Languages of the Bailiwick of Guernsey

Languages Of The Bailiwick Of Guernsey

Languages of the Bailiwick of Guernsey

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The linguistic situation of the Bailiwick of Guernsey is quite similar to that of Jersey, the other Bailiwick in the Channel Islands. English is the official language, French is used for administration, there are several varieties of Norman language used by a minority of the population, and Portuguese is spoken by immigrants in the workforce.


English is one of the official languages and the only dominant language in the Islands. Its status is mainly a product of the last century, and some 200 years ago, very few people in the Channel Islands spoke that language. Most papers, signage, and other such official materials are printed and distributed in English. There is also a dialect of Guernsey English, which contains some elements of Dgèrnésiais.


Until 1948, French was the official language of Guernsey. Today, it is still the language used in administration. It is still spoken as a second language by many, however, it is little-spoken as a common language. It differs from the actual indigenous Norman dialects of the islands.

Because of their location, the islands' main source of non-UK tourism tends to be French speaking.


Within historical times, Norman dialects could be found throughout the islands, and were spoken by the majority. Many of the names and terms have been gallicised into standard French, or Law Norman.


Dgèrnésiais is the traditional language of Guernsey. It is a variety of Norman, similar to the dialects of Norman...
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