By Paul Molac - Member of the French National Assembly for Morbihan's 4th constituency
The bill relating to the protection of regional languages and their promotion, which I was defending, was definitively adopted by a very large majority this Thursday, April 8 in the National Assembly as part of the parliamentary day reserved for my group, Libertés et Territoires.
This is the first law devoted to regional languages definitively adopted under the Fifth Republic. This historic victory is due to the unprecedented mobilization of associations, educational networks and thousands of volunteers in all our territories who are committed to preserving this wealth which belongs to all of humanity. The determination of the deputies on all benches, and in particular of the majority, to adopt this bill in conformity with the outcome of the Senate is the symbol of the wide awareness of the need to save these regional languages in danger of dying out.
The purpose of this law is to enhance the protection, accessibility and visibility of regional languages in three areas:
First of all in heritage, by recognizing that regional languages belong to France’s intangible heritage in order to be able to better protect them.
Then in public life, by legally securing the display of regional language translations on inscriptions and public signs, as well as the use of diacritics from regional languages in civil status documents. We all remember the story of this Breton baby named Fañch, who had to go to the Court of Cassation to have the right to keep his tildé on the letter N.
Finally, in education, where we have now made significant progress, and in particular for the recognition of teaching by immersion in the regional language in public schools, as well as to make effective the payment of the school fee (forfait scolaire) for students. associative schools such as Diwan. Likewise, this law will make it possible to extend the possibilities for offering regional language education in public schools, so that as many establishments as possible can offer this education.
April 8 is a historic day for advocates of regional languages and I hope a turning point in the relationship between the Republic and its linguistic diversity.
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