La Section de la langue Jèrriaise

Le Rapport Annuel dé La Section dé La Langue Jèrriaise

Deux mille deux.


The Section has had another interesting and pleasing year. Again, it concentrated on monthly meetings, several events and more project work. Our main focus was on the preparation of an anthology of Jèrriais literature, composing titles for all the equipment in the proposed Agricultural Museum at Samarès Manor, preparation for La Fête Normande at the Manor, and the Jèrriais evenings at the Eisteddfod. In addition two other projects were started and the typing of the Jèrriais-English version of Dr. Albert Carré's Vocabulary was continued.

For the anthology, examples of different kinds of Jèrriais literature and other published material were studied and translated. The final selection, which we hope to publish, consists of a variety of prose, poetry and other writings, which illustrate only a small part of the wealth of Jèrriais written during the last two hundred years. English translations will be printed alongside the Jèrriais and brief biographical notes will also be included.

The work on the names of the agricultural equipment at Samarès Manor began with a visit to see a veritable treasure trove of tools, machines and utensils collected by Mr. Obbard. These were photographed and named in Jèrriais, when their names were known, or otherwise in English. Translations of the English names were then provided following research by Section members and verification by experts. Descriptions of their functions were also added to the labels in Jèrriais.

Another project developed from this. The Jersey Woodturners at the Manor contacted the Section to confirm a Jèrriais diton and following this we translated a tree horoscope of personalities and a long advertisement for their products and services, all of which provided us with excellent vocabulary and grammar lessons and much amusement.

We again supported the Jersey Food Festival (La Fête dé Bafre) and displayed illustrations and literature about Jersey food and its preparation from the resources of L'Assembliée d'Jèrriais and L'Office du Jèrriais at Highlands.

In June, Jersey acted as host for La Fête Normande, a week's entertainment and events organised by Lé Congrès des Parlers Normands-Jèrriais, and under its guidance, Section members together with members of L'Assembliée d'Jèrriais, Le Don Balleine and L'Office du Jèrriais helped with the preparation, transport and hosting of many visitors, adults and pupils, from Normandy and Guernsey. The programme included events during the week and weekend at Samares Manor, La Société's rooms and other venues. Section members also performed briefly on stage and again it was wonderful to hear and to contribute to the three languages of the Normandy region.

We continued to receive requests from the public and various organisations for help with translations into Jèrriais for their use at meetings, on advertisements and in the naming of various objects. These were provided after research and help from many people in the Section, L'Assembliée d'Jèrriais and L'Office du Jèrriais at Highlands. Others too, to whom we are also very grateful, continued to send us information from Jersey, the UK and Canada about the dual use of languages in other countries and answers to questions posted in our Fieillets.

Other events at which Jèrriais, Norman and French were spoken during the year included the launch of the magnificent volume of Le Roman de Rou written in 12C. Norman, by the Jersey poet, Wace, at which excerpts were read from the text, followed by the English translation. Later in the year, Jèrriais could also be heard at La Faîs'sie d'Cidre at Hamptonne, and for long periods of time at Les Sethées dé Nièr Beurre at Les Potirons, Ste. Marie, superbly organised and controlled by L'Assembliée d'Jèrriais.

In December, members also participated in La Chant'tie d'Cantiques around Les Vaques Jèrriaises, a very appropriate locale, with members of La Classe Avanchie and pupils from several schools. Lé Sèrvice Annuel of L'Assembliée d'Jèrriais was well-attended and a wonderful occasion to hear the nine lessons and carols in Jèrriais. The supper afterwards also provided an opportunity to speak three languages as the conversation flowed freely on all sorts of subjects.

Towards the end of the year members were also helping with the typing of some amusing short stories compiled from former student exercises and of some legible copies of the inimitable Ph'lip and Mèrrienne stories by Edouard L'Bro' from newspaper articles about forty years ago.

Several members also represented the Section at the Jèrriais evenings of the Eisteddfod and with some fear and trepidation performed a reading of the amusing poem, Lé Divorce, by Élie, and astounded themselves by gaining a Gold Certificate. Members were also congratulated for winning Gold Certificates for their own individual performances and for helping to provide an excellent standard with which to continue through 2003.

It has been a good year, despite the newspaper and the radio still trying to confuse us with their wanton disregard for accents, their spelling and their pronunciation. We had a pleasant mixture of language exercises on the new CD-ROM, 'Apprannez L'Jèrriais', compiled by L'Office du Jèrriais with the help of Le Don Balleine, and of amusing monthly meetings learning and using the language while working on various projects. The best moments though- apart from the Gold Certificate- were seeing the pupils having the courage to participate in the events and competitions and to see the results of the hard work put in by teaching team attached to L'Office du Jèrriais.

It was with great sadness however, that we had to say farewell to Dr. Frank Le Maistre in August. It is impossible to assess his contribution to Jèrriais but he helped us on many an occasion in the early days of the Section in 1995 and was only too pleased and happy to pass on some of his wonderful knowledge and expertise. He took time to write cards and notes to us giving advice and guidance, and criticism, but always encouraging us to continue.

So, acouo eune fais, mèrcie chent mille fais à tout l'monde pouor vouotre aîgue et encouothagement. Without you it would have been so much more difficult.

Jayne Le B Nichols (Présidente)


La Section de la langue Jèrriaise
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