Jèrriais is a Romance language spoken on Jersey (Jèrri), one of the Channel Islands, particular in the parish of St. Ouen. According to the 2001 census, there are 2,674 speakers. Jèrriais is one of the langues d'oïl, and is related to Norman, Dgèrnésiais, Picard, Gallo and Walloon. It has been spoken on Jersey for over 1,000 years, and has been influenced by the Celtic, Norse and Frankish languages.
For many centuries, the official written language of Jersey was standard French, while the people spoke Jèrriais. In 1912 compulsory education was introduced in Jersey, and English replaced Jèrriais as the medium of instruction. After this, children were forbidden from speaking Jèrriais in school.
Jèrriais started to appear in writing towards the end of the 18th century, mainly in the form of poetry and historical works. For a long time there was no standard spelling, and each writer used his or her own system. The orthography used today is based on standard French.
In 1951 L'Assembliee d'Jèrriais was formed to hold meetings and publish items in Jèrriais. 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. There is also a weekly radio programme in Jèrriais on BBC Radio Jersey, and regular articles in the Jersey Evening Post.
Jèrriais is also known as Jesery Norman, Jersey French or Jersey Norman French in English, and as jersiais or normand de Jersey in French.
Nou peut ouï l'Jèrriais pâlé pustôt à la campangne ou bein tchiquefais en Ville dans l'marchi. I' y'a lé programme Eune Lettre Jèrriaise sus l'radio - BBC Radio Jèrri 88.8FM/1026AM - d'vièrs eune heuthe chîn lé Sanm'di l'arlévée Nou peut liéthe eune articl'ye en Jèrriais dans la gâzette du sé touos les tchînze jours, et un diton châque jour.
Afin d'entendre parler le Jèrriais il faut aller à la campagne, mais on aurait peut-être la chance de l'entendre au marché de Saint-Hélier. À la radio, il y a une émission Eune Lettre Jèrriaise le samedi après-midi vers 1h05. Un article en Jèrriais paraît dans le journal Jersey Evening Post en principe une fois tous les quinze jours, et un dicton tous les jours.
One is most likely to hear Jèrriais spoken in the countryside or perhaps occasionally in town in the market. There is a weekly programme on BBC Radio Jersey 88.8FM/1026AM on Saturday afternoons at around 1.05. Fortnightly articles with English translation appear in the Jersey Evening Post, as well as a daily diton*.
* Diton is a saying or dictum. It is used in the English of Jersey.
Information about Jèrriais
Useful phrase in Jèrriais
BBC Radio Jersey
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Page last modified: 10.07.21
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