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28 October 2014
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You are in Jersey > My Island > Island Info > Jèrriais
SEE ALSO
Jèrriais conversation
Listen to a conversation in Jersey-French
Jèrriais Sample text
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HISTORIC SITES
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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.

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.

 

You are in Jersey > My Island > Island Info > Jèrriais

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