Provençal (pro(u)vençau)

Provençal is a variety of Occitan spoken mainly in Provence in the southeast of France by about 200,000 people. It is spoken particularly in the departments of Alpes-Maritimes, Bouches-du-Rhône, Var, Vaucluse, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, and Gard.

Since the beginning of the 20th century the number of speakers of Provençal has declined as many parents do not to pass the language on to their children. As a result, most speakers are older adults. However, some children do learn the language at home and/or in school, and some schools teach bilingually in French and Provençal.

There are three main types of Provençal:

Provençal should not to be confused with Franco-Provençal (Arpetan), a Gallo-Romance language spoken in parts of northwest Italy, east central France and western Switzerland.

Written Provençal

Provençal was the language used by troubadours and in literature from the 11th century. From the 13th century it was used in legal, administrative and other documents, and in courts. Its use for official purposes started to decline in the 16th century, and it was replaced by French as an official language after the French Revolution at the end of the 18th century.

In the late 19th century a number of people started to standardize written Provençal, including Simon-Jude Honnorat. In the early 20th century the Provençal writer, Frédéric Mistral, developed a new orthography for Provençal which is known as Mistralian.

Provençal alphabet and pronunciation

Provençal alphabet

Download an alphabet chart for Provençal (Excel)

Information about the Provençal alphabet supplied by Wolfram Siegel

Sample text in Provençal (Mistralian orthography)

Tóuti li persouno naisson liéuro e egalo en dignita e en dre. Soun doutado de rasoun e de counsciènci e li fau agi entre éli em' un esperit de freiresso.

Sample text in Provençal (Classical orthography)

Totei lei personas naisson liuras e egalas en dignitat e en drech. Son dotadas de rason e de consciéncia e li cau agir entre elei amb un esperit de frairesa.

Sample text in Niçard (Mistralian orthography)

Touti li persouna naisson lib(e)ri e egali en dignità e en drech. Soun doutadi de rasoun e de counsciència e li cau agì entre eli em' un esperit de fratelança.

Sample text in Niçard (Classical orthography)

Toti li personas naisson liuri e egali en dignitat e en drech. Son dotadi de rason e de consciéncia e li cau agir entre eli emb un esperit de frairesa.


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Sample videos in Provençal

Information about Provençal | Numbers


Information about Provençalçal_dialectçal

Romance languages

Aragonese, Aranese, Aromanian, Asturian, Catalan, Corsican, Dalmatian, Emilian-Romagnol, Extremaduran, Fala, Franco-Provençal, French, Friulian, Galician, Gallo, Gascon, Genoese, Guernésiais, Istro-Romanian, Istriot, Italian, Jèrriais, Ladino, Ladin, Ligurian, Lombard, Lorrain, Megleno-Romanian, Mirandese, Moldovan, Monégasque, Mozarabic, Neapolitan, Occitan, Occitan (Auvergnat), Occitan (Languedocien), Occitan (Limousin), Occitan (Provençal), Picard, Piedmontese, Portuguese, Romanian, Romansh, Sardinian, Sicilian, Spanish, Valencian, Venetian, Walloon

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page created: 06.09.21. Last modified: 07.09.21


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