Saturday 01 April 2023

The Netherlands other language, Frisian, added to Google Translate

Frisian_flagGood news for those who struggle to understand people in the Netherlands’ northwest province of Friesland: from Thursday, Google Translate will add Frisian to its online translation service.

According to the Volkskrant, volunteers with a high or native level of Frisian have been busy translating a million words from English.

From Thursday, ‘Frysk’ will go live on the site and the event will be celebrated at noon in the provincial government building in Leeuwarden.

Translation marathons

Last September, bodies including the University of Groningen organised translation marathons, while primary and secondary schools added their word power to the effort.

Anne Dykstra, a retired dictionary writer who founded the initiative, told the Leeuwarder Courant: ‘This means we are digitally present, and that is very important for a language. If I translated something, I would always do it into Dutch. Now I will, without a doubt, translate into Frisian.’

Frisian is the native tongue of around half the 350,000 people who live in the province of Friesland.

British comedian Eddie Izzard proved that he was in no need of a translator back in 2007, however, when he used the language’s close relative, Old English, to buy himself a brown cow on a visit to the Dutch province.

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation. has been free for 16 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.