Published July 17, 2021
Low Saxon, or Low German, is a West Germanic language primarily spoken in Northern Germany and in the northeast of the Netherlands. There are an estimated 6.7 native speakers of Low Saxon. It has been recognized by both the Netherlands and Germany as a regional language, although some linguists argue that Low Saxon is a German dialect. It is also a recognized minority language in Mexico, Bolivia, and Paraguay. Low German may also refer to a group of West Germanic languages; six varieties of Low German are classified by Glottolog as distinct languages due to their limited mutual intelligibility. Low Saxon is most closely related to English and Frisian, two other West Germanic languages. There are two morphologically marked noun cases in Low Saxon, the nominative and oblique cases. Verbs are conjugated for person, number, and tense, and Low Saxon has five tenses: present, preterite, perfect, pluperfect and, in Mennonite Low German, the present perfect. For writing, Low Saxon uses the Latin alphabet; however, there is no true standard orthography, although several guidelines have been developed.