Recordings extending to five double-sided cassettes have now been made of the local language of the island of Jersey, largest of the Channel Islands. Known in the Island as "Jèrriais" and in French as "Jersiais", it derives from the same root language as the French language and the dialects spoken in Normandy.
In the course of its evolution down the centuries the Island's language has produced distinctive accents, words and expressions. Many of these are heard in the recorded readings, recitations, dialogues, songs and hymns spoken or rendered by 20 selected local persons, also in the spoken commentaries by Dr. Frank Le Maistre, the Island's leading exponent of the language and author of the "Dictionnaire Jersiais-Français" published in 1966.
Each cassette is accompanied by its own booklet which contains the full text in Jèrriais of the items and commentaries recorded, also a free translation into English of Dr. Le Maistre's commentaries. To assist readers, footnotes in French are given where a local word used in the commentaries departs widely from the frequent resemblance between words in the Jersey and French languages.
Readers of the booklets will note some inconsistencies in spelling in the various items recorded These arise from differences in pronunciation in various parts of the island and from the differing spelling adopted by individual authors. The commentaries follow the standard orthography set by the Le Maistre Dictionnaire.
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