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Despite this gradual reemergence of Frisian, Dutch still functions as the primary standard language of Friesland.

Nearly all school instruction is given in Dutch; all daily newspapers are printed in Dutch (though they contain occasional articles in Frisian); and the majority of television and radio broadcasts are in Dutch.

Popular English usage applies the term Dutch to the language of the Netherlands and the term Flemish to the language of Belgium, but in fact they are one and the same standard language.

In its various forms, standard and dialectal, Dutch is the indigenous language of most of the Netherlands (all but the Frisian-speaking province of Friesland), of northern Belgium, and of a small part of France immediately to the west of Belgium.

The status of Frisian in the East and North Frisian areas of Germany is far more tenuous.

There German performs all the functions of a standard language, and Frisian serves only as yet another local dialect, comparable to the many surrounding local dialects of Low German. The Frisian dialects of the Netherlands province of Friesland are, with three exceptions, relatively uniform, though it is customary to make a distinction between Wouden Frisian in the east, Klei Frisian in the west (the variety on which standard Frisian is largely based), and Southwest Corner Frisian in the southwest.

North Frisian dialects are customarily divided into Insular North Frisian (Sylt, Föhr-Amrum, Helgoland) and Continental North Frisian (the Halligen Islands and the coast of Schleswig), the latter in seven main varieties and further subvarieties.

Similar in nature are the dialects of Heerenveen and Kollum, of the middle section of the island of Terschelling, and of Het Bildt (a coastal area northwest of Leeuwarden, diked in and settled by Hollanders during the 16th century).

East Frisian survives today only in the German Saterland, consisting of the three parishes of Ramsloh, Strücklingen, and Scharrel, each with a slightly different dialect.

There is a small and enthusiastic Frisian literary movement, but its works are not widely read.

Furthermore, though Frisian continues to be widely used as the language of everyday oral communication, it is increasingly a “Dutch” Frisian, with numerous borrowings from standard Dutch.

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