La Section de la langue Jèrriaise

Les Fieillets Jèrriais

Août 2005


Salutâtions tout l'monde. Thank you to all those who braved the fresh breeze and joined the walk to Lé Pinnacl'ye. It was a very interesting evening trying to use Jèrriais for this wild and historical place. So here goes (allons, en route!).

On the northwest coast of Jersey there is a wild place (i' y'a eune pliaiche sauvage) which is often facing the westerly winds (les vents d'ava). It is without trees or bushes but with a little grass, and because the soil is very sandy (la tèrre est hardi sablionneuse), it is good for the yellow-flowering gorse (lé geon), and heather (la bruëthe), which is very purple now. This place is called Les Landes but it hides another place more secret and remarkable (pus ségrète et r'mèrquabl'ye).

This evening (à ces sé), we took one of the paths towards the northwest and the sea with its three dark islands on the horizon.

Suddenly (Tout d'un coup), without warning, the top of a big rock appeared and we arrived abruptly at the edge of a steep cliff (eune raide falaise), and there in front of us we saw the huge rock of the Pinnacle (Lé Pinnacl'ye). On the neck of land between the cliff and the Pinnacle we could see the shapes of several ramparts (deux'trais remparts) of earth and big stones. Also, there were two rectangular shapes (deux formes cârrées), one inside the other, each with a little entrance facing east. This place was even more wild, beautiful and isolated than Les Landes, except for the seagulls (les mauves) and some hawks (des êprivièrs) turning or hovering on the currents of air (dgêpant sus le couothants d'air).

During the excavations (les foncements) of several years, we found a lot of artefacts (les objets) in local stone and of flint (d'la pièrre à feu) some of which came from Grand Pressigny in France; and also, lots of earthenware (la tèrr'rie) of Neolithic Age, a spear head (eune tête d'lance) from the Copper Age, an axe (eune hache) from the Bronze Age and pieces of earthenware pots (des g'naches des hulottes) from the Iron Age.

And finally, the rectangular ramparts are the walls of a Gallo-Roman temple (les muthâles d'un templ'ye gallo-romain) called a Fanum and there, was found a Roman coin (eune pièche romaine) and pieces of earthenware pottery.

This site (Ch't empliaichement) was so important that all the people lived here for nearly three thousand years before Christ until Roman times and the first years after Christ. And then, nothing, nothing at all (Et pis, rein, rein du tout), no other evidence of habitation (habitâtion)

A fascinating meeting was organised by Colin Ireson for La Clâsse Avanchi at lé Mangni d'Sanmathès last Thursday during which we saw Vince Obbard's new Agricultural Museum, the one which we visited in its early stages and worked on the Jèrriais for the tools and equipment. There is a great variety of them and everything is well presented and clearly labelled in English; the Jèrriais is still somewhere in the system and maybe we can retrieve it and help to get it presented. It's really worth a visit when next you at the Manor.

The review of La Fête Nouormande at the Congrès meeting on Monday last was very favourable and some valuable points were discussed for future reference. It was agreed that the event was very successful, linked with the Fête de Jersey, but that the three day programme might be slightly reorganised in terms of time and content – but this hinges on the intentions and commitment of the other participants, and knowing them in good time!

Our next meeting will be held on Wednesday next, 3rd. August at 8.00pm in the A. Mourant Room at La Société for some recap on the vocabulary above, an Anthology report-back and some reading of La Caqu'térêsse - with meaning!

À la préchaine,

John Clarke (Président)
Ralph Nichols (Ségrétaithe)


La Section de la langue Jèrriaise
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