Demat! Learning the Breton Language

Programs for this blog post

Honors French Language & Culture

Authored By:

Emma Butler

This week, Global Navigators added another language to their repertoire: Breton! Breton, spoken by the Breton people in the Brittany region of northwestern France, is a descendant of the ancient Celtic language that was once widespread across the region. Breton faced challenges in the face of globalization, and its usage gradually declined in the 20th century as French became the more prominent language in France. However, recent years have witnessed a growing movement to revitalize the language, emphasizing its historical and cultural significance.

Students visited a Breton immersion school in Rennes. The school teaches the Breton language through gestures, meaningful input, and repetition. Global Navigators honed their skills by learning commands in the language, as well as common classroom furniture. They also collaborated in teams to figure out a timeline of important historical events, such as when the first Breton school opened and when Harry Potter was published in Breton. 

Students will be able to use their skills while navigating through Rennes, as street signs are posted in both French and Breton. Many Breton words, such as the word Breizh (Brittany), are used in marketing in the region. This weekend, Global Navigators will venture further into the Breizh region with a trip to Cornouaille. 

Keep reading to learn some common words in Breton!

Demat: bonjour (hello)

Mat ar jeu: ca va bien? (how are you doing?)

Kenavo: au revoir (goodbye) 

Ya: oui (yes)

Ket/Nann: non (no)