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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

Here are some classes available:

*  Guernsey French Beginners at the College of FE.  These usually begin in September each year. Visit www.guernseycollege.ac.gg

*  Language Classes at Guernsey Museum.  These are held at different times for different levels.  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

These sites were accessible on 7 July 2016.

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a bit of Guernsey French  - In 10 separate lessons, you can with Hazel Tomlinson (unfortunately the audio seems to be outdated but you can still see the phonetic spelling)  http://www.bbc.co.uk/guernsey/content/articles/2005/01/24/guernsey_french_learn_feature.shtml 

BBC Guernsey dictionary - a very useful list of common words and expressions, no audio but there is phonetic spelling http://www.bbc.co.uk/guernsey/content/articles/2008/08/01/english_to_gsy_french_vocab_list_feature.shtml  

This is Guernsey - an archive of the 'Donkey Dialogue' feature in the Guernsey Press.  Includes interesting expressions in traditional spelling with very helpful audio clips http://www.thisisguernsey.com/community/history-heritage/donkey-dialogue/ 

Warro! Activity book online - this is available to download for free from the Guernsey Museums website http://www.museums.gov.gg/article/150693/Guernseys-language-Guernsiais

Warro Guernsey You Tube Channel - this features 7 videos, mainly aimed at families, which accompany the Warro! Activity Book http://www.youtube.com/WarroLearnGuernsey

AudioBoom - these recordings are aimed at learners of the language who wish to hear and practice specific sounds https://audioboom.com/GuernseyMuseums 

Endangered Languages Archive -  these recordings are not specifically aimed at learners but have proven interesting to students http://elar.soas.ac.uk/deposit/0116.

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 literature.

Mes Prumieres paroles (my first words) en Guernésiais by Harry Tomlinson - this includes phonetic spelling of many words and expressions *not currently available online*

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 http://www.museums.gov.gg/article/150693/Guernseys-language-Guernsiais )

Conversations in Guernsey French by Hazel & Harry Tomlinson - this includes phonetic spelling.  Buy online here: http://pressbooksguernsey.co.uk/?product=conversations-in-guernsey-french

Des Poemes en Guernésiais by Renée Jehan - not written with phonetics but has a glossary at the back

The Collected Works of Marjorie Ozanne edited and translated by Ken Hill (2 volumes)  Buy online here: http://www.societe.org.gg/sales/books.php?type1=Guernsey%20French

P'tites Lures Guernésiaises  edited by Hazel Tomlinson - a collection of short stories, includes work by many authors including Helier d'Rocquoine.  There is also a CD to go with the book, which can be bought separately.  Buy the book online here: http://pressbooksguernsey.co.uk/?product=ptite-lures-guernesiaises and the CD here: http://pressbooksguernsey.co.uk/?product=ptite-lures-guernesiaises-cd

Dictiounnaire Angllais-Guernésiais, 4th edition by Marie De Garis, 2012.  Buy online here: http://pressbooksguernsey.co.uk/?product=guernesiais

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: http://www.francisboutle.co.uk/product_info.php?products_id=87

Folklore of Guernsey by Marie de Garis - this includes some fascinating stories, poems and expressions which use the language.  Buy online here: http://pressbooksguernsey.co.uk/?product=folklore-of-guernsey

Glossary of Guernsey Place-Names by Marie De Garis - find out what your road name means.  Buy online here: http://www.societe.org.gg/sales/books.php?type1=Guernsey%20French