Gallo is a Romance language spoken in parts of Brittany
(Bertâgne) and Normandy in the northwest of France by about
28,000 people. It is a Oïl language and is part of a
dialect continuum with Norman, Picard and Poitevin. Unlike
Norman Gallo has no Norse influences, but has borrowed words
Decline of Gallo
Brittany became a part of France in 1532, and in 1539 French
was imposed as the sole official language of France. French
replaced Gallo as the langauge of official records and courts.
Up to the late 19th century around 14 million people in
France spoke French as a first language, while for the other 25
million or so, who spoke their own regional languages, such as Gallo, French
was a foreign language. After the introduction of compulsory
education in 1882, which used French as the language of instruction,
other languages were considerd patois, a derogatory
term meaning 'provincial dialect'.
During the 20th century, particularly after the First World
War, Gallo, like other regional languages, went into steep decline.
Gallo first appeared in writing in 1178 in a poetical text
called Le Livre des Manières by Etienne de Fougères.
During the 19th century oral literature was collected and written
down by researchers and folklorists. There are a number of
original written works in Gallo by Amand Dagnet (1857-1933),
and since the 1960s efforts have been made to encourage the
production of Gallo literature. A proposed orthography for
Gallo was published by Alan J. Raude in 1979.
In 1976 Gallo language speakers set up l'Association des Amis
du Parler Gallo (The Association of Friends of Speaking Gallo),
which later became Bertaèyn Galeizz, with the aims of
studying and promoted the language and campaigning for official
Gallo is taught at a number of colleges in eastern Brittany
and at the University of Rennes II.
Gallo is spoken mainly in rural areas by the oldest
generations, and is considered an 'incorrect dialect of
French' by many French people.
- c is prounced [k] before a, â, o & ô, and [s] before e, ë, é & è.
when folled by e, ë, é, è or i g is followed by a u, e.g. guernouille
- h is not usually pronounced
- cll is also pronounced [tj] or [sj]
- gh is also pronounced [gj] or [ʤ]
- qh is also pronounced [kj] or [ʧ0
a vowel followed by two nasal consonants, mm, nm or nn,
is nasalized, e.g. fenme [fɑ̃m], Janne
- There is considerable variation in how the vowels and diphthongs
are pronounced in different parts of the Gallo-speaking region.
Information about Gallo
Dictionnaire en ligne Gallo-Français et Français-Gallo
Gallo Es Ecoles (Gallo in Schools)
Other languages written with the Latin alphabet