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Regional language recognition

It is possible that not many people outside the Netherlands (or even inside it) are aware of the Dutch-Frisian bilingual situation. Frisian is an official language in the province of Fryslân (which is the Frisian name for the province of Friesland in Dutch), and it therefore enjoys some privileges that other regional variants do not have.

I often write about the language and area, because I am a computational linguist working on regional language variation and change in the Netherlands, but LanguageTool keeps suggesting that I change “Fryslân” into “Friesland”, as it thinks I make a mistake. This is not a mistake, however, as it is the official name for the province since 1997 already. My suggestion would be to remove this behavior in LanguageTool, because it can be quite offensive to Frisian speakers, and it is actually the official name of the province. More broadly, I think it is worth checking whether such problems occur more often (there are a lot of Frisian locations that have their name in Frisian instead of Dutch, so it would be good to at least have these in the dictionaries).

Hi, thanks for this post.
I have been contributing top LT since 2006 and know quite a bit about the language situation. I have been trying to get good support for Frisian as well as Dutch. But to be honest, the user group is far too small, and there is no cooperation (in fact, the opposite) from either the Province of Fryslân or the Akademy.
It would be perfect to have Frisian support in LT, but that would require a maIntainer for the Language.

About the word ‘Fryslân’, it is a conscious decision to keep ‘Friesland’ as the province name in Dutch; it should of course be ‘Fryslân’ in Frisian. It is about the same as supporting only Londen, not London.

About he names of towns, these were checked and recorded in the Dutch version when so used, and in Frisian is there is no Dutch alternative. So we added Sneek, but not Snits.

Anyway, there is no reason at all to insult the Frisians. It would be great to have a Frisian maintainer and Support for the language in LanguageTool.

There is Support for Frisian in spellchecking, thanks to interested Frisians that work on the Frisian texts for LibreOffice and Mozilla. There is no-one however that dared uptake the challenging task of adding support for Frisian.

I could help the interested person to get started, if a large collection of good Fryske text would be available.

Thanks for your great response, Ruud!

Of course, the user group is very small, so it is logical that there isn’t much possible. Surprising that both the Provinsje and Akademy didn’t want to cooperate, because they seem to be very much interested and investing in language technology in general.

Makes sense, of course, but what I meant specifically is that it would be better to not suggest that the word should be “Friesland” if one typed “Fryslân”. I understand that Fryslân is not in the dictionary itself (likewise with Snits, and so on), but there is the very specific recommendation from LT, like this:

I think this is somewhat problematic (since Fryslân is in fact the official name of the province, not the Dutch version). Would be great to have a Frisian maintainer and Frisian support, but that is quite a larger scope than the change that I am suggesting (i.e. to simply not have this recommendation from LT). Thanks again for thinking along!

The text can be easily changed. I will do that right now. Will be online in about a week.

Great stuff, thanks!