Learning the language
There are several methods of learning Guernésiais and we offer a few here (this list may change as necessary).
We arrange courses and workshops for adults. Please enquire to hear about the latest courses on offer 747264. *We have a beginner course starting late October / early November 2020 - please email email@example.com or call 747264 to sign up*
There is no learning course available online in one place but resources do exist. Here are some:
The Guernsey Language Commission's You Tube Channel. Here you will find different playlists including:
- Basic lessons with Yan
- 'Conversations in Guernsey French' with Harry & Hazel Tomlinson.
There is a taster app for Guernesiais, called Warro, which currently sits within the Digital Greenhouse app. To access it, first download the Digital Greenhouse Guernsey App from your chosen App Store, then select the 'Warro' section. For more information, click here.
BBC Guernsey website Learn a bit of Guernsey French - In 10 separate lessons, you can with Hazel Tomlinson (unfortunately the audio seems to be outdated but you can still see the phonetic spelling)
BBC Guernsey dictionary - a very useful list of common words and expressions, no audio but there is phonetic spelling
AudioBoom - these recordings are aimed at learners of the language who wish to hear and practice specific sounds
Speaking to native speakers
We recommend that the best, most sociable and enjoyable way to learn the language is to meet someone who speaks it. We have a database of language speakers who are happy to be contacted by learners. We have called these speakers 'Ley Bohti' ('the buddies'). (There are many different accents in Guernésiais but some speakers pronounce 'bohti' as rhyming with 'potty'). Get in touch with Jo on 747264 or firstname.lastname@example.org and she will put you in touch with a member of Ley Bohti.
We hold social events from time to time. Here are some coming up in 2020:
Thursday 5 November
Thursday 26 November
Speed Patois is for anyone wishing to practice their Guernesiais, whatever level they feel they are. People attending are welcome to buy a drink from the bar and meet up in the back room at Les Douvres. This is not always hosted but the room has been reserved for Speed Patois.
Some of these books are available to buy online but most are available to borrow from Guilles Allès Library (local section) or buy from the Press Shop or Guernsey Museum Shop in Candie Gardens. The Priaulx Library has a corner upstairs dedicated to Guernsey language.
Mes Prumieres paroles (my first words) en Guernésiais by Harry Tomlinson - this includes phonetic spelling of many words and expressions *not currently available online*. Please contact us on email@example.com or 747264.
Warro! Let's Learn Guernsey's Language by Yan Marquis & Jo Dowding - this is a topic-by-topic introduction to the language and has an accompanying You Tube channel (also available to download for free from the end of this page).
Conversations in Guernsey French by Hazel & Harry Tomlinson - this includes phonetic spelling. Available to buy from Guernsey Museum.
Des Poemes en Guernésiais by Renée Jehan - not written with phonetics but has a glossary at the back. Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 747264.
The Collected Works of Marjorie Ozanne edited and translated by Ken Hill (2 volumes) Buy online here.
P'tites Lures Guernésiaises edited by Hazel Tomlinson - a collection of short stories, includes work by many authors including Helier d'Rocquoine. Available to buy from Guernsey Museum.
Dictiounnaire Angllais-Guernésiais, 4th edition by Marie De Garis, 2012. Available to buy from Guernsey Museum.
The Toad and the Donkey edited by Geraint Jennings & Yan Marquis - this is an anthology of literature from the Channel Islands, includes English translations. Buy online here.
Folklore of Guernsey by Marie de Garis - this includes some fascinating stories, poems and expressions which use the language. Available to buy from Guernsey Museum.
Glossary of Guernsey Place-Names by Marie De Garis - find out what your road name means.