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What’s with this “Wren” thing?
The oldest extant version of the fable
are presenting here appeared in 1913 in the first volume of a two-volume anthology
Saxon folktales (Plattdeutsche
Volksmärchen “Low German Folktales”)
collected by Wilhelm Wisser (1843–1935). Read
Location: Eastern Stellingwerf, Fryslân/Friesland, The Netherlands
Now that I’ve listened for some months and did some postings already, I think
it’s a good time to introduce myself a bit to all of you. I was born and raised
in Stellingwerf, which is a very small part of Southeastern Friesland,
a province in the very north of the Netherlands, near the provinces of Groningen,
Drenthe and Overijssel. Stellingwerf has about 50,000 inhabitants. Just over
50% of them (most of them aged 50+, like myself) speak Stellingwarfs as
a variety of the Low Saxon language. See “The Wren” (Et Doempien) in Stellingwarfs.
my “hippie phase” I traveled a lot for a few years, all over Europe and all
alone in my Citroën 2CV. Those days, the most beautiful countries for me where
Sweden (where I sold snacks at every doorstep) and (the old) Yugoslavia (where
I sold vegetables at the marketplace). Besides my own Stellingwarfs, as well
as Frisian and Dutch, I speak just a little German, French and English. Just
for fun I learned some Russian for one semester.
Today I speak, read and write Stellingwarfs and Dutch, and I speak and read
some Frisian everyday; no more writing in Frisian since we got a new stavering (spelling) sometime around 1984. I also use some very basic English in my job
as a computer man (writing Cobol from scratch). Furthermore, my English, German
and French are just good enough for spending a holyday. I’m not particularly
interested in all kinds of languages or etymologies or so, but sometimes I’m
looking for are some special words while doing my hobby as translator of the
Holy Bible into Stellingwarfs Low Saxon. That’s also the reason why I came
to the LL-List some time ago. No, I’m not writing the whole Bible from scratch
but created a computer program myself that translates about 75/80 percent fully
automatically. The real job begins then: correcting and improving, correcting
and improving, correcting and improving ... What, for instance, is a fine Stellingwarfs
word for the clothing in the old days? From the Bible in Dutch: Jozef droeg
een mooi kleed, but in Stellingwarfs we have a kleed (E: ‘carpet’) on the
floor or on the table. We wear trousers (broek) and a shirt or a blouse (boezeroen).
What shall we call such a kleed in Stellingwarfs LS? So far we use for kleed a hoele (dop, schil, omhulsel). Or can we use burka? Was there a different
between the clothing between man and woman? Vernietigen, verwoesten are also
such kind of words. So far the Bible in Afrikaans helps me a lot.
Well, this will do for the moment. This is who I am and what I do. Of
course I write some poems, short stories and so on, but that kind of stuff
is what you can find in An de liende, our monthly electronic newsletter (elektrisch
blattien). For further information about our Bible project you should take
a look at www.stellingwerfs-eigen.nl, and as for e-mail, you can
reach me at email@example.com.
My motto (from Pythagoras): “Nothing disappears; it only changes.”
Mit een vrundelike groet from Stellingwarf in the province Fryslân (The
Netherlands), Piet Bult