Following the news that the original English-Guernesiais dictionary from 1967 is to be republished due to public demand; it has been announced that a new language commission is to be set up to protect and promote the island’s language.
Guernesiais is a variation of Norman French which is native to the Channel Island. It has been in use on the island for over 1000 years, although today the primary language is English. Up until 1948, it was French. According to the latest figures, only 2% of the island’s population is fluent in Guernesiais.
Culture and Leisure Department member Darren Duquemin explained in a presentation that Jerrais (the local language of Jersey) is much more prevalant in society than Guernesiais and went on to outline how he intends to change that with the new Commission, and preserve a large part of the island’s heritage.