Breton

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A map of Brittany

Breton is a language spoken by some people in Brittany, a land subjugated under the yoke of France. The Bretons are a peaceful people whose military prowess was such that they got conquered even by the French.

Speakers[edit]

There are about 300000 people who can speak Breton, who are mostly farmers, folk singers or independentist militants.

Grammar[edit]

In many respects the grammar is similar to Cornish. Like in Cornish mutations exist in Breton. Breton independentists have tried to claim that these are caused by the French government having built nuclear power stations in Brittany. However this cannot be true since the mutations exist in medieval manuscripts centuries before the invention of nuclear power. In fact the mutations derive from their ancestors, some of whom were from Cornwall, and were affected by radon gas in the tin mines.

Alphabet and Spelling[edit]

The Breton alphabet is similar to the standard alphabet however they frequently use the letters zh and ñ. There also exists the letter c'h which is pronounced as if you were saying the ch of Bach and coughing throatily at the same time.

These peculiarities make it very difficult to play Scrabble in Breton.

Useful Phrases[edit]

Phrase: Translation:
Serr da c'henou. Hello.
Klañv oc'h? How are you?
N'on ket. I'm fine.
Petra 'po d'evañ? What would you like to drink?
Ur banne chouchenn A glass of mead.
Sot oc'h gant ar binîoù? Would you like a cup of tea?

Dialects[edit]

There are 4 main dialects, K, L, T and G. These originate because the Breton people originate from 4 different Celtic clans from Britain who crossed the Channel in the 6th-8th centuries. They were led by Kevin, Lizard (a lizard from a cave in the southern tip of Cornwall - remembered today in the placename Lizard Point), Trevor and Gwendolene.

Folk Singers[edit]

There are many folk singers who sing in Breton. This is usually a good thing, since their lyrics are such that they sound best in a language one does not understand.

External links[edit]

  • Kervarker If you're looking for something more serious, you can learn Breton here.