To clarify, this is a thread about language, not food.
I’ve often heard the couplet “Good butter and good cheese, is Good English and Good Fries”, used to show the close relationship between English and Frisian, the language of northwest Holland and some Danish islands that is supposed to be English’s closest relative. I’ve also seen the first line written “Good bread and good cheese”, “Good beer and good cheese”, “Good milk and good cheese”, and “Bread, butter, and green cheese”.
For whatever reason, I decided today to look into the situation a little more. I had a hard time believing that nearly a thousand years after the Norman conquest, two languages separated by a rather inconvenient stretch of North Sea could still be so closely-related, while tongues like Dutch and German are no longer intelligible to us. A quick Google search turned up the following sample of Frisian:
It Frysk Ynternasjonaal Kontakt is in jongereinferiening mei it doel om de Fryske jongerein bewust te meitsjen fan syn eigen taal en kultuer. Dêrby steane foaral de ynternasjonale kontakten sintraal. If I concentrate, I can pick out the odd word here and there, but most it looks like a kind of mutant Dutch or something Scandinavian.
Therefore I ask my fellow dopers, some of whom will hopefully be better-acquainted with Frisian than I:
[li]Was “good butter and good cheese” ever good English and good Fries(ian)?[/li][li]Is it still? If not, how recently were English and Frisian mutually intelligible?[/li][/ul]
(I’ll assume that the above couplet refers to pronunciation, not spelling)