Published January 29, 2019
This video was recorded by Guillem Belmar in the Netherlands and features Theo speaking Gronings. Gronings, also known as Grunnegs or Grönnegs, was spoken by around 592,000 people as of 2003. As a Low Saxon language, Gronings belongs to the West Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family. It is spoken predominantly in the Dutch provinces of Groningen, Drenthe, and Friesland. Originating from Low Saxon with blending influences from Old (East) Frisian and Middle Low German, the exact classification of Gronings is not settled. It is sometimes considered part of Low German (itself a contested grouping); sometimes as Gronings-East Frisian, a German dialect; and sometimes as a Dutch Low Saxon language. Modern Gronings expresses strong influences from Dutch due to the status of Middle Dutch in the 16th century as a standard prestige language, while Modern Gronings' phonology largely stems from a shift that took place during the 19th century in a period of relative isolation. As recently as the 1950s, Gronings was the main language of Groningen, but since then, younger generations have moved toward Dutch. Gronings may be heard regularly on Radio Noord, a television broadcast called Boven Wotter, and an educational program called Grunnegers, and is taught at the University of Groningen.