Low German phrasebook

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Low German or Low Saxon (Plattdüütsch) is a Germanic language spoken by about 5 million people world-wide. Most people living in northern Germany and eastern Netherlands (the Low Saxon language spoken in the Netherlands is considered a different language called Dutch Low Saxon, more information at Dutch Low Saxon phrasebook) use it as a second language. The language that will be treated on this page is thus the Low Saxon dialect spoken in northern Germany. Low German is an official dialect. Historically, it used to be the first language of the Hanseatic League during the Middle Ages, and thus it had a certain prestige that came to vanish during the 16th century. Low German has also had a significant influence on such Scandinavian language as Danish, and even more Swedish. It also had a certain influence on the development of the modern Dutch language as well as on High German.
Low German is not a unified language, but rather an 'aggregate' of similar dialects having a common origin and common intelligibility, but sometimes showing few phonological and lexical differences. It took time to provide Low German with an efficient writing style; several were proposed and used. The 'SASS writing style' (Sass'sche Schrievwies), first proposed in 1935 by German linguist Johannes Sass, has now officially been recognised and is the most used one. It is the writing system used on the Low German Wikipedia and on official writings in Low German.


Situation within Low German dialects, and relation to other languages


Phrase list