A young couple from Brittany, France could never have imagined the Breton name they'd chosen for their newborn would create such a judicial firestorm. The use of the name "Fañch" was banned in September 2017 by a tribunal in Quimper stating that the letter "ñ" was incompatible with French law. This initial ruling was brought to a court of appeals by the parents this Monday in Rennes, where the French "avocat général" sadly recommended confirmation of the prior judgment in Quimper.
Brittany, the western most peninsula of France, has long had a tradition of un-French sounding names and places names due to the extensive use of the Breton, a celtic language native to the area. French policing of names has lighted since a court ruling in the 1966 allowing Breton names to be officially used administratively.
The court ruling in Quimper on September 13, 2017 was surprising to many as Breton names have become very popular throughout Brittany. The bewildering ruling forbid the use of the letter ñ stating, ""would be tantamount to breaking the will of our rule of law to maintain the unity of the country and equality without distinction of origin"*.
The letter ñ is common in Breton language but also Spanish, Basque, Galicien, Asturien, Guarani, Tagalog, Hassanya, and Wolof. The court's ruling also stated that ñ was not part of the French language, a reason for it not being used in names. A theory debunked a few days later by Bernez Rouz, President of the Culture Council of Brittany, when he presented numerous official French documents highlighting the use of the letter ñ for centuries, proving it in fact to be part of French orthographic tradition.
Following today's appeal the case has been taken under deliberation and a final decision will be rendered on November 19. "We hope for a positive outcome so we can write our son's name as it should," Fañch's mother has stated. "This fight also means defending our heritage, our regional language."
Breizh Amerika is partnering with Rising Voices and our friends at the Living Tongues Institute, First Peoples’ Cultural Council, Indigenous Tweets, Endangered Languages Project, and the Digital Language Diversity Project to use social media to promote and celebrate linguistic and cultural diversity on the internet.
In celebration of UNESCO’s International Mother Language Day 2018, we invite you take part in this new and fun challenge to take place February 14-21, 2018!
Mother Language Day was founded to promote and celebrate linguistic and cultural diversity around the world, with a special emphasis on indigenous, minority, heritage, and endangered languages.
Your Challenge: Join the movement and participate by creating an original meme in your mother language, add a hashtag, and share with others around the world.
Dedeadenn meme ar yezh vamm
Kas war-raok ha lidañ liesseurted ar sevenadurioù hag ar yezhoù war internet dre ar mediaoù sokial.
Pedet oc’h da gemer perzh en dedeadenn nevez ha plijus-se, etre ar14 hag an 21/02. Lidet vo Devezh Etrebroadel ar Yezh Vamm 2017 an UNESCO d’an 21/02 da zont.
Krouet eo bet Devezh ar Yezh Vamm evit kas war-raok ha lidañ liesseurted ar yezhoù hag ar sevenadurioù dre ar bed a-bezh, en ur lakaat ar pouez, dreist-holl, war ar yezhoù bro, minoret, kontet evel glad, hag a zo en arvar.
An difi : Deuit ‘barzh ar jeu ha kemerit perzh en ur grouiñ ur meme dibar en ho yezh vamm deoc’h-c’hwi, ouzhpennit un hashtag hag eskemmit buan hag aes gant tud all dre ar bed a-bezh.
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.