West Low German

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West Low German
German: Westniederdeutsch, Niedersächsisch (in a stricter sense)
Native to Germany, Netherlands, Southern Denmark
Language codes
ISO 639-2 nds for Low German
ISO 639-3 Variously:
wep – Westphalian
nds – (partial)
frs – Eastern Frisian
gos – Gronings
stl – Stellingwerfs
drt – Drents
twd – Twents
act – Achterhoeks
sdz – Sallands
vel – Veluws
Glottolog None
Nedersaksiese taalgebied.png
Low Saxon language area

West Low German, also known as Low Saxon (German: Westniederdeutsch, literally West Low German, or Niedersächsisch (in a stricter sense), literally: Low Saxon, Nether-Saxon; Low German: Nedersassisch, Nedersaksies; Dutch: Nedersaksisch) is a group of Low German (also Low Saxon; German: Plattdeutsch, Niederdeutsch, Dutch: Nederduits) dialects spoken in parts of the Netherlands, northwestern Germany and southern Denmark (in North Schleswig by the German minority). It is one of two groups of mutually intelligible dialects, the other being East Low German dialects.


The language area comprises the North German states of Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia (the Westphalian part), Bremen, Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Saxony-Anhalt (the northwestern areas around Magdeburg) as well as the northeast of The Netherlands (i.e. Dutch Low Saxon, spoken in Groningen, Drenthe, Overijssel and northern Gelderland) and the Schleswigsch dialect spoken by the North Schleswig Germans in the southernmost part of Denmark.

In the south the Benrath line and Uerdingen line isoglosses form the border with the area, where West Central German variants of High German are spoken.

List of dialects


Low Saxon language area in the Netherlands


While Dutch is classified as a Low Franconian language, the Dutch Low Saxon varieties, which are also defined as Dutch dialects, form a dialect continuum with the Westphalian language. They consist of:



  1. ^ a b c d e f g Noble, Cecil A. M. (1983). Modern German dialects. New York [u.a.], Lang, p. 103-104
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