À la rêunnion d’la Section hièr au sé, y’avait des distchussions et eune gamme. Nou pâlit des sports (pouor l’préchain neunmétho des Nouvelles Chroniques du Don Balleine), des grèves duthant l’Otchupâtion, dé mots, et des pièches dé thiâtre.
At yesterday evening’s regular Section meeting (first Wednesday of the month at 8pm), there were discussions and a game. In connection with the forthcoming sport-themed issue of Les Nouvelles Chroniques du Don Balleine, there was some reminiscing of sport, and some writing. Memories of hockey on the beach led to memories of the closure of the beaches during the Occupation; some vocabulary discussions and progress on the play script study project.
Nou d’visit entouor quand tchi qu’les dreins pâleurs monolîngue du Jèrriais mouothîtent: ch’est en tchi les vièrs tchi n’pâlaient pon l’Angliais, raîque lé Jèrriais. Nou n’est pon seux pouor les cheins tchi n’pâlaient janmais l’Angliais et pouor les cheins tchi n’pouvaient pon pâler l’Angliais. Nou rapp’lit un moussieu tchi pâlait raîque en Jèrriais tchi pâssit l’pas dans les 1952-3; épis y’avait un coupl’ye dans les 1960 tchi n’pâlaient pon l’Jèrriais (ouaithe qu’i’ sembl’ye qu’il’ avaient ‘té à l’êcole d’vièrs lé c’menchement du vîngtchième siècl’ye et éthaient deu apprendre l’Angliais là…)
There was a discussion of when the last monolingual speakers of Jèrriais died – the Wikipedia article currently suggests that this occurred some time in the 1950s – although there were differences of perception: members had memories of people who didn’t speak English, and conducted their lives entirely in Jèrriais, from during the Occupation, after Liberation and into the 1950s – but without being able to go back and conduct a survey, it’s impossible to establish whether these were people who were incapable of speaking English, or people who simply didn’t need to speak English. There were reminiscences of one gentleman who certainly didn’t speak any English and who is believed to have died in around 1953. Reference was made to a couple from La Rocque or thereabouts who were non-English-speakers in 1960 – but it was calculated that they must have been of an age to have had to have learnt at least basic English at school, even if they never kept it up afterwards. The other problem, of course, is that by the late 1950s, English had become so dominant in public life that monolingual speakers of Jèrriais would have been the people least likely to have been active outside their Jèrriais-speaking homes and communities. The consensus of the meeting was that the last monolingual Jèrriais-speakers incapable of communicating in English most probably died in the late 1950s; the last Jèrriais-speakers able to live their lives through Jèrriais without needing to use English may have died in the 1960s; there were very old Jèrriais-speakers alive in the 1970s who were capable of communicating with difficulty in basic English. (NB: this doesn’t take into account Jèrriais-speakers who for age- or medical-related reasons have reverted to their native language monolingually).
Épis nou jouit l’Tchaûdron Magique en Jèrriais!
Then the Magic Cauldron game was played!
un chorchi = a wizard
eune chorchiéthe = a witch
un chorchéthon = a spell ingredient
du fronmage mité = mite-infested cheese
un rat = a rat
eune cranne = a skull
un cactus = a cactus*
un chipé d’cros = a set of fangs
un vèr d’tèrre = an earthworm
eune balle dé yi = an eyeball
eune boutelle dé pouaîson = a bottle of poison
un balle à leunettes = a jack o’lantern
un os = a bone
et = and, plus
fais = times
mains = minus
* Nou-s’a r’mèrtchi qu’i’ y’en a tchi dithent cacteusse, tchi dithent cactu, et tchi dithent cactusse.