How to spell in Saterfrisian?

 

 


This is a short introduction, based on the system by Marron C. Fort,
Saterfriesisches Wrterbuch, Buske, Hamburg 1980.

The principle is: ONE SOUND, ONE SIGN. [pronunciation]

Because of that
short vowels are written SINGLE: Kat 'cat'.
but long vowels DOUBLE: Traast 'consolation'.

So it is no longer necessary to write final consonants double: Kat,
whereas double writing is maintained for medial consonants:: Katte 'cats'.
After unstressed vowels, however, the consonant is written single: Kanoal.

Like in German, substantives are written with initial capital: Tuume 'thumb'.



Examples:   (Signs between [ ] are phonetic signs)
Short vowels   Long vowels
a more open than bad [a]; e.g. Gat 'hole', falsk 'false'   aa like father [a:]; e.g. Taal 'number', maast 'most'
like net [e]; e.g. Fk 'compartment', fl 'violent', rdje 'save'   like bed [e:]; e.g. sd 'satisfied', fst 'fixed'
e like open [b]; e.g. Hidene 'peat shed', et 'it', bekoand 'known'   ee stretched i, about as gate [e:]; e.g. leet 'late', Steen 'stone'
i like will [I]; e.g. Wille 'will', licht 'light', bidje 'ask'   ie like week [i:]; e.g. Sies 'cheese', liek 'straight'*
o like Stock []]; e.g. Stok 'stick', konne 'be able'   oa like water []:]; e.g. Toal 'hall', Hoase 'hare'
like but [œ]; e.g. blkje 'roar'   like girl [œ:]; e.g. Kkene 'kitchen
u like wood [o]; e.g. Stuk ''piece', Buk 'buck'   oo stretched o, about as boat [o:]; e.g. Dook 'haze', groot 'big', Hoose 'stocking'
    stretched [:]; e.g. Grte 'magnitude', drme 'dream'
    uu like mood [u:]; e.g. fuul 'much', suur 'sour', Buuk 'belly'*
like German Fllen [Y]; e.g. dt 'this', wl 'well'   like German fhlen [y:]; e.g. Pt 'pouch', wl 'wanted'*
    * These vowels are sometimes pronunciated long, sometimes shorter.
     
Diphthongs (Stressed at the beginning).
ai like fine [ai]; e.g. nai 'near', Sail 'sail', taie 'press'
i like short + i [ei]; e.g. ni 'new', Schip 'sheep', Fite 'feet'
au like long aa + u [a:u] ; e.g. gau 'fast', kauje 'chew'
uw like short + u [eu]; e.g. huw 'hitted', stuwen 'made dust'
eeuw like long ee + u [e:u]; e.g. scheeuw 'sloping', leeuwe 'believe'
ieuw like ie + u [i:u]; e.g. Lieuw 'body', ieuwen 'even'
oai like long oa + i []:i]; e.g. Koai 'key', own 'eigen', loaierje 'laze'
oi like short o + i []i]; e.g. schoi 'scornfull', Moite 'trouble', bloie 'bloom'
i like + ie [œi]; e.g. frier 'earlier', ile 'dig
 
Consonants
Usually pronunciated and written like in English. Exceptions are:
ch is always pronunciated like in Scottish Loch [x]; e.g. light 'leicht', away 'weg', laachje 'laugh'
g usually like a voiced k or a voiced h; e.g. goud 'good', Deege 'days', ful 'full'
j after many consonants; e.g. djoop 'deep', Fjuur 'fire', gjucht 'right; very', Kjuus 'cross', ljoo 'lovely', Mjuks 'dung', Stjuur 'steering wheel', tjuk 'thick'
kk in stead of ck after the principle of doubling; e.g. Bakker 'baker' (but Rok 'skirt')
ks in stead of x; e.g. Okse 'ox', niks 'nothing'
kw in stead of qu; e.g. Kwoal 'torment', kwd 'says'
nk like sink [tk]; e.g. Droank 'drink', linker 'left', but like n + k [nk] in diminutives: Tuunke 'small garden'
r is usually a tongtip-r [r] like in Scottish, e.g. rood 'red', fiere 'drive', deer 'there'
r is usually is usually softened to e before consonants [b]; e.g. in Fuurke 'fork', Boart 'beard'
Initial s is always sharp like in English sister [s] ; e.g. seer 'sore', sitte 'sit', Sunne 'sun'
sch like s + Scottisch ch [sx]; e.g. Schip 'ship', scheen 'clean'
sl, sm, sn, sp, st, sw nearly like in English; e.g. slipe 'sleep', Smoacht 'hunger', sniede 'cut' , Splinter 'splinter', switte 'sweat'
 
Foreign words keep the usual German spelling, apart from parts, where Saterfrisian developed a different pronunciation; e.g. in akroat 'accurate', kontrollierje 'control', praktisk 'practical'
 
Two bottlenecks
Dr. Forts spelling has two properties that don't get on well with the German spelling:
1. The long vowels should be written single in open syllables, so Bome, plural to Boom 'trees'.
2. For to make the sharp s stand out more clearly, voiced s should be written like z, so leze 'read'.
In practice one often observes the bottlenecks to be avoided in writing: Boome, leese etc. Finally, however, single o and u are maintained:: so, nu. These rules are also applied in this course.