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French (Fr)English (United Kingdom)

Parlar Gascon

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The langue d’Oc, the language of the South of France of former times, witnessed a rapid decline in the second half of the 20th Century. Occitan, the language celebrated by Jasmin the Agenais poet, with its variants (Gascon, Languedocien, Limousin…) and its multitude of local versions, the dialects (patois), was the vehicle of communication of our ancestors in everyday life. In the town, in the countryside, the majority of spoken exchanges were in dialect. In market squares, fairgrounds, cafés, agricultural work, family meals, blame or praise, life resounded to this language which has progressively declined as those who used it have disappeared.

The French language, although it was taught and imposed at school and also used in public administration, did not succeed in wiping out centuries of spoken practice. But the growth of the media in the last sixty years has definitively ensured the supremacy of French as the only language of communication even in the remotest parts of the country.

 

Those born before the Second World War, as well as their perfect command of dialect, have this little extra, notably in their accent which someone born later, when the ‘Thirty Glorious Years’ had effected their formidable changes in society, does not necessarily master.

But the old people who knew the golden age of dialect are here to bear witness to this language which was entirely natural for them. They didn’t learn dialect. When they were very small, they imbibed it at home through contact with their parents who spoke it every day for all the activities of daily life.

Let us listen to some extracts from conversations with our old people who like to meet during evenings* when Gascon is the only language allowed, arousing the curiosity of the young who come to listen to them. Thank you to them for reminding us of a time which one finds it hard to imagine.

May they be able to do it with us for as long as possible …..

 * evenings organised by the Association Rencontres et Loisirs. watch the video

TEACHING OCCITAN

Since January 2010, courses of Gascon take place each Friday from 6.30 to 8.00 pm in school term at the Mairie in Cocumont.
Organised by the Institut des Etudes Occitanes d'Aquitaine, under the auspices of ATP Marmande and Rencontres et Loisirs of Cocumont, about twenty "students" of all ages thus meet each week to take part in the very interesting courses given by the teacher, Rémi Roussille. watch the video  

You are here: AN ATTRACTIVE VILLAGE Gascon (the local dialect)