France is a country that has a significant number of regional languages and dialects, although French remains the country’s one and only official language. Article 2 of the 1958 Constitution is clear on this point: “The language of the Republic is French”. However, this does not mean that today’s France rejects local languages. Indeed, the Constitution also stipulates that “the regional languages belong to the heritage of France”.
It is estimated that between 40 and 50 million Europeans, out of 512 million, speak a language different from the official language of their respective country. In France, there are nearly 100 regional languages, of which around thirty are spoken in mainland France and more than 50 in the overseas departments and communities. Among the main languages used in metropolitan France, we find:
Unfortunately, many of these regional languages are now on the verge of extinction. According to Unesco, no less than 26 regional languages are identified as being in danger of extinction. Among these threatened languages are Breton, Corsican, Picard, Lorraine, Languedoc, Auvergne, etc. Beyond the linguistic aspect attached to the region in question, it is above all the cultural heritage and the treasures of history that are in danger. Indeed, when a language disappears, it is ancestral knowledge that flies away with it.
Now try to answer these 10 questions about the meaning and meaning of certain expressions from regional dialects.