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Learning the language

There are several methods of learning Guernésiais and we offer a few here (this list may change as necessary).

For a detailed bibliography of books and publications, go back to the home page and choose 'articles'. 

At school

Guernésiais is not currently taught in Guernsey schools.  Some teachers choose to feature some language in their classroom and lessons but the language does not have a designated slot in the timetable.  At some schools, it is offered as an option after-school or during lunchtimes and these sessions are taught by an independent team of volunteers.  If you have a child interested in learning the language at school, please enquire to see if it is available. 

Adult learning

We arrange courses and workshops for adults.  Please enquire to hear about the latest courses on offer 747264.

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 josephine.dowding@gov.gg and she will put you in touch with a member of Ley Bohti. 

Online learning

There is no learning course available online but resources do exist.  Here are some:

The Guernsey Language Commission's You Tube Channel.  Here you will find different playlists including:

- 'Conversations in Guernsey French' with Harry & Hazel Tomlinson. 

Basic lessons

Songs

Christmas carols

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a bit of Guernsey French  - In 10 separate lessons, you can with Hazel Tomlinson (unfortunately the audio seems to be outdated but you can still see the phonetic spelling)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

Warro! Activity book - this family resource is available to download for free from the Guernsey Museums website. You can find videos to go with this book here.

AudioBoom - these recordings are aimed at learners of the language who wish to hear and practice specific sounds

Books

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 info@language.gg 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 Guernsey Museums website here).

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 info@language.gg 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.  Buy online here