February 18, 2016

Frisian Now Available On Google Translate

Google Translate started offering Frisian/English translations today!

The verdict so far: overall, it seems to handle West Frisian about as well as it handles most other languages. This is leaps and bounds beyond what we had before. The translator can occasionally reverse meanings or flail on colloquial expressions, but it certainly opens doors that were closed in the past.


February 9, 2016

BENIJD - "curious"

The word for this lesson is a common one in West Frisian, benijd, meaning "curious." Stress is on the second syllable which is said much like the word "night." The -d becomes devoiced (more of a -t). The first syllable takes a schwa. Buh-NIGHt.

For those who are curious about the media merger situation with Omrop Fryslân, no final decision has yet been reached (the issue was up in the Senate at the beginning of February and then got delayed). We may hear more in March. 

Anyways, on to the uses of benijd.

Ik bin benijd.
I am curious. 

Ik is pronounced like the English "ick" and bin like the English "bin." This phrase is also the title of a TV show on the aforementioned Omrop Fryslân, one with shorts about culture in Friesland.

Ik bin benijd wat er sizze sil. 
I am curious what he will say.
[Ihk bihn buh-NIGHt vawt ehr SEEz-zuh sihl.]

Wy binne benijd nei jo/dyn/syn/har/it ferhaal.
We are curious about your (formal)/your (informal) / his / her / the story. 

The words wy ("we") and nei ("to," "about") both take the -IGH sound like in "night" or "dye." Remember that the word it ("the") is pronounced with a schwa. UHt. 

Ferhaal begins with a schwa... the -r may get dropped. The second syllable takes a long "ah" as in "father." Fuh-HAHL.