Sea. The closest linguistic affiliation is with Dutch and English.

The earliest written documents date from approximately the 9th century. The major developmental stages of the language include Old Frisian, covering the period before 1500, Middle Frisian (1500-1800) and New Frisian, developed after 1800. Today the language is spoken in many dialects, the most prominent ones being Eastern, Western and Northern.

Efforts to preserve and promote Frisian language and culture continue. Among the most prominent institutions is the Frisian Academy (Fryske Akademy), established in 1938.

CLASSIFICATION = Indo-European family, SCRIPT = Roman

Frisian : the Frisian language in education in The Netherlands FRIS REF 2
The Frisian language [brochure on the status of the language] FRIS REF 1
North Frisian : the North Frisian language in education in Germany FRIS REF 3
1001+ basic phrases English - Frisian FRIS VOCAB 1