Online market place refuses Frisian adverts



While skiing in Austria recently, the nice inn owner ask me if the Netherlands had other official languages than Dutch. I said yes, and promptly grabbed a copy of the Leeuwarder Courant that just happened to be lying around, a Dutch and Frisian newspaper from Leeuwarden, the capital city of the province of Friesland.

And then this happens. Online market place site (owned by Ebay, by the way) has told the media today that it refuses to place adverts in Frisian.

Their excuse? According to a spokeswoman, the employees cannot check the adverts because they do not speak the language. Fine, so find someone who can, I would think. Obviously, if a company wants to pay good money in these tough times to advertise in one of the country’s official languages, you could make an effort. Problem is the sites says yes to Dutch — and English adverts. Ouch.

The chairman of the Fryske Beweging (Frisian Movement) Jabik van der Bij called their refusal to run Frisian adverts ‘foolishness’ and are thinking of taking Marktplaats to court.



  1. whoops…can’t wait to see what happens here! :)

    Comment by Petra — March 7, 2009 @ 4:09 am

  2. Not knowing much about Frisian, is it a language spoken by a certain province or is it quite commonly spoken?

    Comment by Chris — September 14, 2009 @ 11:34 am

  3. @Chris It is spoken in the province of Friesland by about 400,000 people, but also in Germany and even in Denmark. Wikipedia!

    Comment by Orangemaster — September 14, 2009 @ 11:41 am

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