Copy of Our 2022 Mission Statement

Written by Dyami Millarson

I am saving our 2022 mission statement in this article as I intend to change our mission statement drastically next year. A classification of Frisian languages is currently included in the mission statement. I had originally intended to publish the classification as an article, but I decided to publish it first in the mission statement, because I felt it would cost me less time and effort than writing an article on this topic. I am, however, slowly publishing information on the classification of Frisian languages in articles on our blog and this will gradually reduce the need for including this information in the mission statement page.

My 2023 goal is to make the mission statement page much more to-the-point and to remove excessively detailed information. I want to keep things simple, clear and fun. People need to get the purpose of this website by just reading a few lines. The current set-up of the mission statement page is bound to overwhelm people. The current mission statement is way too complex and the current version only served as a temporary solution to the problem that I had not yet published articles on the classification of Frisian – I used the mission statement page as a temporary storage place for saving the information on classification. It would be ideal if I can simply refer people to specific articles if they would like to know more.


Author: Dyami Millarson, Last updated: 6 April 2022

We learn the most exotic and fascinating languages of Europe. Our work involves chiefly highly endangered minority languages. We are currently focused on the Frisian languages spoken in Europe.

There are 19 living Frisian tongues and we intend to study them all:

  • West Frisian (Westerlauwers Fries, Westfriesisch)
    • Shire Frisian or Wood-Clay Frisian (exonyms: Landfries/Dorpsfries/Boerenfries, endonyms: Geafrysk/Lânfrysk)
      1. Clay Frisian (exo. Kleifries, endo. Klaaifrysk)
      2. Wood Frisian (exo. Woudfries, endo. Wâldfrysk)
      3. North Clay Frisian or North Corner Frisian (exo. Noordkleifries/Noordhoeks, endo. Noardklaaifrysk/Noardhoeksk)
    • South Sea Frisian-Shire Frisian
      1. Southwest Corner Frisian (exo. Zuidwesthoeks, Súdwesthoeksk)
    • Terschelling Frisian (exo. (Ter-)Schellinger Fries, Skylger Frysk, endo. Schyljer Frys)
      1. East Terschelling Frisian (exo. Oosterschellingers, endo. Aasters)
      2. West Terschelling Frisian (exo. Westerschellingers, endo. Westers)
    • South Sea Frisian (exo. Zuiderzeefries, Suderseefrysk)
      1. Hindeloopen Frisian (exo. Hindeloopers, Hylpersk, endo. Hielpes)
    • East-West Frisian
      1. Schiermonnikoog Frisian (exo. Schiermonnikoogs/Eilanders, Skiermûntseagersk, endo. Eilaunders)
  • East Frisian (Oosterlauwers Fries, Ostfriesisch)
    1. Sagelterland Frisian (exo. Saterfriesisch, endo. Seeltersk)
      1. Ramsloh Frisian
      2. Scharrel Frisian
      3. Strücklingen Frisian
  • North Frisian (Noord-Fries, Nordfriesisch)
    • Continental North Frisian
      1. Central Goesharde Frisian
      2. Northern Goesharde Frisian
        1. Langenhorn Frisian (Hoorner)
        2. Ockholm Frisian (Hoolmer)
      3. Hallig Frisian (exo. Halligfriesisch, endo. Halifreesk)
      4. Karrharde Frisian (exo. Karrharder Friesisch)
      5. Wiedingharde Frisian (exo. Wiedingharder Friesisch)
        1. Horsbüll Frisian (endo. Hoorbling)
        2. Neukirchen Frisian
        3. Klanxbüll Frisian
        4. Rodenäs Frisian
        5. Emmelsbüll Frisian
      6. Bökingharde Frisian  (exo. Mooring, endo. Mååring)
        1. Niebüll Frisian (endo. Naiblinge)
        2. Fahretoft Frisian
    • Insular North Frisian
      1. Sylt Frisian (exo. Sylterfriesisch, endo. Söl’ring)
        1. West Sylt Frisian
        2. East Sylt Frisian
      2. Hel(i)golandic Frisian (exo. Helgoländisch, endo. Halunder)
      3. Föhr Frisian (exo. Föhrer Friesisch, endo. Fering)
        1. West Föhr Frisian (endo. Wesdring)
        2. East Föhr Frisian (endo. Aasdring)
      4. Amrum Frisian (exo. Amring, endo. Oomring)
Classification: West Frisian, East Frisian and North Frisian are language families according to the on-going research of our Foundation. North Frisian can be divided into insular and continental subfamilies. Clay Frisian and Wood Frisian, East Terschelling Frisian and West Terschelling Frisian, Hindeloopen Frisian and Molkwerum Frisian, Northern Goesharde Frisian and Central Goesharde Frisian, Föhr Frisian and Amrum Frisia belong to the larger linguistic groupings Shire Frisian (= Clay-Wood Frisian), Terschelliing Frisian, Hindeloopen-Molkwerum Frisian, Goesharde Frisian and Föhr-Amrum Frisian respectively. On a higher level, Hindeloopen-Molkwerum Frisian belongs to South Sea Frisian (Dut. Zuiderzeefries) while Shire Frisian and Terschelling Frisian belong to Shire-Terschelling Frisian. Southwest Corner Frisian ultimatley belongs to Shire-Terschelling Frisian nowadays, yet it is a South Sea Frisian-coloured language as a historical result of language shift in the Southwest Corner which saw the decline of the old South Sea Frisian and the rise of Shire Frisian in the region (a development which is also threatening Hindeloopen Frisian nowadays), thus it may be considered to belong to a separate South Sea Frisian-Shire-Terschelling grouping within the Shire-Terschelling Frisian subfamily of West Frisian. Southwest Corner Frisian is a transitional language (Dutch: overgangstaal) between proper South Sea Frisian and Shire-Terschelling Frisian. Schiermonnikoog Frisian, which has here been classified as West Frisian yet falls outside the Shire-Terschelling Frisian and South Sea Frisian groupings, is hard to classify due to possible East Frisian influences, or possibly having been originally East Frisian; while it is possible that Schiermonnikoog Frisian was originally an East Frisian language with West Frisian influences, nowadays it is practically a West Frisian language with possible East Frisian influences and therefore may as a potential mixed language or contact language be classified as East Frisian-West Frisian, which means, as West Frisian is the last in this compound, it is ultimately West Frisian. While Strand Frisian and Hallig Frisian are closely related and might have a common origin, they may be classified as Hallig-Strand Frisian. If the Schiermonnikoog Frisians are not originally East Frisian yet adopted East Frisian features, this may be explained by the liekly possibility that the Schiermonnikoog Frisians could as a sea-faring people have come into contact with the East Frisians via the Hanseatic League during the Middle Ages.

Ranking by level of endangerment: We give more priority to the study, promotion and protection of a language or linguistic grouping based on its endangerment ranking. Sagelterland Frisian was the only remaining East Frisian language until we revived Wangerooge Frisian. Schiermonnikoog Frisian is without a doubt the most endangered Frisian language in the Netherlands. Föhr-Amrum Frisian is the largest Insular North Frisian grouping and Bökingharde Frisian is the largest Continental North Frisian grouping, making them both relatively the least endangered within their respective groupings. Föhr-Amrum Frisian is larger than Bökingharde Frisian, so the latter is the second largest North Frisian grouping. Goesharde Frisian is the most endangered grouping of the Continental North Frisian groupings. Wiedingharde Frisian is the 2nd least endangered Continental North Frisian grouping. Hallig Frisian is the most endangered after that. Karrharde Frisian may also be very endangered, or so I heard. I guess Karrharde Frisian might be on a similar level with Hallig Frisian and Goesharde Frisian, but I do not know its exact ranking relative to the others as of yet.   

It is our life mission to learn the most endangered Frisian tongues ere they die out. We wish to keep the knowledge of these languages alive with our own efforts and we wish to transmit the knowledge of these languages to a new group of young people.

We take on language challenges to get attention for the variety of languages spoken in Europe today. The diversity of languages in Europe is a topic that is not yet frequently talked about in daily life and we wish to change that by studying and talking about these fascinating, exotic languages. We wish their voices to (still) be heard around the world!

When we learn any language, we believe that we are saving it. We never stop using a language once we have learned it. Articles written in various languages that we have learned frequently appear on our blog. We keep the knowledge of the languages alive this way.

Although we initially prioritise the living over the dead Frisian languages for practical reasons, our ultimate goal is the study of all Frisian languages, both living and dead. Therefore, after learning the 15 living Frisian languages, we will shift our attention to the deceased Frisian languages which may be well-documented or scarcely documented languages of which there are no recorded modern descendants as well as historical languages which are predecessors of living Frisian tongues that we have already familiarised ourselves with.

We do not overlook historical variants. In our estimation, they are just as much tongues as the living and deceased Frisian tongues are. It takes time to study them. Many years prior, we experienced the same while studying both 19th-century Dutch and Modern Dutch.

We wish to study all of the following 34 deceased or historical Frisian tongues:

  • Languages of which there is no living descendant
    • Tongues fragmentarily preserved in texts, vocabularies or grammars
      1. Wangerooge Frisian Seetzenian, Ehrentrautian, Siebsian
      2. Southern Goesharde Frisian
      3. Harlingerland(ic) Frisian
      4. Wursten Frisian
        1. Imsum Frisian
        2. Wremen Frisian
      5. Strand Frisian
        1. Nordstrand Frisian
        2. Pellworm Frisian
        3. Wyk Frisian
      6. Molkwerum Frisian
      7. Upgant Frisian
      8. Holland(ic) Frisian
      9. Makkum Frisian
      10. Workum Frisian
    • Tongues with only scanty remains in names or substrates
      1. Eiderstedt Frisian
      2. Ameland(ic) Frisian
      3. Jeverland(ic) Frisian
  • Languages which are predecessors of living tongues
    1. Classical Hindeloopen Frisian
    2. Classical Schiermonnikoog Frisian
    3. Classical Southwest Corner Frisian (= Classical South Sea Frisian)
    4. Classical East Terschelling Frisian
    5. Classical West Terschelling Frisian
    6. Classical Sagelterland(ic) Frisian
    7. Classical Hel(i)goland(ic) Frisian
    8. Classical Karrharde Frisian
    9. Classical Bökingharde Frisian
    10. Classical Southern Goesharde Frisian
    11. Classical Central Goesharde Frisian
    12. Classical Northern Goesharde Frisian
    13. Classical Sylt Frisian
    14. Classical Hallig Frisian
    15. Classical Föhr Frisian
    16. Classical Amrum Frisian
    17. Classical Wiedingharde Frisian
    18. Classical Hallig Frisian
    19. Middle (West) Frisian (= Classical Shire Frisian)
      1. Gysbert Japicx’ Frisian
      2. Brothers Halbertsma’s Frisian
    20. Old Frisian (= Late Old Frisian; Altfriesisch/Spätaltfriesisch, Oudfries/Laatoudfries, Aldfrysk/Letâldfrysk)
      1. Old East Frisian (Altostfriesisch, Oosterlauwers Oudfries)
        1. Riustringen Frisian (Rüstringer Friesisch, Riustringer Fries)
        2. Bro(e)kmerland Frisian (Brokmer Friesisch, Brokmer Fries)
        3. Fivelgo Frisian (Fivelgoer Friesisch, Fivelgoër Fries)
        4. Emsigo Frisian (Emsigoer Friesisch, Emsigoër Fries)
        5. Hunsingo Frisian (Hunsingoer Friesisch, Hunsingoër Fries)
      2. Old West Frisian (Altwestfriesisch, Westerlauwers Oudfries)
      3. Proto-North Frisian (Urnordfriesisch, Oer-Noord-Fries)
    21. Runic Frisian (= Ancient Frisian, Elder Frisian, Early Old Frisian; Frühaltfriesisch, Vroegoudfries)
Classification: Wangerooge Frisian, Wursten Frisian, Harlingerland Frisian and Upgant Frisian are East Frisian languages like Sagelterland Frisian. Eiderstedt Frisian, Strand Frisian and Southern Goesharde Frisian are North Frisian languages. Molkwerum Frisian, Holland Frisian, Makkum Frisian, Workum Frisian and Ameland Frisian are West Frisian languages. Wangerooge Frisian, Wursten Frisian, Harlingerland Frisian, Jeverland Frisian belong to the Weser Frisian subfamily of East Frisian, while Upgant Frisian along with Sagelterland Frisian and Brokmerland Frisian belongs to the Ems Frisian subfamily. While Molkwerum Frisian is closely related to Hindeloopen Frisian, it may belong to a Molkwerum-Frisian grouping. Hindeloopen-Molkwerum Frisian, Makkum Frisian and Workum Frisian belong to the South Sea Frisian subfamily of West Frisian while Ameland Frisian belongs to the Shire-Terschelling Frisian subfamily of West Frisian. Holland Frisian may belong to a Western South Sea Frisian grouping which is distinct from the Eastern South Sea Frisian grouping to which Hindeloopen Frisian and others belong. This grouping may perhaps also be called Coast or Water Frisian as it was historically spoken in the coast or water regions of North Holland, where West Frisian North Hollandic tongues that replaced the proper West Frisian ones are now spoken. Yet another alternative name for the grouping is South Frisian, as it would be the southernmost Frisian.   

Revival efforts: The goal of our investigations is to study whether it is possible to revive certain languages is possible and if it is possible, how it can be done. For this reason, our first effort consists in investigating whether a language is relatively well or poorly documented. We find this out naturally as we collect all available materials for study. The next effort consists in investigating what possibilities there are for (quick) revival. If a quick revival is not possible, we estimate how much reconstruction and linguistic comparison with related languages is needed. We prioritise quickly revivable languages over languages that cannot be quickly revived and require a significant degree of linguistic reconstruction and linguistic comparison.

Documentation of dead languages without modern descendants: Wangerooge Frisian, Molkwerum Frisian, Southern Goesharde Frisian and Harlingerland Frisian are relatively well-documented compared to the other Frisian tongues that are in the same situation. The Wangerooge Frisian, Southern Goesharde Frisian, Harlingerland Frisian, Wursten Frisian, Strand Frisian, Molkwerum Frisian, Upgant Frisian, Holland(ic) Frisian fragments allow for a generally swifter and smoother revival than whatever remains of Eiderstedt and Ameland(ic) Frisian, although we do not entirely rule out a revival of some sorts might be possible. The question is open as to what such a reconstructed language may be used for, but we think it might have a cultural purpose and could be employed during cultural events that seek to evoke a distinct local Frisian identity that belongs to, for example, Eidestedt or Ameland alone. 

What is our definition of a Frisian classical language? Classical denotes in this context that the language stage is pre-modern. The Frisian classical languages are essentially the monument Frisian languages that existed before the modern era. So what is that monumental era? Practically, a classical Frisian language could be the language stage that is attested before the 19th century, during the 19th century or the very early 20th century which may be regarded as a continuation of the 19th century (the border between the 19th century and 20th century is fluid in the early years). 

In conclusion, our mission since 2016 is studying all Frisian languages and based on our current insights which have evolved over the years, that means 53 Frisian tongues. This personal mission of ours is embedded in our institutional framework: the official aim of our Foundation Operation X for languages, cultures and perspectives is the study, promotion (description, popularisation, teaching), revival or preservation, reconstruction or expansion, etymological analysis, classification, distinction and comparison of vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation of (endangered) languages such as the Frisian tongues. Promotional or educational work, as seen both in the publications about us and in our own blog articles, is necessary for cultivating awareness of the names of Frisian languages as well as acknowledging the facts regarding the linguistic diversity of Frisian.

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2 comments

  1. 💜 This is Pretty Long for a Short “Mission Statement” and written in Perfect English about the “death” of a “language” EveryOne; for example Latin is considered a “dead” language yet continues to be taught in schools WorldWide and used in legal processes as is English…this seems a bit like Esperanto; an effort to get EveryBody speaking the same “language” that failed spectacularly because most people were already learning and speaking English 🤔 ?

    nisi mortuus nec neque nolite vicit 🤭🤫🤐

    …💛💚💙…

    Liked by 1 person

    • The current 2022 mission statement is too long, and therefore does not serve its purpose well. I will revise the mission statement in 2023 and shorten it significantly. However, for the coming months, I will keep it as it is, as I am working to slowly move the information on Frisian classification to other posts, which could be linked to if needed. These months are, therefore, a transitionary period. The purpose of the current post is to archive our 2022 mission statement before it is changed in 2023.

      There are living Frisian languages and dead ones. I focused chiefly on the living ones between 2016 and 2021. I am now chiefly focused on the dead ones. English is a language I use to communicate my findings and experiences with a worldwide audience, but I use Latin as well for that purpose. Writing in Latin gives me a feeling that I am immortalising what I write; rather than just producing texts, it feels like producing eternal monuments.

      Nevertheless, Latin seems non-dead to me. I am using it as a living language on this blog as well. When you learn to speak and write a dead language, you automatically make it alive again, and you may leave proof of that too if you produce new materials in the language. Original materials are monuments attesting to fluency in a language at some point in time, and fluency suggests a language is very much alive if you ask me. No one is fluent in dead languages, i.e., a language is dead if there are currently no fluent speakers, yet that may change anytime. As long as there are sufficient language materials you can access for a dead language, you can revive it.

      Liked by 1 person

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