BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page was last updated in April 2003We've left it here for reference.More information

2 September 2014
Accessibility help
Text only
BBC Jersey BBC Jersey
BBC Jersey - About Jersey

BBC Homepage
England
»Jersey
News
Sport
Junior Football
Travel
Weather
Entertainment
Message Boards
Faith
Island Views
Features
My Island
My Space

Radio Jersey

 

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

 
You are in: Jersey » About Jersey

Jèrriais
Children learning Jerriais
Teaching Jerriais in the classroom

The language of Jèrriais was formed over hundreds of years, influenced by many languages from Norse Viking to Frank.

LISTEN
Click here to listen to a conversation in Jersey-French
 
  The weekly bulletin 'La Lettre Jerriase' is available to listen to on our media player. Click here to launch it.  
BBC download guide

Free Real player

SEE ALSO
Jersey Government
Find out about the States of Jersey and its officials
The Battle of Flowers
The history of the largest festival in Jersey's calendar

 
WEB LINKS
  La Société Jersiaise
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.
 
FACTS

L'Assembliee d'Jèrriais began with 27 people, and has since grown to over 500

 

Jèrriais has been described as a mixture of French with Celtic, Germanic and English influence thrown in

 

Jèrriais experienced a brief resurgence during the German Occupation as islanders used Jèrriais as a secret language

 

In 1989 the estimate of Jèrriais speakers was around 5,000 - today it is probably half that

 
PRINT THIS PAGE
View a printable version of this page.
get in contact

Ancient Norman French continued in use in Jersey until at least the 1800's. Although the official written language was French, Jèrriais was spoken.

For various reasons the use of the English language increased rapidly in the 19th century, and by 1900 English was the dominant language in St. Helier.

La Société Jersiaise

La Société Jersiaise was formed in 1873 - their resolution was to study the history of the language and the island.

In 1908 Jèrriais was introduced into the Eisteddfod, in order to encourage the use of the language, and in 1924 the Glossaire du Patois Jersiais was published by La Société Jersiaise.

Decline of Jèrriais

However the tourist industry, the expansion of the Jersey economy and the influence of the English residents all contributed to the anglicisation of the island.

As a direct consequence of this, Jèrriais was used less. In 1912, Jèrriais was replaced by English in the schools. English was even in common use in the States of Jersey.

Jèrriais was increasingly frowned upon as tourism and the finance industry grew. The local accent was mocked, and the language slowly but surely vanished.

Revival

In 1951 L'Assembliee d'Jèrriais was formed to hold meetings and publish items in Jerriais. Since then several books have been published on the language.

Today the Section de la langue Jèrriaise works to promote study of the language and its literature, and Jèrriais classes are commonplace in primary schools.


Click below to read a sample of Jèrriais...and if you can't understand it, don't worry, because there's an English translation to go with it!



line
Top | About Jersey Index | Home
ABOUT JERSEY
  Island info  
History of Jersey
Historic sites
Folklore
Beach Guide
  Things to do  
  Cycle & walk routes  
  Jersey recipes  
  Battle of Flowers 2003  

JERSEY NEWS
Model railway hall named in tribute
Experts prepare to unpick coin hoard
Bath beat Jersey on Banahan return

JERSEY WEATHER

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

For other UK weather forecasts enter a town name or Postcode:



National Forecast

Contact Us
BBC Jersey
18 Parade Road
St. Helier
Jersey
JE2 3PL

tel. (+44) 01534 837 228

e-mail:
jersey@bbc.co.uk


Text Us:
07786 202888




About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy