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A Gathering of Platt Folk

In East Frisian talk, that means a very friendly (literally, "pretty") hello!

This web page is about Plattdeutsch, or "Low German." Plattdeutsch (or Platt, for short) was the language of my ancestors, most of whom lived and farmed in the Northwestern part of Germany in a place called "East Friesland" (or, as they say, Oostfreesland). Many of my ancestors left their country in the mid to late 1800s because of the promise of a better life in "Amerika."

There is now a lot of interest in the history and the heritage of 'our people'; and interest in Plattdeutsch, of which there are many dialects, is growing worldwide. This web page will feature some Plattdeutsch materials and also will recommend other web pages and resources helpful to those interested in Low German and the heritage of our forefathers. Hope you enjoy what's presented here!

For starters, here are some verses from a popular Plattdeutsch song called "Moien Oostfreesenland."*
Moien Oostfreesenland

Kennt de Welt, een moier Landje, as mien leev Oostfreesenland?
An de Diek een golden Bandje, up de Insel süver Sand...
Roode Heide für de Immen, Gröön Weide für dat Veeh,
Water waar de schkippen schwemmen, un dat Volk so stark un' free!

Mien Oostfreesland wull ik leeven, so lang ik no' ammen kann.
De heele Welt wull ik weten, dat ik bün een freesken Mann!
Soll ik mal mien Freesland laten, bür'gt mi in freeskeken Sand,
Dat mien doode Hand kann faten, noch een Stück Oostfreesenland!

Does the world know a nicer land than my lovely Ostfriesenland?
On the dike a golden band, on the islands, silver sand...
Red heather for the bees, green fields for the beasts,
Water where the ships swim, and the folk so strong and free!

My Ostfriesland will I love, as long as I still breathe.
The whole world will I tell, that I am a Frisian man!
Should I ever leave my Friesland, bury me in Frisian sand,
That my dead hand can still hold, a piece of Friesenland!

That dramatic song speaks for itself: The Friesen folk deeply love their homeland; even those of us who have never seen this ancestral land yearn to learn more about it, having grown up with parents and grandparents who expressed similar affection and longing for their fair and far-off home.

If anyone reading this webpage has ideas or material to add to the goal of reclaiming a bit of our ancestral East Frisian heritage, please feel free to write!

(c) 1997; all rights reserved. No material appearing on this website is to be used for any purpose without prior written permission from the owners.

*Thanks to Margretta deVries for these Plattdeutsch lyrics and English translation.

Links You'll Want to Visit

FolkHart Project

Wind-Mill Pages

More Platt Links

A Platt Valentine

How Do You Spell "Plattdeutsch"?!

Learn How to Subscribe to The Wind-Mill Publications
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Learn about FOLKHART GOLD! Multimedia CD in Plattdeutsch/English

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