The Swede who became the Frisian Pope
Frisian is no joke, but it is an ancient language group in its own right. Its peculiarity attracts scholars from afar. Nils Arhammar came from Uppsala. He ended up actively speaking even the smallest dialects in northern Germany. The island has appealed to him in particular.
DrNot only did the Frisian between Sylt, Heligoland, Fuhr and Bredestedt survive the storms of the Middle Ages, many resisted the temptation to switch to Low German and Frisian German so that the North Frisian dialects survive as an everyday language to this day.
They are taught at school and can be heard on the radio. It is awareness of the independent West Germanic language, the traditions of life on the sea and the community at sea that nurtures resistance and commitment.
In order to research their linguistic culture, the Frisians repeatedly relied on academic imports from abroad. The academic career of a Swede is ideal for this Nils Arhammer, who devoted his life to researching North Frisian dialects.
At the beginning of his career it was the German Ernst Lovestedt at Uppsala University, who made Friesian his subject and attracted many students to this small subject. Arrhamar began investigating the Fore, Amrum, and Celt dialects as early as the 1960s when he was working at the North Frisian dictionary office in Kiel who was then a professor of Frisian in Europe. In 1988 he took over the newly created position of President of Flensburg University of Education Meanwhile, he became the director of Nordfrisk Institute in Bredstedt.
The hairdresser received further assistance from the North from student Bo Sjölin at Löfstedt. Initially, he worked for several years at the Frýsk Institute at the University of Groningen, before becoming the holder of the first Frisian professor at Kiel University. This is now maintained by the West Frisian, Garish Hoekstra. The American fortress of Marine Sea, who has devoted half his life to describing and saving the last East Frisian enclave, the Friesian Satterland, at the University of Oldenburg, is one of the most important specialty imports. Without the Swedes, the American and the West Frisian, things would be bad for the subject in Germany.
talented field researcher
Nils Arhammer was a talented field researcher. His passion was investigative conversation with speakers of dialects in North Friesland. He also actively mastered dialects and comprehensively described their differentiated diversity, language development and historical development. His collaboration in Handbuch des Friesisches (2001), the first comprehensive overview of the subject, was crucial. His authority on the subject greatly contributed to the cooperation of 45 authors from six countries. For decades, Arhamar and his wife Ritva worked on the Helgoland Friesian Dictionary. In 2011, residents of Helgoland called him a “worthy citizen”. The bilingual “Halender’s Dictionary” was recently published as a first result.
Small subjects feed on the enthusiasm of individuals, often from neighboring subjects. It all began when legal scholar Carl Freiherr von Richthofen, a pupil of the Brothers Grimm, published the first, yet to be replaced, Old Frisian dictionary. We have to thank the German Breslau Theodor Siebs for the first “History of the Frisian Language” (1901).
Nils Arhamar, a graduate of Uppsala University, was considered his subject dean for decades between Kiel and Groningen. He died in Bridstedt on January 10, 2022 at the age of 90.
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