What is the most charming English accent

French dialects

France is a country with a significant number of regional languages ​​and dialects, though French the only official language remains. Article 2 of the 1958 Constitution is clear on this point: “The language of the republic is French ”But that does not mean that today's France is hostile to local idioms, because the constitution also stipulates that“ the regional languages ​​are part of the French cultural heritage. ”Is the existence of an official language compatible with regional linguistic peculiarities? Should we use "dialects" (Patois), Speak "dialects" or "languages"? "

Dialects, dialects and mother tongue or original language

Even linguists do not agree on this question! We do not want to try to give a definitive answer to this dispute so that we can Dialects refer to them as regional minority languages ​​that have emerged from the mother tongue. A dialect is associated with a specific geographic region and is practiced by a limited number of speakers. The word “dialect” is not to be understood in a derogatory way, as a dialect has its own characteristics (grammar, syntax, etc.) that eliminate any structural difference to a language. What the word "Patois“Concerns, it refers to a variant that is spoken in a rather small and rural region.

Things get more complicated when we consider that French itself is a dialect that emerged from Latin, its original language. Throughout history, the ruling class has always used it as an instrument in the service of its power. French was first and foremost the language of the king and those who ruled the country tried for a long time to prevent the residents from using their regional language. "The way of expressing themselves in the healthiest part of the court". a famous grammarian and member of the Académie Française of the 17th century, the correct use of French.

The different regional languages

But what are the most frequently used regional languages ​​in France? Breton is a Celtic language spoken by almost 250,000 people who are particularly attached to its traditions. It is a very difficult language to understand for the uninitiated. For example, man means “Den” or “Gwaz”, woman “Plac'h” or “Maouez”, “Dour” means “water” and the verb “have” is translated as “Kaout”. But do you know what is the most widely spoken regional language in France? The Creole. In fact, two and a half million people speak this language. Draw a line that goes through Bordeaux, Clermont-Ferrand and Grenoble: north of this line there are the languages ​​of Oïl (Frainc-Comtou, Walloon, Picard, Gallo, ...) In the south it is Occitan with Provençal, Nissart, Gascon, etc. But ours French of the regions, includes Corsican and Flemish among others!

How many regional languages ​​are there in France?

Linguists estimate that there are around 75 in France Regional languages gives! Some of them like Occitan, Breton, Basque, Corsican, Alsatian or some Melanesian languages ​​like Tahitian are taught in schools. In France, 400,000 students study a regional language each year in public and private schools. It is important that students can study a subject in a regional language for the Bac exams. If these lessons are not expanded and upgraded, we will see this linguistic cultural heritage disappear. For those learning French as a foreign language, it is important to know the different pronunciations in order to better understand the local culture. In Antibes, many village names end in a consonant that has to be pronounced (BioT, VallauriS, etc.), otherwise you run the risk of being seen as a "Nordist"!

The accents in France

Should we speak without an accent? Is there a region where there is no specific accent? Probably not because all regions are still influenced by their regional language. For example, in the Toulouse region, the final vowels are pronounced due to the influence of Occitan. Everyone knows them Expression of southern France and that immortalized by Pagnol's works Accent you midi or through the film Welcome to the Sch’tis well-known Sh'ti accent. The lesser-known accent of the Frainc-Comtou is one of the most charming in France. The inhabitants of this region (to which cities like Besançon or Belfort belong) pronounce the closed [o] very openly and the [t] at the end of the word. The [o] of vélo speaks like the [o] of bot off and the number vingt becomes vinte pronounced.

An accent can be discriminatory insofar as the singing and playful side of some professions seems incompatible with so-called "serious" functions. Singers (Francis Cabrel, Claude Nougaro, Mireille Mathieu and many others), actors (Michel Galabru, Fernandel, Raimu and others), rugby commentators (Pierre Albaladejo) and gastronomy columnists escape these stubborn stereotypes. On the other hand, speakers with a strong southern, Alsatian or Corsican accent are less common in various fields (media, politics, etc.). They include political journalist Jean-Michel Apathy, philosopher Michel Serres and MP Jean Lassalle.

Linguicism (in French one speaks of Glottophobia) is a form of rejection that discriminates against all accents that do not correspond to the standard French, which the Parisian elites are said to have canonized in order to secure their retention of power. Lack of education or seriousness, prejudice against the rural population: regional accents are more often the victim of standardized language.

Dialects in neighboring countries

But what about in the neighboring countries? In Spain the situation is different, because in some autonomous communities languages ​​other than Castilian may have an official status. In France, French remains the official language in authorities, in court proceedings, at the university ... In addition to Castilian, the official language of the Spanish state, there are regional languages ​​such as Galician (in Galicia), Asturian (in Asturias), Basque (in the Spanish Basque Country) and Catalan. There is also the Madrileño or other dialects spoken in Andalusia and the Canary Islands.

Our neighbors across the Alps also use a large number of languages ​​other than Italian. In reality, their number is unpredictable as they vary by city and even by village! The most important are Sicilian, Sardinian, Friulian (Friuli, Veneto), Ladin (South Tyrol) and Occitan (Piedmont, Liguria, Calabria, ...), Neapolitan etc. In the Aosta Valley, even French is spoken and in Bozen, German is spoken by many residents.

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