Does anyone know if Gwendal Peizerat speaks Breton?
Gwendal was born in Brun, France, a town outside Lyon, in the southeast area of France, not far from the Swiss border.
Bretagne is in the northwest part of France, across the English Channel from Cornwall and Dartmoor, England.
Highly unlikely that he speaks Breton.
Thanks, his first name, which is Celtic, made me wonder if he had some link to Brittany.
People do move though. That means that his family could have been born in Bretagne. Roots are a tough thing to ferret out.
Do people in Brittany still speak this language?
Apparently the people of the West coast of France can converse with the people of Wales in a Celtic dialect.
Yes they do, but it becoming less common. I think that if a child has only one Breton-speaking parent, they tend to speak French at home rather than Breton. You hardly ever hear Breton in Rennes, the administrative capital of Brittany. It's quite common in the more distant smaller towns such as Quimper. Also signposts, museum information and maps are usually written in both French and Breton everywhere in Brittany, though I think only about 1 in 5 people can speak it. I think it's pretty unlikely that Gwendal can speak it, since the population of France is 60 million but the number of Breton speakers is less than half a million. In other words, more French people speak German as their first language than Breton. France's main naval base as well as air force and army bases in the area have brought lots of non-Breton speakers to Brittany and the language has been diluted. Not forgetting the large number of British people who have bought holiday homes there, who rarely speak anything other than English.
Originally Posted by Mathman
Breton does indeed sound a lot like Welsh to me, though I don't understand either language. However, I have heard that Welsh and Breton speakers cannot understand a word from each other. They diverged too long ago. In Wales, Welsh is very prevelant everywhere and about 50% of the population are first language speakers (and the other 50% have had compulsory Welsh tuition in school). This isn't what I observe in Brittany, where the Celtic language is dying. I believe there is some attempt to re-introduce the language into schools and save it.
NB my sister lives in Brittany, which is how I know. She is a teacher and she thinks less than 5% of her students are Breton speakers.
edited to add. This is my first post because I usually don't think I can comment on much. Sorry if it's too long.
I wondered also about his surname - Peizerat. It seemed a strange coincidence that Pechalat and Bourzat also have the -at suffix, so I wondered if they all came from the same region (which on the basis of Gwendal's first name I incorrectly assumed was Bretagne).
Originally Posted by krenseby
Penny & Nick!