How many of you out there can speak a bit of Jèrriais?
No, not Jerry, ay … JERRIAIS. Jersey Norman. Norman who? What? No, the language, Jersey … aw hell.
How many of you out there know the proper way to get grevin out of your drases with a scrobbine-broche? How to souindgi a sasse-paine at a nosse? How to netti a tchaise after a particularly violent beancrock? Not many, ah’ll bet.
Alas, Jerrais is on the way aht, kept alive only through the efforts of a few dedicated language-spotters intent on preventin’ our native language from going the way of La Dodo.
And good on ‘em, ah say, though they’ve got their work out out fer ’em, what with the inability of most to speak simple English let alone some old Norman dialect what makes no ruddy sense at all.
The Jerriais literary tradition can be traced way back to the poet Wace, whose haunting elegy ‘Ode to my Favourite Potato’ is still used as lift music in some of the newer office blocks in St Helier.
Since then a variety of writers have produced work in Jerriais, including a Mr Edward Le Brocq, whose 1946 column featured a fictional old Jersey couple givin’ their tuppence-worth on the news of the day (rings a bell) and Frank Le Maistre (no relation … though one can never be sure) who wrote articles, poems n’ stuff under the pseudonym Marie La Pie. Gentlemen, ah salute you.
Who’d a thought that up until the end of the 19th century Jerriais was the dominant language in the arland? That even up to the 1970s St Ouennais schools were still receiving pupils for who ONLY spoke thet language! Meks you proud ta be a Jerseyman, don’t it? Now if only ah could say thet in mah native language … pass the dictionary ma luv…
Bingo numbers will be called in both English and Jèrriais at an event in St Martin this week. A bean crock supper and bingo night will be held at St Martin’s Public Hall on Friday. The evening will be raising funds for the organisation Le Congres Des Parlers Nouormand et Jèrriais, with all money raised going towards next year’s Fête Nouormande.
For the first time, the notes have the value printed in French and Jèrriais
Children from St Lawrence school recited a Jèrriais poem written for the occasion by Geraint Jennings
Jersey's new set of bank notes has been unveiled. It is the first time in 20 years that the Island’s currency has had a facelift.
The Bailiff, Michael Birt, was at the Museum yesterday to officially launch the notes in front of the Lieutenant-Governor Lieutenant-General Andrew Ridgway and his wife Valerie, Chief Minister Terry Le Sueur and Treasury Minister Philip Ozouf...
All denominations also have the 12 parish crests featured on them and each one will also have the value written in French and Jèrriais for the first time.
Senator Ozouf said that me notes had been in the planning stages for four years and described the process as a ‘labour of love’.
He added that he hoped seeing the value of each note written in Jèrriais would contribute to the regeneration of Jersey’s own language...
Youngsters from St Lawrence’s Primary School recited a Jèrriais poem called Hourras pouor nos billes - Hurray for our bank notes - at the event. The poem was written by the Société Jersiaise’s Geraint Jennings...
(JEP = Jersey Evening Post)
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