April 5, 2018

SUVEL - "dairy"

I saw this word today while reading and thought that it would make a good basis for a lesson. English-speakers who have so much as dabbled in Frisian will be quite familiar with the word tsiis, a veritable twin-flame to its English equivalent "cheese." However, the word suvel will likely be less familiar.
"Butter, bread, and green cheese"
Photograph by author

Suvel is the Frisian word for "dairy." The first syllable is said with the long -oo- in "soothe" and the second syllable is pronounced with a schwa. [SOO-vuhl]

Let's branch out from this starting point. Taalweb Frysk explains the word's meaning further. Incidentally, the Frisian for "meaning" is betsjutting, related to the verb tsjutte - "to indicate," "to point," or "to interpret."

...molke en alles wat fan molke makke wurdt, lykas bûter, tsiis, yochert..

...milk and all that is made from milk, such as butter, cheese, yogurt...

[MOHL-kuh EHn AWL-luhs VAWT FAWN MOHL-kuh MAHk-kuh VUHT, LEE-kuhs BOO-tuhr, chEEs, yOH-huht]

Here is an example of the word suvel in an article from Omrop Fryslân:

Kâns op staking yn 'e suvel. Meiwurkers fan Fryske suvelfabriken binne ree om takom wike it wurk del te lizzen.

Chance of a strike in the dairy. Employees of Frisian dairy factories are ready to quit work next week. (Del te lizzen more literally means "to lay down" work.)

Kij op It Amelân, 2015 - Photograph by author
Of course, any mention of dairy requires that we know the word for "cow." 

Ko, pronounced like the English co- as in "co-op," is a singular cow. [kOH]

Kij, pronounced like the first part of "kite," [kIGH], is the plural form, cattle.

A "calf" is keal, said with an -ee- quickly blending into an -eh- sound. [kYEHL]. Meanwhile, a bull is bolle, pronounced like the English "bowl" followed by a schwa in the second syllable. [BOHL-luh]

What if you don't eat dairy? Maybe you are a feganist [fey-GAHN-ihst], a vegan. Or maybe not. In any case, "fruits and vegetables" can be either griente en fruit orless commonlygriente en fruchten. Note the reversal from the usual English word order.  [GREEN-tuh] is vegetables. Fruit looks like English, but it rhymes with "out." [FROWt]. So look out when you see fruit in Frisian! Fruchten is said with a long -oo- vowel in the first syllable like the word that it means in English. [FROOkh-tuhn]. There are also nôten (grains) and nuten (nuts): [NAWT-uhn] pronounced like the word "knot" and [NOOT-uhn] pronounced like the word "newt," respectively.

Lekker ite! 
Good eating (literally: "delicious eating")!
[LEHK-kuhr EE-tuh!] 

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