La Section de la langue Jèrriaise

Les lions et St. Cliément - Lions and St. Clement


One might think at first sight that lions and St. Clement don't have all that much in common - chutte pâraisse (this parish) is not known for being eune fôsse ès lions (a lions' den). But in Jèrriais, they have a quirk of pronunciation in common - a silent l.

Although un lion is recognisable when written, an li is usually pronounced “y” - so imagine a lion making a big “yawn” and you're not too far off the Jèrriais pronunciation. Other common words which begin with a “y” sound are un liet (a bed), liéthe (to read) and un lief (a roof).

St. Cliément has the “y” sound following the first consonant, and there are tout pliein (plenty) of words which follow the same pattern. You may not think Jèrriais is much like Italian, but the blianc (white) in lé blianc vîn (white wine) is perhaps more like vino bianco than French vin blanc. Another colour with the silent l is bliu (blue) and light blue has two silent ls: bliu cliai.

Just as in cliai (clear), we say lé temps s'en va s'clièrgi (the weather will clear up), but if you go onto lé sablion (the sand) you might be unlucky and find it covered in d'la cliaque (some sea lettuce). Or if you're out in les clios (the fields), you might see des flieurs (flowers). And don't forget to politely drop your l when you say s'i' vos pliaît (please).

A word containing lyi will also have a silent l. Knowing this, la plyie (the rain) is very easy to remember!

And so St. Cliément has its silent l in common not only with lé lion, but also with one other parish: St. Hélyi (St. Helier).


Viyiz étout:


La Section de la langue Jèrriaise
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