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Introduction to Frisian

University of Groningen via FutureLearn


Did you know that, besides Dutch, a second official language is spoken in the Netherlands? It’s a language even more closely related to English than Dutch. This language is called Frisian.

Maybe you’re interested in minority languages. Or perhaps you’re keen to learn the language that is considered to be very close to English. Or it could be that you have Frisian roots or plan to visit the beautiful province of Friesland and would like to understand the local language.

This course is aimed at people with no prior knowledge of the Frisian language, who have a strong interest in learning languages. It will give you a taste of language skills that will help you to survive in a Frisian-speaking environment. The main focus will be on receptive skills like reading and listening. It will be taught in English.


  • Introducing yourself
    • Getting started
    • Introduction to Week 1
    • Introduce yourself
    • Language focus: grammar explanation
    • Counting
    • The alphabet
    • Summary of Week 1
    • Introducing Friesland
  • Talking about family, work and study
    • Introducing the topic: talking about family, work and study
    • Say more about yourself
    • Language focus: grammar explanation
    • The time
    • Greeting someone
    • Summary of Week 2
    • Introducing Friesland
  • Living in Friesland
    • Introducing the topic: living in Friesland
    • Living in Friesland
    • Language focus: grammar explanation
    • Make a suggestion
    • Paying
    • Summary of Week 3
    • Introducing Friesland

Taught by

Gerbrich de Jong


4.7 rating, based on 29 Class Central reviews

4.7 rating at FutureLearn based on 41 ratings

Start your review of Introduction to Frisian

  • This course is extremely important not only for the sake of people who speak Frisian and their relatives, but also to anyone who cares about preserving a language that is the closest cousin to English, which of course is spoken so widely. The intert…
  • Roberta Stuart Cooper
    The course "Introduction to Frisian" is a course I would not have missed for the world! Not only is it a course that has never been seen before in the wide, wonderful world of MOOCs, but it has a special appeal for me because during my genealogical…
  • Anonymous
    I loved it! I wish there were a follow-up I could sign up for. But ... I bookmarked all the resources this course has provided me with and this way, hopefully, I'll be able to continue to learn the Frisian language and about Frisian culture and hist…
  • Anonymous
    I've finished the course today and would like to thank the team and the university producing such a good course for online learning. Frisian once seemed to be new and 'exotic' to me, but now I gained more confidence in keep learning it by myself.…
  • Anonymous
    I thoroughly recommend this course, particularly to people with some background in language learning. The instructors are personable and knowledgeable, and I did enjoy the course despite distressing world events unfolding at the moment. I agree with others who have noted the relative scarcity of student-friendly dictionaries and grammars; there is material available online, but it's very advanced. However, there is plenty of authentic listening material in the course, and Gerbrich helped bridge any learning gaps by being very generous with feedback. I now feel well-placed to pursue my Frisian interests further on my own. Tige tank!
  • Anonymous
    This was an interesting course and very suitable to learn the basics of the language. I found it very useful, because I now better understand Frisian speakers and I also learned to write some easy sentences in Frisian. There was also a lot of background information offered, and possibilities to proceed with other courses, via Afûk for example.

    The only less interesting parts were the grammar sections, because the man who explained the topics spoke too slow, and the english translations were for me superfluous because I am dutch. But for non dutch learners it could be essential I suppose.
  • Anonymous
    The course was very enjoyable! !!
    The grammar was presented clearly and without frills, concentrating on what is 'regular'. We were exposed to speakers with different accents from different backgrounds. The situations covered were those coming up naturally for a beginner starting in a new language.
    I checked my knowledge via the placement tests offered on the Afûk website and tested A2. So the course did exactly what it set out to do and a bit more.
  • Profile image for David Eyre
    David Eyre
    This course gives an excellent introduction to Frisian. This includes very useful vocabulary focused on everyday situations, but also introduces basic grammar in a clear, approachable way. The dialogues are excellent, feeling very natural and covering all the vocabulary and grammar points, while also stretching the listener. Dankewol Universiteit fan Groningen. Ik sil mear Frysk studjearje, dat hoop ik.
  • Anonymous
    An amazingly paced course. If you are interested in the Frisian language, or really any minority/endangered language with not a lot of learning materials available, this course is just for you. Once you finish it you will feel confident enough to hold basic conversations in Frisian, which means a lot as this language lacks speakers outside of the Netherlands.
  • Anonymous
    A great introduction to this weird and beautiful language! Not my first University of Groningen MOOC and I've been impressed by the high quality of their MOOCs each time, so I really recommend it to anyone who's thinking about taking MOOCs from this university.
  • Anonymous
    Excellent short course to quickly learn the basics of Frysian, including writing. Video's make the course lively. Lots of exercises to test new skills like introducing yourself, small talk, vocabulary like suitable responses to questions, making suggestions, counting, days of the week, conjugation of verbs and modular verbs (including 'sille' to construct the future tense) and fun facts about Frysland and Frysian preferences and habits. This is an empowering course which stimulates to learn more in advanced courses.
  • Anonymous
    This course is awesome. I stuedied Germanistik and I was more than one year in Holland. Now, I was just curious. But, it really helps to see similarities between Germanic languages. The course have a good structure and it give more ways to learn, everyone can find his own.
  • Anonymous
    I liked it a lot. It was not difficult. There is a lot of extra material to further my studies. I recommend it.
  • Anonymous
    Really excellent and personable instructors. As someone who feels nervous about learning a new language, I felt at ease learning in this course. A good pace, and I appreciated the opportunity to listen to many dialogues of native speakers of the language.
  • Anonymous
    This was exactly what I was looking for. Very basic, but fun way of learning Frisian. Great practising with Quizlet and other assignments (reading, writing and pronounciation!)
    I liked the video's with actors and audio's! I hope there will be a part 2!
  • Anonymous
    This was an excellent introductory course. It was much more than learning a few phrases by rote. It included valuable instruction on grammar and sentence construction; the mechanics of the language, and provided good resources for vocabulary and listening.
  • Carole L Pannhoff
    Since my husband's family came from Ostfriesland, I needed to translate church documents. I was using a German dictionary and figured out the spelling differences. I think I am now able to write in Frisian to the family still there.
  • Patrick Conway
    Easy to navigate through, and not overly challenging. Nice presenters and interesting cultural representation of Friesland, Holland. Three weeks was a comfortable commitment, with just 3 hours per week required.
  • Anonymous
    Well organized, interesting, and I appreciate how a variety of methods were used to teach the material (videos, transcripts, text, and third party sites like Quizlet and YouTube). I hope to take another course soon!
  • Anonymous
    It was a very good beginner course. I'm glad I took the time to take it and it will help me with languages like Dutch or German.

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