Picard (picard / ch’ti)

Picard is a Romance language spoken in the northern France and neighbouring parts of Belgium by about 700,000 people. Picard is classified as one of the langues d'oïl, like French, and belongs to the Gallo-Roman branch of Romance languages. Picard is similar to French and influenced by French, and as a result some people do not recognise it as a separate language.

Picard at a glance

  • Native names: picard [pikaʁ], ch’ti
  • Language family: Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Western, Gallo-Romance, Oïl
  • Number of speakers: c. 700,000
  • Spoken in: northeast France, southern Belgium
  • First written: c. 1000 AD
  • Writing system: Latin script
  • Status: offically recognized by the French Community of Belgium as a indigenous regional language

Picard is spoken the French region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie, and also in Normandy. In 2011 there were about 500,000 speakers of Picard in France. In Belgium in parts of Wallonia, in the district of Tournai (Wallonie Picarde) and a part of the district of Mons. In 2007 there were about 200,000 speakers of Picard in Belgium.

In Picardy the language is known as picard; elsewhere it is known as ch’ti, ch’timi or rouchi.

Picard has a number of closely related dialects which are all more or less mutually intelligible. They difer to some extent in vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar, and some have separate literary traditions.

Picard is not taught in schools, apart from occasional courses, and is mainly spoken between friends and in families. Most of those who speak Picard as a first language are over 50, although most people who live in the north east of France can understand Picard.

Picard is officially recognized in Belgium as a indigenous regional language. It is also recognized by the European Bureau for Lesser Used Languages. In France it has no offical recognition.

Picard was widely used as a literary language during the medieval period. There is also some modern literature in Picard, however there is no written standard and writers tend to transcribe how they speak the language. In the universities where Picard is studied, the favoured orthography is known as Feller-Carton, which is based on Jules Feller's spelling system for Walloon, and adapted for Picard by Professor Fernand Carton.

Picard alphabet and pronunciation (Feller-Carton orthography)

Picard alphabet and pronunciation


Information about Picard pronouncation provided by Michael Peter Füstumum

Sample text in Picard

Tos lès-omes vinèt å monde lîbes èt égåls po çou qu'èst d' leû dignité èt d' leûs dreûts. Leû re°zon èt leû consyince elzî fe°t on d'vwér di s'kidûre inte di zèle come dès frès.


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Sample videos in and about Picard

Information about Picard | Phrases | Numbers


Information about Picard

Romance languages

Aragonese, Aranese, Aromanian, Asturian, Catalan, Corsican, Dalmatian, Emilian-Romagnol, Extremaduran, Fala, Franco-Provençal, French, Friulian, Galician, Gallo, Gascon, Genoese, Guernésiais, Istro-Romanian, Istriot, Italian, Jèrriais, Ladino, Ladin, Ligurian, Lombard, Lorrain, Megleno-Romanian, Mirandese, Moldovan, Monégasque, Mozarabic, Neapolitan, Occitan, Occitan (Auvergnat), Occitan (Languedocien), Occitan (Limousin), Occitan (Provençal), Picard, Piedmontese, Portuguese, Romanian, Romansh, Sardinian, Sicilian, Spanish, Valencian, Venetian, Walloon

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 09.06.24


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