Elikser, 2012. 2nd edition. Paperback. The first Frisian translation. Frisian is a language spoken in Friesland, one of the provinces of The Netherlands.*
“It is said that the language Tolkien most wanted to be translated into was Icelandic, and that may well be so. However, if he had been asked what was his second favourite language, he might well have replied, Frisian. Frisian is still alive and well as a language, and has more speakers than Icelandic at 400,000 +. It is the language most closely related to English – though the reverse is not true, for long proximity means that Frisian is now closer to its eastern neighbour, Dutch, than its western neighbour English. But the old connection is still visible, as one can tell from the first words of Anne Popkema’s new translation, De Hobbit: ‘Yn in hoal yn ‘e grûn wenne in hobbit. Net en aaklik, smoarch, wiet hoal, fol mei wjirmeintsjes…’ Speakers of related languages will soon get the hang of the language, and enjoy the sense of difference-with-familiarity. The names are cleverly adapted, and the poems read well and naturally. It’s a very welcome addition to the Tolkien corpus.