Ask your questions about Cornwall here. Whether it be Where, When, Who, What and Why someone\'s sure to know the answer.
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Post by Pokorny » Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:23 pm

Two videos to illustrate my point about native speakers' and learners' Breton a little:

1 - Two native speakers of Leoneg (north-western group of dialects):

2 - The evening news in Breton, read by and featuring learners with heavy French accents. As I said, I believe that it would be difficult for the casual listener to notice that they are not, in fact, speaking French.

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Post by Karesk » Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:44 pm

How do the young activists learn the language? Do the 200 000 native speakers play any part in the education system? I think in Ireland the native speakers are used as a resource in education, I don't know how effectively in terms of preservation of traditional pronunciation. It's a pity Cornish doesn't have that resource.

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Post by Carbilly » Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:41 pm

I have relatives that live in Breizh who count as friends many native Breton speakers. In public life, they tend to use French as the language of commerce, a direct result of the years of persecution the language suffered at the hands of the French State.:cry:

Breton is the language of home and farm, but is still being passed on to the younger generation.:smile:

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Post by Nige999 » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:00 am

Hmmmm, thiis thread is getting very interesting and useful - I have learnt interesting stuff from the last few posts, thanks all !

My time in Brittany is spent around the Keraez (Carhaix) area where I believe there is a Breton language school.

"Breton is the language of home and farm, but is still being passed on to the younger generation" - I am glad to hear that, the sort of encouragement we need.

Marhak, I heard a story in Breizh about how classrooms had a big stick that was handed to the first child heard speaking Breton, then it was passed to the next. The one who had it at the end of the school day was beaten with it……….

I also heard from a British person there how her elderly lady Breton neighbour spits on cars with Paris registrations.

On a more light hearted note one of my Welsh friends has a teeshirt in the Carlsberg style, with in large Carlsberg font "CYMRAEG" and underneath "Probably the oldest LIVING language in the World"  


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Post by Pokorny » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:28 am

@Carbilly: Be sure to give that family all the encouragement you can, they will need it. According to a a study conducted by Mikael Madeg in the 1980s, by that time only some 300 families in all of Brittany had retained an unbroken chain of generational transmission of the language. In over 90% of households in Lower Brittany, parents had shifted to French in raising their children as early as the 1950s and 1960s. I also know a few families which never made the shift, but they are being drowned in a rising sea of French while – one by one, but at a rate of roughly 10.000 per year – the remaining native speakers around them are dying off. The bilingual schools are not yet able to make up for this demographic loss as there are still too few of them. Only ~11.000 out of 360.000 Breton pupils are enrolled in biligual or immersion classes, and the French state regularly sabotages the opening of new schools and classes.

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Post by KernowRoazhon » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:35 am

For anyone interested and able to make it over to Rennes/Roazhon on April 29/30, the Celtic department at the University of Rennes 2 is organising a conference on the origins of the Breton language.
We have speakers from Wales and Brittany but unfortunately, and I was rather disappointed by this, no Cornish experts have been invited although I plan to intervene at some point. Particularly interesting is Marhak's new theory - if you're reading Marhak, I could put this forward on your behalf and get back to you with their thoughts? Let me know.
Programm:  Yaou 29 a viz Ebrel 2010
Herve Bihan (Roazhon 2)
Kinnig ar c’hollok.
John T. Koch (Canolfan Uwchefrydiau Cymreig a Cheltaidd, Aberystwyth, Kembre)
“Archaeology and Language in Ancient Atlantic Europe (Armorica, Ireland, Britain, and the Western Iberian Peninsula)”
Pierre-Yves Lambert (EPHE, Pariz)
“Le mirage des celtisants du XXe siècle : l’unité celtique insulaire”
Peter Schrijver (Utrecht, Izelvroioù)
“Breton light on the origins of the Old Irish f-future”
 Gwener 30 a viz Ebrel 2010
Anders Jorgensen (Copenhagen, Danmark)
“French loanwords in Midde Breton”
Paul Widmer (Marburg, Alamagn)
“Aspects syntaxiques et pragmatiques de l’ordre des mots en moyen-breton”
Herve Bihan (Roazhon 2)
“Le corpus moyen-breton : problématique et méthode”
Dafydd Johnston (Canolfan Uwchefrydiau Cymreig a Cheltaidd, Aberystwyth, Kembre)
“From manuscripts to edited text : digital editions of medieval Welsh Poetry”
Taol grenn gant ar berzhidi.

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