THE European Day of Languages, which takes place on 26 September, aims to promote linguistic diversity, highlighting the importance of lifelong language learning in order to increase cultural understanding and democratic citizenship. Jersey is doing its bit – as is the RURAL magazine website! Marianne Coutanche of L’Office du Jèrriais explains how you can introduce a little bit of Jèrriais into your everyday conversation though greetings.
Why not try a traditional greeting when you next meet up with friends? Greetings are simple in Jèrriais. Just as in times past when the English might have said ‘good day’ rather than ‘hello’, Jèrriais speakers say bouônjour to each other. In the morning we add ‘à matîn’, so, bouônjour à matîn. For ‘good evening’ we say ‘bonsouair’.
If you fancy taking it a step further you might like to learn how to ask someone how they are in Jèrriais. Practise the question, Comment qu’tu’es? and learn a couple of easy responses. J’sis d’charme means ‘I’m fine’ and Pon trop mal means ‘Not too bad’. If you feel great, you can say J’sis mangnifique!
When talking with native speakers you might come across responses like Comme un vyi, which means ‘Like an old man’, or Comme lé temps, meaning ‘Like the weather’.
You might also like to try a new habit of saying ‘goodbye’ in Jèrriais. Use à bétôt to say ‘goodbye’ or simply à bi to say ‘bye’. You will also hear native speakers say à la préchaine, which means ‘until the next time’.
Learn more about Jèrriais greetings and hear how the above phrases are pronounced in the first of a new series of online lessons. Visit Marianne’s website: www.jerriaisstories.online