Do you know what a ‘caûchie’ is? How about a ‘rotchi’? Or perhaps a ‘bouaîs’sie? These words – all in the Island’s mother tongue, Jèrriais – each describes an important site or object related to Jersey’s unique heritage. Many bays around Jersey feature a pier, or caûchie; you can’t go far without seeing a large rock, or rotchi; and you will still discover many traditional wooded areas, or bouaîs’sie, across the Island.
To celebrate these lesser-known phrases, Jersey Heritage is shedding light on the important role language has played in Jersey’s history, in the form of an online visual series titled #LandscapeLanguage.
The series, which aims to raise awareness about the Island’s heritage of Jèrriais, has been running online since 2021. In conjunction with the Aspiring Jersey Island Geopark, Jersey Heritage commissioned local photographer Lucy Le Lievre to capture visual spectacles of Jèrriais words projected onto special sites across the Island. Throughout the year, Jersey Heritage shared the photographs on their Instagram account (@jerseyheritage), and the final photograph in the series was released this week.
Inspired by a similar project undertaken by Historic Environment Scotland, the images visually link the language with special parts of Island life. Millie Butel, Jersey Heritage’s landscape engagement & geopark development curator, said: ‘Our “Landscape Language” series has been a fantastic opportunity to delve into Jèrriais names for places, objects and landmarks and show how they are relevant today in our everyday lives.
‘It was ideal working with a local photographer who knew the Island so well and Lucy’s amazing images provide a visual link between our intangible heritage – the Jèrriais language – and the heritage that we can see and touch in the landscape all around us.’