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Page last updated at 16:53 GMT, Monday, 22 March 2010
A Guernsey French welcome to the parish
Guernsey French welcome sign
The signs will welcome people to the parish and feature their crest

A plan was unveiled in 2010 to place signs at the entrances to Guernsey's parishes in Guernsey French.

Jan Marquis, the States language development officer said: "I thought it would be a good way to make Dgernesiais more visible."

The plan is to have two signs per parish, but, he admitted some parishes have been more positive than others.

The first one is being installed at the entrance to St Martin's along the Forest Road.

Jan explained: "I contacted the Douzaines of the parishes and offered to fund two signs on the main entrances to the parishes... I'm hoping once we see some appearing some of the more reluctant parishes will come on board."

Jan said that signs like these "had proved very successful in other languages" and it is part of his initiative "to turn what is an invisible language into a visible one".

He hoped that the St Martin's sign would be followed by others around the island including bilingual welcome signs at the harbour and airport.

Jan said: "I'm trying to encourage people to embrace this part of their culture and heritage."

What do you think of the plan to place Guernsey French signs around the island?

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Mary, Canada

I think that it would be great.. This may help in saving the heritage of old Normandy French...may interest the young to learn this language.


I fully agree go for it Jan

Catlin Mahy, Scotland

I am SO relieved that something like this is finally being put into action! We must not let our native language die. The only way young people will be able to familiarise themselves with Guernesiaise is by seeing it and hearing it on a regular basis, and this is a good start.

I think basic phrases should also be used regularly on the radio - good morning, good evening, happy liberation day etc, and that Sarnia Cherie should also be taught to every child on the island - in English AND Guernesiaise.

Well done Jan Marquis!!

Peter Laing, Castel

Excellent idea! It is worth celebrating Guernsey's heritage and this is a simple and effective way to do this - not British, not French - but Guernsey!

Malcolm Reynard, Béziers, Southern France

"Bonjorn" (to use the original "Occitan" language of Southern France).

I am sure that Marie De Garis, who has spent a large part of her life trying to maintain the "Guernsey French Language" must be very pleased with this move!

Down here in the South - it is now quite normal for a "Welcome" to be in the two languages - French & Occitan (sometimes three, I am on the border with Catalunya).

So "A betôt"

But where did "Cheerie" go - nobody seems to use it any more - and that is real Guernsey!

Elaine Latto, Scotland

Having lived previously in Guernsey for nearly seven years I think this is a really good idea. It is good to keep the memories of the old languages. We have signs in Gaelic here to help keep our culture.

Mike Bisson, Guerrnsey

Why on earth would anyone want to put up signs in Guernsey-French? With the possible exception of a few illiterates there is nobody in Guernsey who does not read English, and in any case until recently Le Patois was not a written language. The idea seems to be that of a civil servant attempting to justify his unnecessary post by inventing a new way to waste money.

John Le Sauvage, St Peter Port

It's nice to see that we are trying to keep with our past history. It's all to easy to lose our individuality, so what a great idea.

Peter, London

I think that this is a great idea, as it will help keep the language, part of Guernsey's heritage, alive.

Bertram Falla, Birmingham

I think it's a brilliant idea! My grandmother lives in Wales and all the signs there are bilingual - it really helps with the cultural identity of a place.

I don't know why this wasn't done before and can't think of a single reason why there would be reluctant parishes. The more that can be done to promote Dgernesiais the better - whether it be a feature on the One Show or signs like this!

Fantastic idea.

Nicky Skillet, Vale

I think it's a great idea. If we're not careful this island's history will be forgotten.



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