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Low Saxon in The Netherlands

Dutch Low Saxon (Dutch Low Saxon: Nedersaksies, Dutch: Nedersaksisch) is a group of West Low German, dialects spoken in the northeastern Netherlands. It is assumed to be the native language of between 1 and 2 million people in the Netherlands. Of course, Dutch Low Saxon is highly likely to be mutualy intelligible with Low German, however, as each language is influenced by respectively Dutch and High German, some misunderstandings are possible.

The class “Dutch Low Saxon” is not unanimous. From a diachronic point of view, the Dutch Low Saxon dialects are merely the Low German dialects which are native to areas in the Netherlands (as opposed to areas in northern Germany where Low German is the most common term accepted for these dialects). From a strictly synchronic point of view, however, some linguists classify Dutch Low Saxon as a variety of Dutch. Also, as a practical matter, Dutch Low Saxon is influenced by standard Dutch, whereas Low German in Germany is influenced by standard German.

Difficulties

Since Dutch Low Saxon, like its counterpart across the German border, is not a unified language, it is often hard to find two people speaking the same version of Dutch Low Saxon. However, its clear resemblance to Dutch and the fact that most people in the Netherlands were taught the English, it won't be hard to be understood if you speak a poor Dutch Low Saxon. Communication is more likely to be in Dutch or even English, however the locals would be impressed seeing a foreigner talking with them in their own dialect.

Writing system and dialect represented on this page

The writing system chosen to write Dutch Low Saxon is the Algemene Nedersaksiese Schriefwieze (ANS) developed in 2011 by the Wikipedia Community. It was made in order to be able to then create a Dutch Low Saxon version of Wikipedia. It is now considered a true, valid writing style for Dutch Low Saxon, used in other contexts a Wikipedia or internet.

The dialect proposed here is highly inspired by the Drenthe dialect (Drèents), however, we tried to choose the most common forms to kind of represent a true image of the Dutch Low Saxon dialects. Don't forget however that it is not one single dialect, and that the sentences proposed on this page may be pronounced differently in some regions of the Netherlands.

Pronunciation

Dutch Low Saxon has some vowel sounds that are not known in many other languages so they may be hard to learn.

Short vowels

like 'a' in "calm", (but shorter)
ä 
like 'e' in "pen"
like 'e' in "pen" or 'e' in "the" (at word endings)
like 'i' in "pin"
like 'o' in "fork"
oe 
like 'oo' in "too" (but shorter)
ö 
like 'e' in "mercy"
like 'u' in "put"
like 'i' in "pin" or 'ee' in "deep"

Long vowels

a, aa 
like 'aa' in "Afrikaans"
ä, ää 
somewhat similar to ee, like 'a' in "day" (without pronouncing the 'y'-sound at the end)
e, ee 
like 'a' in "day" (without pronouncing the 'y'-sound at the end)
eu 
similar to 'e' in "mercy"
ie 
like 'ea' in "sea"
o, oo 
like 'o' in "ago"
oe 
like 'oo' in "too"
ö, öö 
similar to eu, like 'e' in "mercy"
u, uu 
like 'ü' in German "München"

Diphthongs

au, ou 
like 'ow' in "how"
ea, eai 
like the English 'yay'
ei, i'j 
like 'ay' in "say"
ieuw 
like 'ew' in "new"
iew 
like 'ea' in "sea", followed by a 'w'-sound
oa 
like 'oa' in goat, highly stressed
oai 
like 'oa' followed by a 'y'-sound
ooi 
like 'oo' followed by a 'y'-sound
ööi 
like 'öö' followed by a 'y'-sound
ui 
like 'i' in "sir" followed by a 'y'-sound, somewhat similar to 'ööi'

Consonants

like 'b' in "bed"
like 'c' in "can" (k) or the 'c' in "certain" (s)
ch 
like 'ch' in Scottish "loch"
like 'd' in "do"
like 'f' in "feel"
like 'g' in "go" at the beginning of a word, within a word or at the end of it, 'g' is pronounced either like a kind of 'ch'-sound in German Nacht (a guttural sound similar to Spanish 'jotta'-sound)
like 'h' in "have"
like 'y' in "you"
like 'k' in "kilo"
like 'l' in "low"
like 'm' in "man"
like 'n' in "no"; often dropped at the end of words
like 'p' in "pet"
like 'q' in "quick"
similar to 'r' in "row" but from the back of the throat, like the French 'r'
like 's' in "say"
sj 
like 'sh' in "she"
like 't' in "top"
like 'v' in "vein"
like 'w' in "we"
like 'x' in "axe"
like 'y' in "yes"
like 'z' in "zoo"

Other diagraphs

ch 
similar to Spanish 'jotta'-sound
sch 
usually like 's' followed by 'ch'-sound, especially after e, i, can also sound like 'sk' in 'skip' or like 'sh' in 'ship'
ng 
like both 'ng' in "singing", and 'ng' in "finger" at the end of a word

Phrase list

Basics

Hello. 
Moi (MOAY)
How are you? 
Hoe geat et met di'j? (hoo GHAYT et mett day?)
How are you? (informal)
Hoe geat et? (hoo GHAYT et?)
Fine, thank you. 
Good, dank di'j. (GOOT dahnk uu)
Fine, thank you. (informal)
Good, dank joe. (GOOT dahnk yuh)
What is your name? 
Hoe heet ie? (hoo HAYT ee?)
What is your name? (informal)
Hoe heetst du? (hoo HAYT-st doo?)
My name is ______ . 
Mien naom is ______ . (meen NOHM is _____ .)
Nice to meet you. 
Aonenaom kennis te maoken. (OHN-uh-nohm KEH-nis tuh MOH-kun), or simply Aonenaom (AHN-guh-nahm)

Numbers

ean (AYN)
twea (TWAY)
drea (DREE)
veer (VEER)
vief (VAYF)
zes (ZEHS)
zöven (ZÖ-vuhn)
acht (AHGT)
neën (NAY-uhn)
10 
tiene (TEEN)
11 
ölf (ELF)
12 
twaolf (TWOHLF)
13 
dartien (DEHR-teen)
14 
veertien (VAYR-teen)
15 
vieftien (VAYF-teen)
16 
zestien (ZEHS-teen)
17 
zöventien (ZÖ-vuhn-teen)
18 
achttien (AHGT-teen)
19 
neëntien (NAY-uhn-teen)
20 
twantig (TWEN-tuhg)
21 
eanentwantig (AIN-uhn-TWIN-tuhg)
22 
tweaëntwantig (TWAY-uhn-TWIN-tuhg)
23 
dreaëntwantig (DREE-uhn-TWIN-tuhg)
30 
dartig (DEHR-tuhg)
40 
veertig (VAYR-tuhg)
50 
vieftig (VAYF-tuhg)
60 
zestig (ZEHS-tuhg)
70 
zöventig (ZAY-vuhn-tuhg)
80 
tachtig (TAHG-tuhg)
90 
neëntig (NAY-guhn-tuhg)
100 
honderd (HON-duhrt)
200 
tweahonderd (TWAY-hon-duhrt)
300 
dreahonderd (DREE-hon-duhrt)
1000 
duzend (DOO-zuhnt)
2000 
tweaduzend (TWAY-digh-zuhnt)
1,000,000 
ean miljoon (uhn mil-YOON)
number _____ (train, bus, etc.
nummer _____ (NUHM-muhr)
half 
de hälft (duh HELFT)
less 
minder (MIN-duhr)
more 
meer (MAYR)