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Guernésiais, also known as Dgèrnésiais, Guernsey
Guernsey
French, and Guernsey
Guernsey
Norman French, is the variety of the Norman language
Norman language
spoken in Guernsey. It is sometimes known on the island simply as "patois". As one of the langues d'oïl it has its roots in Latin, but has had strong influence from both Old Norse
Old Norse
and English at different points in its history. There is mutual intelligibility (with some difficulty) with Jèrriais speakers from Jersey
Jersey
and Continental Norman speakers from Normandy. Guernésiais
Guernésiais
most closely resembles the Norman dialect of Cotentinais spoken at la Hague in the Cotentin Peninsula. Guernésiais
Guernésiais
has been influenced less by Standard French
Standard French
than Jèrriais, but conversely has been influenced to a greater extent by English. New words have been imported for modern phenomena "le bike", "le gas-cooker". There is a rich tradition of poetry in the Guernsey
Guernsey
language. Guernsey songs were inspired by the sea, by colourful figures of speech, by traditional folk-lore, as well as by the natural environment of the island. The island's greatest poet was George Métivier
George Métivier
(1790–1881), a contemporary of Victor Hugo, who influenced and inspired local poets to print and publish their traditional poetry. Métivier blended local place-names, bird and animal names, traditional sayings and orally transmitted fragments of medieval poetry to create his Rimes Guernesiaises (1831). Denys Corbet
Denys Corbet
(1826–1910) was considered the "Last Poet" of Guernsey
Guernsey
French and published many poems in his day in his native tongue in the island newspaper and privately. Wrote Métivier, Que l'lingo seit bouan ou mauvais / J'pâlron coum'nou pâlait autefais (whether the “lingo” be good or bad, I’m going to speak as we used to speak). The most recent dictionary of Guernésiais, Dictiounnaire Angllais-guernesiais. Société guernesiaise. 1967.  (revised edition published 1982), was written by Marie de Garis (1910–2010). In 1999, de Garis was appointed to the Order of the British Empire
Order of the British Empire
for her work.

Contents

1 Current status 2 History 3 Bible
Bible
translations 4 Phonology 5 Verbs 6 Examples 7 References 8 See also 9 Sources 10 External links

Current status[edit]

Guernésiais
Guernésiais
tops this list of welcome messages at Guernsey's tourism office in Saint Peter Port

The 2001 census showed that 1327 (1262 Guernsey-born) or 2% of the population speak the language fluently while 3% fully understand the language. However most of these, 70% or 934 of the 1327 fluent speakers are over 64. Among the young only 0.1% or one in a thousand are fluent speakers. However, 14% of the population claim some understanding of the language.

L'Assembllaïe d'Guernesiais, an association for speakers of the language founded in 1957, has published a periodical. Les Ravigoteurs, another association, has published a storybook and cassette for children. Forest School hosts an annual speaking contest of the island's primary school children (Year 6). The annual Eisteddfod
Eisteddfod
provides an opportunity for performances in the language, and radio and newspaper outlets furnish regular media output. There is some teaching of the language in voluntary classes in schools in Guernsey.[3] Evening classes are available, as of 2013.[3] Lunchtime classes are offered at the Guernsey
Guernsey
Museum, as of 2013. Along with Jèrriais, Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Manx and Scots (in Scotland as well as the Ulster Scots dialects), Guernésiais
Guernésiais
is recognised as a regional language by the British and Irish governments within the framework of the British–Irish Council. BBC
BBC
Radio Guernsey
Guernsey
and the Guernsey
Guernsey
Press both feature occasional lessons, the latter with sometimes misleading phonetics.[citation needed] A Guernésiais
Guernésiais
language development officer was appointed (with effect from January 2008).[4]

There is little broadcasting in the language, with ITV Channel Television more or less ignoring the language, and only the occasional short feature on BBC
BBC
Radio Guernsey, usually for learners. The creation of a Guernsey
Guernsey
Language Commission was announced on 7 February 2013[5] as an initiative by government to preserve the linguistic culture. The Commission has operated since Liberation Day, 9 May 2013. History[edit]

Guernsey
Guernsey
poet George Métivier
George Métivier
(1790–1881) - nicknamed the Guernsey Burns, was the first to produce a dictionary of the Norman language
Norman language
in the Channel Islands, the Dictionnaire Franco-Normand (1870). This established the first standard orthography - later modified and modernised. Among his poetical works are Rimes Guernesiaises published in 1831. Prince Louis Lucien Bonaparte
Louis Lucien Bonaparte
published the Gospel of Matthew
Gospel of Matthew
by George Métivier
George Métivier
in Dgèrnésiais in London in 1863 as part of his philological research. Like Métivier, Tam Lenfestey (1818–1885) published poetry in Guernsey
Guernsey
newspapers and in book form. Denys Corbet
Denys Corbet
(1826–1909) described himself as the Draïn Rimeux (last poet), but literary production continued. Corbet is best known for his poems, especially the epic L'Touar de Guernesy, a picaresque tour of the parishes of Guernsey. As editor of the French-language newspaper Le Bailliage, he also wrote feuilletons in Dgèrnésiais under the pen name Badlagoule ("chatterbox"). In 2009 the island held a special exhibition in the Forest Parish
Parish
on Corbet and his work acknowledging the centenary of his death and unveiling a contemporary portrait painting of the artist by Christian Corbet a cousin to Denys Corbet. Thomas Martin (1839–1921) translated into Guernésiais
Guernésiais
the Bible, the plays of William Shakespeare, twelve plays by Pierre Corneille, three plays by Thomas Corneille, twenty seven plays by Molière, twenty plays by Voltaire
Voltaire
and The Spanish Student by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.[6]

Thomas Henry Mahy (1862–21 April 1936) wrote Dires et Pensées du Courtil Poussin, a regular column in La Gazette Officielle de Guernesey, from 1916. A collection was published in booklet form in 1922. He was still publishing occasional pieces of poetry and prose by the start of the 1930s. Thomas Alfred Grut (1852–1933) published Des lures guernesiaises in 1927, once again a collection of newspaper columns. He also translated some of the Jèrriais
Jèrriais
stories of Philippe Le Sueur Mourant
Philippe Le Sueur Mourant
into Dgèrnésiais. Marjorie Ozanne (1897–1973) wrote stories, published in the Guernsey Evening Press between 1949 and 1965. Some earlier pieces can be found in La Gazette de Guernesey in the 1920s. Ken Hill translated many of Marjorie Ozanne's short stories and poems into English with the Guernsey
Guernsey
accent of the early 20th century. The work was published by the Guernsey
Guernsey
society. Métivier's dictionary was superseded by Marie de Garis' (1910–2010) Dictiounnaire Angllais-Guernésiais; first edition published in 1967, supplements 1969 and 1973, third edition 1982. When the Channel Islands
Channel Islands
were invaded by Germany
Germany
in World War II, Dgèrnésiais experienced a minor revival. Many Guernsey
Guernsey
people did not always wish the occupying forces to understand what they were saying, especially as some of the soldiers had knowledge of English. Victor Hugo
Victor Hugo
includes the odd word of Dgèrnésiais in some of his Channel Island novels. Hugo's novel Toilers of the Sea
Toilers of the Sea
(French: Les Travailleurs de la mer), is credited with introducing the Guernesiais word for octopus pieuvre into the French language
French language
(standard French for octopus is poulpe). A collection of short stories P'tites Lures Guernésiaises (in Guernésiais
Guernésiais
with parallel English translation) by various writers was published in 2006.[7]

Bible
Bible
translations[edit]

George Métivier
George Métivier
translated the Gospel of Matthew
Gospel of Matthew
into Guernésiais and it was published in London in 1863. This is now online[8] Thomas Martin translated the whole Bible
Bible
into Guernésiais
Guernésiais
and this has never been published.

Phonology[edit] Metathesis of /r/ is common in Guernésiais, by comparison with Sercquiais and Jèrriais.

Guernésiais Sercquiais Jèrriais French English

kérouaïe krwee crouaix croix cross

méquerdi mekrëdi Mêcrédi mercredi Wednesday

Other examples are pourmenade (promenade), persentaïr (present), terpid (tripod). Verbs[edit] aver, have (auxiliary verb)

present preterite imperfect future conditional

1 sg. j'ai j'aëus j'avais j'érai j'érais

2 sg. t'as t'aëus t'avais t'éras t'érais

3 sg. (m) il a il aëut il avait il éra il érait

3 sg. (f) all' a all' aeut all' avait all' éra all' érait

1 pl. j'avaöns j'eûnmes j'avaëmes j'éraöns j'éraëmes

2 pl. vous avaïz vous aeutes vous avaites vous éraïz vous éraites

3 pl. il' aönt il' aëurent il' avaient il' éraönt il' éraient

oimaïr, to love (regular conjugation)

present preterite imperfect future conditional

1 sg. j'oime j'oimis j'oimais j'oim'rai j' oim'rais

2 sg. t'oimes t'oimis t'oimais t'oim'ras t'oim'rais

3 sg. (m) il oime il oimit il oimait il oim'ra il oim'rait

3 sg. (f) all' oime all' oimit all' oimait all' oim'ra all' oim'rait

1 pl. j'oimaöns j'oimaëmes j'oimaëmes j'oim'rons j' oim'raëmes

2 pl. vous oimaïz vous oimites vous oimaites vous oim'raïz vous oim'raites

3 pl. il' oiment il' oimirent il' oimaient il' oim'raönt il' oim'raient

Examples[edit]

"Learn Guernésiais
Guernésiais
with the BBC BBC
BBC
Guernsey Your voice in the Islands"

Guernésiais (Pronunciation) English French

Quaï temps qu’i fait? What's the weather like? Quel temps fait-il ?

I' fait caoud ogniet It's warm today Il fait chaud aujourd'hui

Tchi qu’est vote naom? What's your name? Formal: Comment vous appellez-vous? Colloquial: Comment t'appelles-tu? / Comment tu t'appelles? Quel est votre nom?

Coume tchi que l’affaire va? (kum chik la-fehr va) How are you? Lit. How's business going? Comment vont les affaires ?

Quaï heure qu'il est? What's the time? Quelle heure est-il ?

À la perchoine (a la per-shoy-n) See you next time Au revoir À la prochaine

Mercie bian Thank you very much Merci beaucoup Coll: Merci bien

chén-chin this ceci

ch'techin this one celui-ci

Lâtchiz-mé Leave me Laissez-moi

v t e

Norman language

Channel Island dialects

Auregnais (Alderney) Guernésiais/Dgèrnésiais (Guernsey) Jèrriais
Jèrriais
(Jersey) Sercquiais/Sèrtchais (Sark)

Continental dialects

Augeron
Augeron
(Pays d'Auge) Cauchois (Pays de Caux) Cotentinais
Cotentinais
(Cotentin)

Historic and legal

Anglo-Norman Jersey
Jersey
Legal French (highly influenced by Jèrriais) Law French Old Norman

Literature

List of Norman language
Norman language
writers Jèrriais
Jèrriais
literature Anglo-Norman literature

v t e

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Romance languages
(Classification)

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Italics indicate extinct languages Bold indicates languages with more than 5 million speakers Languages between parentheses are varieties of the language on their left.

References[edit]

^ Guernésiais
Guernésiais
at Ethnologue
Ethnologue
(18th ed., 2015) ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Dgernesiais". Glottolog
Glottolog
3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.  ^ a b "Learn Guernsey's language in a lunch break". IFC Feed.com - Guernsey. 2013-10-11. Archived from the original on 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2013-10-24.  ^ "Guernesiais promoter starts work". BBC. 29 December 2007. Retrieved 2009-06-17.  ^ "Language commission to be formed". Guernsey
Guernsey
Press. 8 February 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2013.  ^ The Guernsey
Guernsey
Norman French Translations of Thomas Martin: A Linguistic Study of an Unpublished Archive, Mari C. Jones, Leuven 2008, ISBN 978-90-429-2113-9 ^ P'tites Lures Guernésiaises, edited Hazel Tomlinson, Jersey
Jersey
2006, ISBN 1-903341-47-7 ^ "Sâint Makyu 1, L' Sâint Évàngile Siévant Sâint Makyu 1863 (GUE1863) - Chapter 1 - The Bible
Bible
App - Bible.com". www.bible.com. Retrieved 31 March 2018. 

See also[edit]

Auregnais dialect Literature in the other languages of Britain Sarnia Cherie Sercquiais

Sources[edit]

De Garis, Marie (5 November 1982). Dictiounnaire Angllais-Guernésiais. Phillimore & Co Ltd. ISBN 978-0-85033-462-3. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Guernésiais.

Norman language
Norman language
(including Guernésiais) edition of, the free encyclopedia

What is Dgernesiais? Guernesiais today by Julia Sallabank – from the BBC Texts in Dgèrnésiais La Societe Guernesiaise

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v t e

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