Brezhoneg Living Dictionary
It's wonderful news for Brittany enthusiasts and cultural preservationist! Breizh Amerika has partnered with the Living Tongues Institute in the USA on an ambitious project to create an online Breton Living Dictionary available in English, French, and Breton languages.
UNESCO has stated that the Breton language is severely endangered. This new online dictionary serves as a digital haven, housing hundreds of Breton words and phrases, providing sanctuary not only for the Breton diaspora but also for language learners across the globe seeking to immerse themselves in the richness of Breton linguistic heritage.
Living Dictionaries: Beyond Mere Words on a Screen
The Living Tongues Institute is on a monumental mission—to ensure the survival of endangered languages. Through activism, education, and technology, they bolster communities in safeguarding their languages from extinction. Their approach involves language documentation, digital workshops, and the creation of resources like Living Dictionaries, crucial for language revitalization efforts.
Let's talk numbers.
The Institute boasts a significant track record: aiding over 100 endangered language communities between 2005 and 2019, along with conducting online workshops for 200+ language activists across 25+ countries from 2020 to 2023. Their aim? To develop 3,000+ Living Dictionaries over the next 30+ years, a testament to their unwavering commitment to language preservation.
Breizh Amerika's president, Charles Kergaravat, noticed the absence of a Breton Living Dictionary and reached out to the Institute, proposing to rectify this gap.
Brezhoneg's Fight for Survival: Breizh Amerika's Endeavor
Breizh Amerika, committed to promoting Breton culture, wholeheartedly dived into this project. They collaborated with Breton speakers like Bernez Rouz and organizations like Dizale to construct and record the Brezhoneg Living Dictionary. With the goal to raise awareness about the severely endangered Breton language and contribute to its revitalization.
The Brezhoneg Living Dictionary, available online, dismantles linguistic barriers. This digital tool transcends geographical boundaries, enabling individuals from diverse backgrounds to access and engage with Breton language and culture. With translations and a user-friendly interface, it acts as a conduit for Breton's preservation and growth. Its accessibility empowers language learners, enthusiasts, and researchers, fostering a deeper global understanding and appreciation for the Breton language.
Unveiling the Breton Language: Embracing Heritage
Breton, as a member of the Celtic language family, holds profound historical and cultural significance within Brittany, France. It stands as a testament to the rich tapestry of European linguistic heritage. However, despite its cultural importance, Breton faces the looming threat of extinction. Grassroots movements and initiatives aim to elevate its visibility and recognition, highlighting its value not just as a language but as a living embodiment of a unique cultural identity. Reviving Breton involves educational programs, cultural events, and community engagement, all vital in ensuring its survival amidst the challenges it confronts.
On behalf of the Living Tongues Institute, it has been our pleasure to collaborate with Breizh Amerika on the creation of the Brezhoneg Living Dictionary. A searchable, mobile-friendly tool containing 300+ entries in Brezhoneg with accompanying audio recordings, and translations into English and French, this project will help create visibility and access to the language across the Breton diaspora in Europe and North America.
“On a personal note, this project makes me particularly proud, because my great-grandfather Joseph-Marie Gallon was a fluent Breton speaker. An immigrant from northern France to Canada in the early 20th century, he often sang and performed in his mother tongue. Although he never transmitted the language to his children, who grew up speaking French and English, his daughter Cécile Gallon (my grandmother) lovingly recalled him speaking in Breton and always felt a connection to the language. My memory of her affection for it stays with me until this day.” Anna Luisa Daigneault, Program Director, Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages.
is an organization established to create, facilitate, promote, and sponsor wide-ranging innovative and collaborative cultural and economic projects that strengthen and foster relations and cooperation between the United States of America and the region of Brittany, France.