Lovely audio map of languages and dialects in France

Enchanting… :slight_smile:


Ça m’interesse beaucoup. Merci yn fawr. :smile:

I’m especially interested in Breton, of course; also the Gallo I heard from the grand-mère of some friends living South of San Briag / St Brieuc.

I tried but failed to find anyone who spoke Catalan on the French side of Catalunya (even Perpignan) but I haven’t given up yet. (In another thread we’ve discussed the use of Catalan in Northern Sardegna.)

In the Languedoc, the locals prefer to speak to Maureen rather than me because they think her accent is more authentic. :unamused:

It’s interesting that they chose Aesop rather than la Fontaine for their test fable


LOL! @hewrop, you’re in my brain! I do a lot of work in French with our business, and I come out with sentences like that often when I’m trying to speak either language. :grinning:


I remember when I did a module on the rise of fascism in France we did one seminar on the languages. At the time they beheaded the King and Bonaparte was on the march only 12% spoke French at home. By 1914 it had risen but still only 50% of the conscripts spoke French at home (not including Empire troops). (Apologies if you’ve read this from me before, but I found it fascinating :smile:)

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Gosh! What did they speak at home then? Presumably something more removed from “French” that the local patois?


Things like Basque, Breton, Occitan (inc. Limosin), Picard, Gascon, etc.

Apparently there was a real diversity of languages. All very related to French, with some exceptions (Basque and Breton), plus German dialects, Italian, Catalan.

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Thanks. That IS interesting and your historical stats are an eye-opener for me.

I use the word “patois” in France as being something which has a bit more status than “dialecte” - at least in the provinces. Unfortunately I’ve also heard it used in a derogatory sense by people who don’t live there.

I have noted in recent years the increased willingness to encourage patois (even teach them) in provincial schools.


That sounds very encouraging!

I was so surprised, hence why it’s stuck with me I think! It adds a certain colour to the history and pursuit of a “French” Empire. Really did represent a minority of society.