Reviving the Lost Frisian Language of Hattstedt: Preserving a Unique Southern Goesharde Frisian Language

Written by Dyami Millarson

Hattstedt Frisian is a language that belongs to the Southern Goesharde Frisian language family. It is not considered a dialect, but an independent language within this language family. The Southern Goesharde Frisian language family is one of the distinct North Frisian language families, which are spoken in the Northwestern region of Germany.

Hattstedt Frisian was once a thriving language spoken in the village of Hattstedt in North Frisia, which is part of Schleswig-Holstein in Northern Germany. However, it went extinct in the latter half of the 20th century. Fortunately, efforts could be made to revive and preserve the language. I learned the language with the aim of working towards reviving it. On the topic of the importance of language-learning for language revival, revitalisation and preservation, see my previous article.

The Southern Goesharde Frisian language family is a member of the Continental North Frisian language family, which also includes Wiedingharde Frisian, Bökingharde Frisian, Karrharde Frisian, Central Goesharde Frisian, and Northern Goesharde Frisian languages. The Continental North Frisian language family is distinct from the other Frisian language families, including South Frisian, West Frisian, East Frisian, and Insular North Frisian.

It is important to recognise and preserve the unique identity of Hattstedt Frisian and the Southern Goesharde Frisian language family. Through efforts to revive and promote such languages, we can contribute to the preservation of linguistic diversity and cultural heritage.

Efforts have also been made to preserve the language for future generations. This includes study of Hattstedt Frisian texts to ensure their accessibility to future learners and speakers as well as the transmission of the correct phonetic and lexical interpretation of those texts.

My work includes the creation of a Hattstedt Frisian dictionary, which will soon be available to the public. This dictionary will serve as a valuable resource for those interested in learning and preserving the language.

It is important to note that while the Hattstedt Frisian dictionary may be a significant milestone in the preservation of the language, it is a work in progress. As with any language documentation project, there may be errors or imperfections, but I welcome feedback and contributions from language enthusiasts and scholars to help improve the accuracy and completeness of the dictionary.

The revival of Hattstedt Frisian may be regarded as a responsible act for preserving linguistic diversity and a testament to the resilience of languages. As efforts to revitalise and promote Hattstedt Frisian continue, it is intended that the language will once again thrive and contribute to the rich tapestry of Frisian linguistic and cultural heritage. While the language may have faced challenges in the past, its resilience and importance to the cultural heritage of the Frisian world — as well as the rest of the world — make it a vital part of linguistic diversity and preservation efforts.

Let me now sum up the essential ideas of this article as follows:

  • Hattstedt Frisian is an independent language of the Southern Goesharde Frisian language family.
  • Hattstedt Frisian was considered extinct until it was acquired by the author.
  • The author has been writing in Hattstedt Frisian and has compiled a Hattstedt Frisian dictionary, which will be made available to the public.
  • Hattstedt Frisian, a previously dead language, has been revived and is being actively used and documented by the author, contributing to the preservation and promotion of linguistic diversity.


  1. About how many dialects of Friesian might there be, do you think? Not long ago I reread an older treatise on Anglo-Saxon Runes, impressing myself with the stafir variations on so small an isle. I would peradventure Friesian, having been a kissing cousin, must have had her share.

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