Drèents dialects

Native to Netherlands
Region Drenthe and a strip of Overijssel just south of Drenthe
Native speakers
About half the population of Drenthe (total 480,000) and a number of people in Overijssel
Official status
Official language in
Netherlands (as part of Low Saxon)
Regulated by Provincial States of Drenthe (spelling)
Language codes
ISO 639-3 drt
Glottolog dren1238[1]

Drèents (also Dreins, Dreints, Drents, Drints; Dutch: Drents) is a collective term for the dialects spoken in Drenthe, a province of the Netherlands. The dialects, which are still spoken by half the population of Drenthe, are Dutch Low Saxon variants.

Dialects of Drèents

All the dialects of the province of Drenthe are classified as Dutch Low Saxon. The dialects from the north and the east (see below: 'Noordenvelds' and 'Veenkoloniaals') are somehow more related to Gronings, the dialects from the south-west are 'Stellingwerfs', and the dialects in a few villages along the southern border with the Grafschaft Bentheim (Germany) are considered to be Sallaans (because they have an umlaut in the diminutives).

The foundation Stichting Drentse Taol distinguishes seven main variants of Drèents within the province, based upon the research made by G.H. Kocks, the main editor of the Woordenboek der Drentse Dialecten (Dictionary of the Drèents Dialects):

  • Noordenvelds
  • Veenkeloniaols
  • Zuudoost-Zaand-Drèents
  • Zuudoost-Veen-Drèents
  • Midden-Drèents
  • Zuudwest-Noord-Drèents (Also see Stellingwarfs)
  • Zuudwest-Zuud-Drèents

It also can be divided into Midden-Drents and Zuid-Drents.

Examples of usage

Emmen dialect: We moet'n nie zo haast'n.
Standard Dutch: Wij hoeven ons niet zo te haasten.
English: We do not have to hurry.
Northern Drenthe: ien twei dreei vier vief zes zeum aacht neegn tien
Southwest Drenthe: iene tweie dreie veere vieve zesse zeum achte neegn tiene
Standard Dutch: een twee drie vier vijf zes zeven acht negen tien
English: one two three four five six seven eight nine ten
Drenthe: Ie kunt wel geliek hebb'n.
Standard Dutch: U heeft gelijk.
English: You must be right.
Drenthe: Ie zult wel geliek hebb'n.
Standard Dutch: Ik geloof er niets van.
English: I don't believe a word you say.


  1. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Drents". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
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