Island Life   

    the community website serving the Channel Islands                                                                               celebrating 14 years 2000 - 2014





Seyiz les bienv'nus a Jèrri - Welcome

Jersey patois or Jèrriais to be precise is a blend of Norse and Norman French, but like many regional dialects, over the past few decades it has been in danger of dying out. Generally only older residents, particularly in the country parishes and a handful of enthusiasts still use the language. Until the Second World War, English was hardly spoken but the evacuation of half of the island's population to England ended centuries of tradition. Many children returned to Jersey not knowing the patois.

A number of books and  a dictionary have been published together with tape recordings. Unlike Guernsey, the States of Jersey have taken on responsibility for keeping the language alive and in 1998 introduced Jèrriais to the school curriculum.

Local street names and family surnames are evidence of the island's Norman French roots.

Useful Links

La Societe Jersiaise

Jersey Patois words




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