For faster navigation, this Iframe is preloading the Wikiwand page for Breton language.

Breton language

Side of a stone building next to a stream; low stone wall in the foreground has a sign reading Mill of Chaos in both Breton and French; Meilh ar Cʼhlegr and Moulin du Chaos
Bilingual sign in Huelgoat in Brittany
Pronunciation[bʁeˈzɔ̃ːnɛk], [brəhɔ̃ˈnek]
Native toBrittany (France)
RegionLower Brittany
Native speakers
210,000 in Brittany (2018)[1]
16,000 in Île-de-France[2]
(Number includes students in bilingual education)[3]
Early forms
Old Breton
  • Middle Breton
Latin script (Breton alphabet)
Official status
Recognised minority
language in
Regulated byOfis Publik ar Brezhoneg
Language codes
ISO 639-1br
ISO 639-2bre
ISO 639-3Variously:
bre – Modern Breton
xbm Middle Breton
 obt Old Breton
Linguasphere50-ABB-b (varieties: 50-ABB-ba to -be)
Map showing the percentage of Breton speakers in each country of Brittany, 2018
Percentage of Breton speakers in each country of Brittany, 2018
Breton is classified as Severely Endangered by the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger[4]
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Breton (/ˈbrɛtən/ BRET-ən, French: [bʁətɔ̃]; endonym: brezhoneg [bʁeˈzɔ̃ːnɛk] [5] or [brəhɔ̃ˈnek] in Morbihan) is a Southwestern Brittonic language of the Celtic language group spoken in Brittany, part of modern-day France. It is the only Celtic language still widely in use on the European mainland, albeit as a member of the insular branch instead of the continental grouping.[6]

Breton was brought from Great Britain to Armorica (the ancient name for the coastal region that includes the Brittany peninsula) by migrating Britons during the Early Middle Ages, making it an Insular Celtic language. Breton is most closely related to Cornish, another Southwestern Brittonic language.[7] Welsh and the extinct Cumbric, both Western Brittonic languages, are more distantly related, and the Goidelic languages (Irish, Manx, Scottish Gaelic) have a slight connection due to both of their origins being from Insular Celtic. [citation needed]

Having declined from more than one million speakers around 1950 to about 200,000 in the first decade of the 21st century, Breton is classified as "severely endangered" by the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger.[4] However, the number of children attending bilingual classes rose 33% between 2006 and 2012 to 14,709.[3][1]

History and status

Breton is spoken in Lower Brittany (Breton: Breizh-Izel), roughly to the west of a line linking Plouha (west of Saint-Brieuc) and La Roche-Bernard (east of Vannes). It comes from a Brittonic language community that once extended from Great Britain to Armorica (present-day Brittany) and had even established a toehold in Galicia (in present-day Spain). Old Breton is attested from the 9th century.[8] It was the language of the upper classes until the 12th century, after which it became the language of commoners in Lower Brittany. The nobility, followed by the bourgeoisie, adopted French. The written language of the Duchy of Brittany was Latin, switching to French in the 15th century. There exists a limited tradition of Breton literature. Some philosophical and scientific terms in Modern Breton come from Old Breton. The recognized stages of the Breton language are: Old Bretonc. 800 to c. 1100, Middle Bretonc. 1100 to c. 1650, Modern Bretonc. 1650 to present.[9]

The French monarchy was not concerned with the minority languages of France, spoken by the lower classes, and required the use of French for government business as part of its policy of national unity. During the French Revolution, the government introduced policies favouring French over the regional languages, which it pejoratively referred to as patois. The revolutionaries assumed that reactionary and monarchist forces preferred regional languages to try to keep the peasant masses under-informed. In 1794, Bertrand Barère submitted his "report on the patois" to the Committee of Public Safety in which he said that "federalism and superstition speak Breton".[10]

Since the 19th century, under the Third, Fourth and now Fifth Republics, the French government has attempted to stamp out minority languages—including Breton—in state schools, in an effort to build a national culture. Teachers humiliated students for using their regional languages, and such practices prevailed until the late 1960s.[10]

In the early 21st century, due to the political centralization of France, the influence of the media, and the increasing mobility of people, only about 200,000 people are active speakers of Breton, a dramatic decline from more than 1 million in 1950. The majority of today's speakers are more than 60 years old, and Breton is now classified as an endangered language.[3]

At the beginning of the 20th century, half of the population of Lower Brittany knew only Breton; the other half were bilingual. By 1950, there were only 100,000 monolingual Bretons, and this rapid decline has continued, with likely no monolingual speakers left today. A statistical survey in 1997 found around 300,000 speakers in Lower Brittany, of whom about 190,000 were aged 60 or older. Few 15- to 19-year-olds spoke Breton.[11] In 1993, parents were finally legally allowed to give their children Breton names.[12]

Revival efforts

1911 poster with Breton slogan, Burzudus eo! ("It's miraculous!")

In 1925, Professor Roparz Hemon founded the Breton-language review Gwalarn. During its 19-year run, Gwalarn tried to raise the language to the level of a great international language.[13] Its publication encouraged the creation of original literature in all genres, and proposed Breton translations of internationally recognized foreign works. In 1946, Al Liamm replaced Gwalarn. Other Breton-language periodicals have been published, which established a fairly large body of literature for a minority language.[14]

In 1977, Diwan schools were founded to teach Breton by immersion. Since their establishment, Diwan schools have provided fully immersive primary school and partially immersive secondary school instruction in Breton for thousands of students across Brittany. This has directly contributed to the growing numbers of school-age speakers of Breton.

The Asterix comic series has been translated into Breton. According to the comic, the Gaulish village where Asterix lives is in the Armorica peninsula, which is now Brittany. Some other popular comics have also been translated into Breton, including The Adventures of Tintin, Spirou, Titeuf, Hägar the Horrible, Peanuts and Yakari.

Some original media are created in Breton. The sitcom, Ken Tuch, is in Breton.[15][16] Radio Kerne, broadcasting from Finistère, has exclusively Breton programming. Some movies (Lancelot du Lac, Shakespeare in Love, Marion du Faouet, Sezneg) and TV series (Columbo, Perry Mason) have also been translated and broadcast in Breton. Poets, singers, linguists, and writers who have written in Breton, including Yann-Ber Kallocʼh, Roparz Hemon, Anjela Duval, Xavier de Langlais, Pêr-Jakez Helias, Youenn Gwernig, Glenmor, Vefa de Saint-Pierre and Alan Stivell are now known internationally.

Today, Breton is the only living Celtic language that is not recognized by a national government as an official or regional language.

The first Breton dictionary, the Catholicon, was also the first French dictionary. Edited by Jehan Lagadec in 1464,[17] it was a trilingual work containing Breton, French and Latin. Today bilingual dictionaries have been published for Breton and languages including English, Dutch, German, Spanish and Welsh. A monolingual dictionary, Geriadur Brezhoneg an Here was published in 1995. The first edition contained about 10,000 words, and the second edition of 2001 contains 20,000 words.

In the early 21st century, the Ofis Publik ar Brezhoneg ("Public Office for the Breton language") began a campaign to encourage daily use of Breton in the region by both businesses and local communes. Efforts include installing bilingual signs and posters for regional events, as well as encouraging the use of the Spilhennig to let speakers identify each other. The office also started an Internationalization and localization policy asking Google, Firefox[18] and SPIP to develop their interfaces in Breton. In 2004, the Breton Wikipedia started, which now counts more than 85,000 articles. In March 2007, the Ofis ar Brezhoneg signed a tripartite agreement with Regional Council of Brittany and Microsoft[19] for the consideration of the Breton language in Microsoft products. In October 2014, Facebook added Breton as one of its 121 languages[20] after three years of talks between the Ofis and Facebook.

France has twice chosen to enter the Eurovision Song Contest with songs in Breton; once in 1996 in Oslo with "Diwanit bugale" by Dan Ar Braz and the fifty piece band Héritage des Celtes, and most recently in 2022 in Turin with "Fulenn" by Alvan Morvan Rosius and vocal trio Ahez. These are two of five times France has chosen songs in one of its minority languages for the contest, the others being in 1992 (bilingual French and Antillean Creole), 1993 (bilingual French and Corsican), and 2011 (Corsican).

Geographic distribution and dialects

Dialects of Breton

Breton is spoken mainly in Lower Brittany, but also in a more dispersed way in Upper Brittany (where it is spoken alongside Gallo and French), and in areas around the world that have Breton emigrants.

The four traditional dialects of Breton correspond to medieval bishoprics rather than to linguistic divisions. They are leoneg (léonard, of the county of Léon), tregerieg (trégorrois, of Trégor), kerneveg (cornouaillais, of Cornouaille), and gwenedeg (vannetais, of Vannes).[21] Guérandais was spoken up to the beginning of the 20th century in the region of Guérande and Batz-sur-Mer. There are no clear boundaries between the dialects because they form a dialect continuum, varying only slightly from one village to the next.[22] Gwenedeg, however, requires a little study to be intelligible with most of the other dialects.[23]

Electronic information sign in Breton, Carhaix
Distribution of Breton speakers by region[24]
Region Population Number of speakers Percentage of speakers
Basse Bretagne 1,300,000 185,000 14.2%
Centre Ouest Bretagne 112,000 20,000 20%
Trégor-Goelo 127,000 25,000 20%
Pays de Brest 370,000 40,000 11%
Pays de Cornouaille 320,000 35,000 11.5%
Pays de Lorient 212,000 15,000 7.3%
Pays de Vannes 195,000 11,000 5.5%
Pays de Guingamp 76,000 12,000 17%
Pays de Morlaix 126,000 15,000 12%
Pays de St Brieuc 191,000 5,000 3%
Pays de Pontivy 85,000 6,500 8%
Pays d'Auray 85,000 6,500 7.6%
Haute Bretagne 1,900,000 20,000 2%
Pays de Rennes 450,000 7,000 1.5%
Loire-Atlantique 1,300,000
Pays de Nantes 580,000 4,000 0.8%
TOTAL 4,560,000 216,000 4.6%

Official status

Ofis Publik ar Brezhoneg, the Breton language agency, was set up in 1999 by the Brittany region to promote and develop the use of Breton.


French is the sole official language of France. Supporters of Breton and other minority languages continue to argue for their recognition, and for their place in education, public schools, and public life.[25]


In July 2008, the legislature amended the French Constitution, adding article 75-1: les langues régionales appartiennent au patrimoine de la France (the regional languages belong to the heritage of France).

The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, which obliges signatory states to recognize minority and regional languages, was signed by France in 1999 but has not been ratified. On 27 October 2015, the Senate rejected a draft constitutional law ratifying the charter.[26]

Bilingual sign in Gwened/Vannes


Regional and departmental authorities use Breton to a very limited extent. Some bilingual signage has also been installed, such as street name signs in Breton towns.

Under the French law known as Toubon, it is illegal for commercial signage to be in Breton alone. Signs must be bilingual or French only. Since commercial signage usually has limited physical space, most businesses have signs only in French.[citation needed]

Ofis Publik ar Brezhoneg, the Breton language agency, was set up in 1999 by the Brittany region to promote and develop the daily use of Breton.[27] It helped to create the Ya d'ar brezhoneg campaign, to encourage enterprises, organisations and communes to promote the use of Breton, for example by installing bilingual signage or translating their websites into Breton.[28]


Sign in French and partly in Breton in Rennes, outside a school with bilingual classes

In the late 20th century, the French government considered incorporating the independent Breton-language immersion schools (called Diwan) into the state education system. This action was blocked by the French Constitutional Council based on the 1994 amendment to the Constitution that establishes French as the language of the republic. Therefore, no other language may be used as a language of instruction in state schools. The Toubon Law implemented the amendment, asserting that French is the language of public education.[29]

The Diwan schools were founded in Brittany in 1977 to teach Breton by immersion. Since their establishment, Diwan schools have provided fully immersive primary school and partially immersive secondary school instruction in Breton for thousands of students across Brittany. This has directly contributed to the growing numbers of school-age speakers of Breton. The schools have also gained fame from their high level of results in school exams, including those on French language and literature.[30] Breton-language schools do not receive funding from the national government, though the Brittany Region may fund them.[31]

Another teaching method is a bilingual approach by Div Yezh[32] ("Two Languages") in the State schools, created in 1979. Dihun[33] ("Awakening") was created in 1990 for bilingual education in the Catholic schools.


In 2018, 18,337[1] pupils (about 2% of all students in Brittany) attended Diwan, Div Yezh and Dihun schools, and their number has increased yearly. This was short of the goal of Jean-Yves Le Drian (president of the Regional Council), who aimed to have 20,000 students in bilingual schools by 2010, and of "their recognition" for "their place in education, public schools, and public life"; nevertheless he describes being encouraged by the growth of the movement.[34]

In 2007, some 4,500 to 5,000 adults followed an evening or correspondence one Breton-language course.[vague] The transmission[vague] of Breton in 1999 was estimated to be 3 percent.[1]

Growth of the percentage of pupils in bilingual education
Year Number Percentage of all
pupils in Brittany
2005 10,397 1.24%
2006 11,092 1.30%
2007 11,732 1.38%
2008 12,333 ± 1.4%
2009 13,077 1.45%
2010 13,493 1.48%
2011 14,174 1.55%
2012 14,709 1.63%
2013 15,338 1.70%
2014 15,840 1.73%
2015 16,345 1.78%
2016 17,024 1.86%
2017 17,748 1.93%
2018 18,337 2.00%
2019 18,890 2.00%
2020 19,165 2.00%
2021 19,336 ± 2.2%
2022 19,765 ± 2.3%
Percentage of pupils in bilingual education per department
Department Primary education
Finistère 9.0%
Morbihan 6.7%
Côtes-d'Armor 4.4%
Ille-et-Vilaine 1.8%
Loire-Atlantique 0.5%


The 10 communes with the highest percentage of pupils in bilingual primary education, listed with their total population
Commune Percentage
Saint-Rivoal (Finistère) 100% 177
Plounévez-Moëdec (Côtes-d'Armor) 82.4% 1,461
Bulat-Pestivien (Côtes-d'Armor) 53.7% 493
Commana (Finistère) 49.7% 1,061
Cavan (Côtes-d'Armor) 39.6% 1,425
Rostrenen (Côtes-d'Armor) 39.3% 3,655
Guégon (Morbihan) 35.5% 2,432
Lannilis (Finistère) 35.1% 5,121
Pabu (Côtes-d'Armor) 32.46% 2,923
Melrand (Morbihan) 31.4% 1,558
The 10 communes of historic Brittany with the highest total population, listed with their percentages of pupils in bilingual primary education
These figures include some cities in the department of Loire-Atlantique, which is now included in the Pays de la Loire region. See for example Brittany (administrative region).
Commune Percentage
Nantes (Loire-Atlantique) 1.4% 290,943
Rennes (Ille-et-Vilaine) 2.87% 213,096
Brest (Finistère) 1.94% 146,519
Saint-Nazaire (Loire-Atlantique) 0.41% 71,046
Quimper (Finistère) 3.17% 67,255
Lorient (Morbihan) 2.71% 59,805
Vannes (Morbihan) 7.71% 55,383
Saint-Malo (Ille-et-Vilaine) 0.55% 50,206
Saint-Brieuc (Côtes-d'Armor) 3.98% 48,178
Saint-Herblain (Loire-Atlantique) ? 44,364

Other forms of education

In addition to bilingual education (including Breton-medium education) the region has introduced the Breton language in primary education, mainly in the department of Finistère. These "initiation" sessions are generally one to three hours per week, and consist of songs and games.

Schools in secondary education (collèges and lycées) offer some courses in Breton. In 2010, nearly 5,000 students in Brittany were reported to be taking this option.[37] Additionally, the University of Rennes 2 has a Breton language department offering courses in the language along with a master's degree in Breton and Celtic Studies.



Vowels in Breton may be short or long. All unstressed vowels are short; stressed vowels can be short or long (vowel lengths are not noted in usual orthographies as they are implicit in the phonology of particular dialects, and not all dialects pronounce stressed vowels as long). An emergence of a schwa sound occurs as a result of vowel neutralization in post-tonic position, among different dialects.

All vowels can also be nasalized,[38] which is noted by appending an 'n' letter after the base vowel, or by adding a combining tilde above the vowel (most commonly and easily done for a and o due to the Portuguese letters), or more commonly by non-ambiguously appending an ⟨ñ⟩ letter after the base vowel (this depends on the orthographic variant).

Front Central Back
unrounded rounded unrounded rounded
Close i /i/ u /y/ ou /u/
Close-mid e /e/ eu /ø/ o /o/
Open-mid e /ɛ/ eu /œ/ o /ɔ/
Open a /a/ a /ɑ/

Diphthongs are /ai, ei, ou/.


Labial Dental Alveolar Post-
Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
plain lab. plain lab.
Nasal m /m/ n /n/ gn /ɲ/
Plosive voiced b /b/ d /d/ g /ɡ/ gw, gou /ɡʷ/
voiceless p /p/ t /t/ k /k/ kw, kou //
Fricative voiced v /v/ (z, d /ð/) z, zh /z/ j /ʒ/ cʼh /ɣ/
voiceless f /f/ s /s/ ch /ʃ/ cʼh /x/ h, zh /h/
Trill r /r/ (r /ʁ/)
Approximant central (r /ɹ/) y /j/ u /ɥ/ w /w/
lateral l /l/ lh /ʎ/
  • The pronunciation of the letter ⟨r⟩ varies nowadays: [ʁ] is used in the French-influenced standard language and, generally speaking, in the central parts of Lower Brittany (including the south of Trégor, the west of Vannetais and virtually all parts of Cornouaille) whereas [r] is the common realisation in Léon and often in the Haut-Vannetais dialect of central Morbihan (in and around the city of Vannes and the Pays de Pontivy), though in rapid speech mostly a tapped [ɾ] occurs. In the other regions of Trégor [ɾ] or even [ɹ] may be found.
  • The voiced dental fricative (/ð/) is a conservative realisation of the lenition (or the "spirant mutation" in cases where the phenomenon originates from the mutation of /t~θ/, respectively) of the consonants /d/ and /t/ which is to be found in certain varieties of Haut-Vannetais. Most of the Breton dialects do not inherit the sound and thus it is mostly not orthographically fixed. The Peurunvan, for instance, uses ⟨z⟩ for both mutations, which are regularly and more prominently pronounced [z] in Léonais, Cornouaillais, Trégorrois and Bas-Vannetais. In traditional literature written in the Vannetais dialect, two different graphemes are employed for representing the dental fricative, depending on the scripture's historical period. There once was a time when ⟨d⟩ was used to transcribe the sound, but today mostly the regular ⟨z⟩ is instead used, and this practice can be traced back to at least the end of the 17th century.[39] The area this phenomenon has been found to be evident in encompasses the towns of Pontivy and Baud and surrounding smaller villages like Cléguérec, Noyal-Pontivy, Pluméliau, St. Allouestre, St. Barthélemy, Pluvigner and also parts of Belle-Île. The only known place where the mutation occurs outside of the Vannes country is the Île de Sein, an island located off Finistère's coast. Some scholars also used [ẓ] as the symbol for the sound to indicate that it was rather an "infra-dental" consonant than a clear interdental, which is the sound the symbol /ð/ is usually describes. Other linguists, however, did not draw that distinction, either because they identified the sound to actually be an interdental fricative (such as Roparz Hemon in his phonetic transcription of the dialect used in Pluméliau or Joseph Loth in his material about the dialect of Sauzon in Belle-Île) or due to the fact that they attached no importance to it and ascertained that their descriptions were not in need of a further clarification of the sound's phonetic realisation as it was a clearly distinguishable phoneme.[40][41]
  • The digraph zh represents a variable sound that may exhibit as /s/, /z/, or /h/, and descends from a now-extinct sound /θ/, which is still extant in Welsh as th.



Breton nouns are marked for gender and number. While Breton gender is fairly typical of gender systems across western Europe (with the exception of Basque and modern English), Breton number markers demonstrate rarer behaviors.


Breton has two genders: masculine (gourel) and feminine (gwregel), having largely lost its historic neuter (nepreizh) as has also occurred in the other Celtic languages as well as across the Romance languages. Certain suffixes (-ach/-aj,[42] -(a)dur,[42] -er, -lecʼh, -our, -ti, -va[43]) are masculine, while others (-enti, -er, -ez, -ezh, -ezon, -i, -eg, -ell, and the singulative -enn) are feminine.[43] The suffix -eg can be masculine or feminine.[42]

There are certain non-determinant factors that influence gender assignment. Biological sex is applied for animate referents. Metals, time divisions (except for eur "hour", noz "night" and sizhun "week") and mountains tend to be masculine, while rivers, cities and countries tend to be feminine.[42]

However, gender assignment to certain words often varies between dialects.[42]


Number in Breton is primarily based on an opposition between singular and plural.[44] However, the system is full of complexities[45] in how this distinction is realized.

Although modern Breton has lost its ancestral dual number marker, relics of its use are preserved in various nouns pertaining to body parts, including the words for eyes, ears, cheeks, legs, armpits, arms, hands, knees, thighs, and wings. This is seen in a prefix (formed in daou, di or div) that is etymologically derived from the prefixation of the number two.[44][45] The dual is no longer productive, and has merely been lexicalized in these cases rather than remaining a part of Breton grammar. The (etymologically) already dual words for eyes (daoulagad) and ears (divskouarn) can be pluralized "again" to form daoulagad and diskouarn.[44][43]

Like other Brythonic languages, Breton has a singulative suffix that is used to form singulars out of collective nouns, for which the morphologically less complex form is the plural. Thus, the singulative of the collective logod "mice" is logodenn "mouse".[44] However, Breton goes beyond Welsh in the complications of this system. Collectives can be pluralized to make forms which are different in meaning from the normal collective-- pesk "fish" (singular) is pluralized to pesked, singulativized to peskedenn, referring to a single fish out of a school of fish, and this singulative of the plural can then be pluralized again to make peskedennoù "fishes".[45]

On top of this, the formation of plurals is complicated by two different pluralizing functions. The "default" plural formation is contrasted with another formation which is said to "emphasize variety or diversity" – thus two semantically different plurals can be formed out of park: parkoù "parks" and parkeier "various different parks".[45] Ball reports that the latter pluralizer is used only for inanimate nouns.[44] Certain formations have been lexicalized to have meanings other than that which might be predicted solely from the morphology: dour "water" pluralized forms dourioù which means not "waters" but instead "rivers", while doureier now has come to mean "running waters after a storm". Certain forms have lost the singular from their paradigm: keloù means "news" and *kel is not used, while keleier has become the regular plural,[44] 'different news items'.

Meanwhile, certain nouns can form doubly marked plurals with lexicalized meanings – bugel "child" is pluralized once into bugale "children" and then pluralized a second time to make bugaleoù "groups of children".[45]

The diminutive suffix -ig also has the somewhat unusual property of triggering double marking of the plural: bugelig means "little child", but the doubly pluralized bugaleig means "little children"; bag boat has a singular diminutive bagig and a simple plural bagoù, thus its diminutive plural is the doubly pluralized bagig.[45][44]

As seen elsewhere in many Celtic languages, the formation of the plural can be hard to predict, being determined by a mix of semantic, morphological and lexical factors.

The most common plural marker is -où, with its variant -ioù;[44] most nouns that use this marker are inanimates but collectives of both inanimate and animate nouns always use it as well.[44]

Most animate nouns, including trees, take a plural in -ed.[44] However, in some dialects the use of this affix has become rare. Various masculine nouns including occupations as well as the word Saoz ("Englishman", plural Saozon) take the suffix -ien, with a range of variants including -on, -ion, -an and -ian.[44]

The rare pluralizing suffixes -er/-ier and -i are used for a few nouns. When they are appended, they also trigger a change in the vowel of the root: -i triggers a vowel harmony effect whereby some or all preceding vowels are changed to i (kenderv "cousin" → kindirvi "cousins"; bran "crow" → brini "crows"; klujur "partridge" → klujiri "partridges"); the changes associated with -er/-ier are less predictable.[44]

Various nouns instead form their plural merely with ablaut: a or o in the stem being changed to e: askell "wing" → eskell "wings"; dant "tooth" → dent "teeth"; kordenn "rope" → kerdenn "ropes".[44]

Another set of nouns have lexicalized plurals that bear little if any resemblance to their singulars. These include placʼh "girl" → mercʼhed, porcʼhell "pig" → mocʼh, buocʼh "cow" → saout, and ki "dog" → chas.[44]

In compound nouns, the head noun, which usually comes first, is pluralized.[44]

Verbal aspect

As in other Celtic languages as well as English, a variety of verbal constructions is available to express grammatical aspect, for example: showing a distinction between progressive and habitual actions:

Breton Cornish Irish English
Me zo o komz gant ma amezeg Yth eso'vy ow kewsel orth ow hentrevek Táim ag labhairt le mo chomharsa I am talking to my neighbour
Me a gomz gant ma amezeg (bep mintin) My a gews orth ow hentrevek (pub myttin) Labhraím le mo chomharsa (gach maidin) I talk to my neighbour (every morning)

Inflected prepositions

As in other modern Celtic languages, Breton pronouns are fused into preceding prepositions to produce a sort of inflected preposition. Below are some examples in Breton, Cornish, Welsh, Irish, Scottish Gaelic, and Manx, along with English translations.

Breton Cornish Welsh Irish Scottish Gaelic Manx English









ul levr zo ganin

a book is with-me

yma lyver genev mae llyfr gennyf tá leabhar agam tha leabhar agam ta lioar aym I have a book









un died zo ganit

a drink is with-you.SG

yma diwes genes mae diod gennyt tá deoch agat tha deoch agad ta jough ayd you have a drink









un urzhiataer zo gantañ

a computer is with-him

yma jynn-amontya ganso mae cyfrifiadur ganddo tá ríomhaire aige tha coimpiutair aige ta co-earrooder echey he has a computer









ur bugel zo ganti

a child is with-her

yma flogh gensi mae plentyn ganddi tá leanbh aici tha leanabh aice ta lhiannoo eck she has a child









(or 'ganeomp')


ur cʼharr zo ganimp

a car is with-us

yma karr genen mae car gennym tá gluaisteán / carr againn tha càr againn ta gleashtan / carr ain we have a car









un ti zo ganeocʼh

a house is with-you.PL

yma chi genowgh mae tŷ gennych tá teach agaibh tha taigh agaibh ta thie eu you have a house







(or 'gante')


arcʼhant zo ganto

money is with-them

yma mona gansa mae arian ganddynt tá airgead acu tha airgead aca ta argid oc they have money

In the examples above the Goidelic languages (Irish, Scottish Gaelic, and Manx) use the preposition meaning at to show possession, whereas the Brittonic languages use with. The Goidelic languages, however, do use the preposition with to express "belong to" (Irish is liom an leabhar, Scottish is leam an leabhar, Manx s'lhiams yn lioar, The book belongs to me).

The Welsh examples are in literary Welsh. The order and preposition may differ slightly in colloquial Welsh (Formal mae car gennym, North Wales mae gynnon ni gar, South Wales mae car gyda ni).

Initial consonant mutations

Breton has four initial consonant mutations: though modern Breton lost the nasal mutation of Welsh (but for rare words such the word "door": "dor" "an nor"), it also has a "hard" mutation, in which voiced stops become voiceless, and a "mixed" mutation, which is a mixture of hard and soft mutations.

Initial consonant mutations in Breton
Hard Mixed Soft Aspirant
m [m]   v [v] v [v]  
b [b] p [p̎] v [v] v [v]  
p [p]     b [b̥] f [v̥]
g [ɡ] k [k͈] cʼh [ɣ] cʼh [ɣ]  
k [k]     g [ɡ̊] cʼh [x]
d [d] t [t͈] t [t͈] z [z]  
t [t]     d [d̥] z [h]
gw [ɡʷ] kw [kʷ] w [w] w [w]  

Word order

This section needs expansion with: V2 word order. You can help by adding to it. (May 2022)

Normal word order, like the other Insular Celtic languages, is at its core VSO (verb-subject-object), which is most apparent in embedded clauses. However, Breton finite verbs in main clauses are additionally subject to V2 word order in which the finite main clause verb is typically the second element in the sentence.[46] That makes it perfectly possible to put the subject or the object at the beginning of the sentence, largely depending on the focus of the speaker. The following options are possible (all with a little difference in meaning):

  • the first places the verbal infinitive in initial position (as in (1)), followed by the auxiliary ober 'to do'.
  • the second places the Auxiliary verb bezañ 'to be' in initial position (as in (2)), followed the Subject, and the construction o(cʼh) + infinitive. At the end comes the Object. This construction is an exception to verb-second.
  • the third places the construction o(cʼh) + infinitive in the initial position (as in (3)), followed by the Auxiliary verb bezañ, the Subject, and the Object.
  • the fourth option places the Object in initial position (as in (4)), followed by an inflected verb, followed by the Subject.
  • the fifth, and originally least common, places the Subject in initial position (as in (5)), followed by an inflected verb, followed by the Object, just like in English (SVO).









Lenn a ra brezhoneg

read PRT do.3SG Breton

'He/she reads Breton.'






o lenn




Ema Yann {o lenn} brezhoneg

be.3SG Yann reading Breton

'Yann is reading Breton.'


O lenn








{O lenn} ema Yann brezhoneg

reading be.3SG Yann Breton

'Yann is reading Breton.'










Mad eo an istor

good be.3SG the story

'The story is good.'










An istor zo mad

the story be.3SG good

'The story is good.'


Breton uses much more borrowed vocabulary than its relatives further north; by some estimates a full 40% of its core vocabulary consists of loans from French.[45]


The first extant Breton texts, contained in the Leyde manuscript, were written at the end of the 8th century: 50 years prior to the Strasbourg Oaths, considered to be the earliest example of French. Like many medieval orthographies, Old- and Middle Breton orthography was at first not standardised, and the spelling of a particular word varied at authors' discretion. In 1499, however, the Catholicon, was published; as the first dictionary written for both French and Breton, it became a point of reference on how to transcribe the language. The orthography presented in the Catholicon was largely similar to that of French, in particular with respect to the representation of vowels, as well as the use of both the Latinate digraph ⟨qu⟩—a remnant of the sound change /kʷ/ > /k/ in Latin—and Brittonic ⟨cou-⟩ or ⟨cu-⟩ to represent /k/ before front vowels.

As phonetic and phonological differences between the dialects began to magnify, many regions, particularly the Vannes country, began to devise their own orthographies. Many of these orthographies were more closely related to the French model, albeit with some modifications. Examples of these modifications include the replacement of Old Breton -⟨z⟩ with -⟨h⟩ to denote word-final /x~h/ (an evolution of Old Breton /θ/ in the Vannes dialect) and use of -⟨h⟩ to denote the initial mutation of /k/ (today this mutation is written ⟨cʼh⟩).[47] and thus needed another transcription.

In the 1830s Jean-François Le Gonidec created a modern phonetic system for the language.

During the early years of the 20th century, a group of writers known as Emglev ar Skrivanerien elaborated and reformed Le Gonidec's system. They made it more suitable as a super-dialectal representation of the dialects of Cornouaille, Leon and Trégor (known as from Kernev, Leon and Treger in Breton). This KLT orthography was established in 1911. At the same time writers of the more divergent Vannetais dialect developed a phonetic system also based on that of Le Gonidec.

Following proposals made during the 1920s, the KLT and Vannetais orthographies were merged in 1941 to create an orthographic system to represent all four dialects. This Peurunvan ("wholly unified") orthography was significant for the inclusion of the digraph ⟨zh⟩, which represents a /h/ in Vannetais and corresponds to a /z/ in the KLT dialects.

In 1955 François Falcʼhun and the group Emgleo Breiz proposed a new orthography. It was designed to use a set of graphemes closer to the conventions of French. This Orthographe universitaire ("University Orthography", known in Breton as Skolveurieg) was given official recognition by the French authorities as the "official orthography of Breton in French education." It was opposed in the region and today is used only by the magazine Brud Nevez and the publishing house Emgléo Breiz.

In the 1970s, a new standard orthography was devised — the etrerannyezhel or interdialectale. This system is based on the derivation of the words.[48]

Today the majority of writers continue to use the Peurunvan orthography, and it is the version taught in most Breton-language schools.


Breton is written in the Latin script. Peurunvan, the most commonly used orthography, consists of the following letters:

a, b, ch, cʼh, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, r, s, t, u, v, w, y, z

The circumflex, grave accent, trema and tilde appear on some letters. These diacritics are used in the following way:

â, ê, î, ô, û, ù, ü, ñ

Differences between Skolveurieg and Peurunvan

Both orthographies use the above alphabet, although ⟨é⟩ is used only in Skolveurieg.

Differences between the two systems are particularly noticeable in word endings. In Peurunvan, final obstruents, which are devoiced in absolute final position and voiced in sandhi before voiced sounds, are represented by a grapheme that indicates a voiceless sound. In OU they are written as voiced but represented as voiceless before suffixes: braz "big", brasocʼh "bigger".

In addition, Peurunvan maintains the KLT convention, which distinguishes noun/adjective pairs by nouns written with a final voiced consonant and adjectives with a voiceless one. No distinction is made in pronunciation, e.g. brezhoneg "Breton language" vs. brezhonek "Breton (adj)".

Camparison of different orthographies
Etrerannyezhel (1975) Peurunvan (1941) Skolveurieg (1956) English gloss
glaw glav glao rain
piw piv piou who
levr levr leor book
ewid evit evid for
gant gant gand with
anezhi anezhi anezi of her
ouzhpenn ouzhpenn ouspenn add
brawañ bravañ brava most beautiful
pelecʼh pelecʼh peleh where

Pronunciation of the Breton alphabet

Letter Kerneveg Leoneg Tregiereg Gwenedeg
A a [ä, a, ɑː]
â [ɑː][1]
ae [ae̯~aj] [ɛa] [ɛː]
an [ɑ̃n]
ao [ao̯~aw] [ɔː] [ao̯~aw]
aou [ɔʊ̯~ɔw]
B b [b], [p][2]
Ch ch [ʃ], [ʒ][3]
Cʼh cʼh [h],[4] [x] [h],[5] [ɣ~ɦ],[6] [x][7] [h],[8] [x] [h, x][9]
cʼhw [xw~f] [xw] [hw~(hɥ)][10]
D d [d], [t][11]
E e [ɛ, ɛ̞, e, eː][12] [ɛ, ɛ̞, e, eː],[13] [ə][14]
ê [ɛː][15]
ei [ɛi̯~ɛj]
eeu [eø̯~ew]
eo [eː] [eɔ] [eː] [eː, ə]
eu [œ, œ̞, ø, øː][16]
[ɛɥ, e(v)y]
eue [ø̯e~ɥe]
F f [f], [v][17]
'f [v~ɸ]
G g [ɡ, k][18] [ɡ~(ɟ), k~(c)][19][20]
gn [ɲ][21]
gw [ɡw][22] [ɡw~(ɟɥ)][23]
H h [h][24]
I i [i, iː, j][25]
ilh [(i)ʎ][26]
J j [ʒ], [ʃ][27]
K k [k] [k~(c)][28]
L l [l],[29] [ɬ][30]
M m [m]
N n [n],[31] [ŋ][32]
ñ [◌̃]
ñv [◌̃v]
O o [ɔ, ɔ̞, o, oː][33][34]
oa [ɔ̯a~wa, ɔ̯ɑː~wɑː] [ɔ̯a~wa, ɔ̯ɑː~wɑː, ɔa, oːa] [ɔ̯a~wa, ɔ̯ɑː~wɑː] [ɔ̯ɛ~wɛ, ɔ̯eː~weː]
ôa [oːa][35]
oe [ɔ̯ɛ(ː)~wɛ(ː)]
on [ɔ̃n]
ou [u, uː, w] [u, uː, w~(ɥ)][36][37]
[38] [u] [o] [ø, ow, aw, aɥ, ɔɥ]
[oy̆, oːy]
P p [p]
R r [ʀ~ʁ~r~ɾ~ɹ],[39][40] [χ~r̥~ɾ̥~ɹ̥][41]
S s [s, z]
sh [s] [h]
sk [sk] [sk~(sc~ʃc)][42]
st [st] [ʃt]
T t [t]
U u [y, yː, ɥ][43]
ui [ɥi, ɥiː]
ul, un, ur[44] [ɔl, ɔn, ɔʀ] [œl, œn, œr] [œl, œn, œɾ] [yl, yn, yʁ]
V v [v][45]
vh [f]
W w [w][46] [w~(ɥ)][47]
Y y [j]
Z z [z], Ø,[48] [s][49] [z, ʒ/ʃ][50][51] [z], Ø[52][53] [z], Ø,[54] [ð][55]
zh [z][56] [h][57]


  1. ^ Vocative particle: â Vreizh "O Brittany".
  2. ^ Word-initially.
  3. ^ Word-finally.
  4. ^ Unwritten lenition of ⟨ch, cʼh, f, s⟩ and spirantization of ⟨p⟩ > ⟨f⟩ [v].
  5. ^ Unstressed ⟨e, eu, o⟩ represent [ɛ, œ, ɔ] in Leoneg but [e, ø, o] in the other dialects. The realisations [ɛ̞, œ̞, ɔ̞] appear mainly before ⟨rr⟩ (also less often before ⟨cʼh⟩), semivowels [j, w], consonant clusters beginning with ⟨r⟩ or ⟨l⟩. Stressed long ⟨e, eu, o⟩ represent [eː, øː, oː].
  6. ^ In Gwenedeg velars are palatalized before ⟨e⟩ and ⟨i⟩, i.e. ⟨k⟩, ⟨g⟩, ⟨kw/kou⟩, ⟨cʼhw/cʼhou⟩, ⟨gw/gou⟩, ⟨w/ou⟩, ⟨sk⟩ represent [c~tʃ, ɟ~dʒ, cɥ, hɥ, ɟɥ, ɥ, sc~ʃc]. In the case of word-final ⟨g⟩ and ⟨k⟩ palatalization to [c] also occurs after ⟨i⟩.
  7. ^ Before a vowel other than ⟨i⟩ the digraph ⟨ni⟩ is written instead of ⟨gn⟩, e.g. bleniañ "to drive", radical blegn, 1PS preterite blegnis, 3PS preterite blenias.
  8. ^ Silent in words such as ha(g), he(cʼh), ho(cʼh), holl, hon, hor and hol. Always silent in Gwenedeg and Leoneg.
  9. ^ ⟨i⟩ is realized as [j] when it precedes or follows a vowel (or when between vowels), but in words such as lien, liorzh, rakdiazezañ it represents [iː] (in orthography ⟨ï⟩ may be used: lïen, lïorzh, rakdïazezañ).
  10. ^ ⟨ilh⟩ represents [ʎ] when it follows a vowel, after a consonant it represents [iʎ]. But before a vowel other than ⟨i⟩, ⟨li⟩ is written instead of ⟨ilh⟩, e.g. heuliañ "to follow", radical heuilh, 1PS preterite heuilhis, 3PS preterite heulias. In some regions [j] may be heard instead of [ʎ].
  11. ^ Word-finally after a cluster of unvoiced consonants.
  12. ^ In front of ⟨k, g⟩.
  13. ^ The digraph ⟨ou⟩ is realized like ⟨w⟩ when preceded or followed by a vowel (or when between vowels), but in words such as Doue, douar, gouarn it represents [uː].
  14. ^ The digraph ⟨où⟩ represents plural endings. Its pronunciation varies by dialect: [u, o, ø, ow, aw, aɥ, ɔɥ] rating geographically from Northwest Leon to Southeast Gwened.
  15. ^ ⟨v⟩ usually represents [v], but word-finally (except in word-final ⟨ñv⟩) it represents [w] in KLT, [ɥ] in Gwenedeg and [f] in Goëlo. The pronunciation [v] is retained word-finally in verbs. In words bliv, Gwiskriv, gwiv, liv, piv, riv it represents [u] in KLT, [ɥ] in Gwenedeg and [f] in Goëlo. Word-finally following ⟨r, l, n, z⟩ it represents [o].
  16. ^ But silent in words such as gouez, bloaz, goaz, ruziañ, kleiz, rakdïazez, bez, Roazhon, dezh, kouezh, 'z, az, ez, da'z, gwirionez, enep(g)wirionez, moneiz, falsvoneiz, karantez, kengarantez, nevez, nevezcʼhanet, nadozioù, abardaez, gwez, bemdez, kriz, bleiz, morvleiz, dezhi. ⟨z⟩ is generally silent in Kerneweg, Tregerieg and Gwenedeg, but in Leoneg ⟨z(h)⟩ is always pronounced.
  17. ^ Used to distinguish words such as stêr "river", hêr "heir", kêr "town" (also written kaer) from ster "sense", her "bold", ker "dear".
  18. ^ Used to distinguish trôad "circuit/tour" from troad "foot".
  19. ^ In northern dialects (mainly in Leoneg), there is a tendency to voice ⟨cʼh⟩ between vowels. [ɣ] also appears as the lenition of ⟨g, cʼh⟩ and mixed mutation of ⟨g⟩.
  20. ^ The lenition of ⟨d⟩ and the spirantization of ⟨t⟩ are both represented by ⟨z⟩ is mainly pronounced [z] although in certain regions [s] (especially for the spirantization of ⟨t⟩ in Cornouaille) and [ð] (in some Haut-Vannetais varieties)31 also occur.
  21. ^ The pronunciation of ⟨r⟩ varies by dialect, nowadays uvular [ʀ] (or [ʁ]) is standard; [r] occurs in Leoneg, [ɾ] or [ɹ] in Tregerieg, and [ʀ], [ʁ], [r], and [ɾ] in Gwenedeg.
  22. ^ In Gwenedeg an unstressed ⟨e⟩ often represents [ə].
  23. ^ Lenited varieties of ⟨r, l, n⟩ may appear word-initially in case of soft mutation.
  24. ^ In Leoneg [u(ː)] in front of a nasal.
  25. ^ In Leoneg ⟨w⟩ represents [v] before ⟨e, i⟩.
  26. ^ In Leoneg ⟨z(h)⟩ represents [ʃ] or [ʒ] before ⟨i⟩.
  27. ^ In Leoneg ⟨gwr⟩ represents [ɡr].
  28. ^ Before a vowel.
  29. ^ Forms of the indefinite article.
  30. ^ A conservative realisation of the initial mutation of ⟨d⟩ and ⟨t⟩, used in certain parts of the Vannes country.

Sample texts

Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Dieub ha par en o dellezegezh hag o gwirioù eo ganet an holl dud. Poell ha skiant zo dezho ha dleout a reont bevañ an eil gant egile en ur spered a genvreudeuriezh.[49]
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.[50]

Lord's Prayer

Hon Tad,
cʼhwi hag a zo en Neñv,
ra vo santelaet hocʼh anv.
Ra zeuio ho Rouantelezh.
Ra vo graet ho youl war an douar evel en neñv.
Roit dimp hiziv bara hor bevañs.
Distaolit dimp hon dleoù
evel m'hor bo ivez distaolet d'hon dleourion.
Ha n'hon lezit ket da vont gant an temptadur,
met hon dieubit eus an Droug.

Words and phrases in Breton

Bilingual signage in Quimper/Kemper. Note the use of the word ti in the Breton for police station and tourist office, plus da bep lecʼh for all directions.

Visitors to Brittany may encounter words and phrases (especially on signs and posters) such as the following:

Breton English
deuet mat welcome
deuet mat ocʼh you're welcome
Breizh Brittany
brezhoneg Breton (language)
ti, "ty" house
ti-kêr town hall
kreiz-kêr town centre
da bep lecʼh all directions
skol school
skol-veur university
bagad pipe band (nearly)
fest-noz lit. "night festival", a fest deiz or "day festival" also exists
kenavo goodbye
krampouezh pancakes (a pancake = ur grampouezhenn)
sistr cider
chouchenn Breton mead
yecʼhed mat Cheers!
war vor atav always at sea
kouign amann rich butter and sugar cake

Language comparison

English French Breton Cornish Welsh Scottish Gaelic Irish
earth terre douar dor daear talamh talamh
sky ciel oabl (older oabr) ebron wybren speur spéir
heaven paradis neñv nev nef nèamh neamh
food nourriture boued boos (older boes) bwyd biadh bia
house maison ti chi taigh teach (south tigh)
church église iliz eglos eglwys eaglais eaglais
person, man personne, homme den, gour den, gour dyn, gŵr duine, fear duine, fear
dog chien, chienne ki ki ci gadhar, madra ( hound)
sell vendre gwerzhañ gwertha gwerthu reic díol, reic trade, íoc pay
eat manger debriñ dybri bwyta ith (biadhaich feed) ith (cothaigh feed)
drink boire evañ eva yfed òl (archaic ibh) ól (archaic ibh)
see voir gwelet gweles gweld faic (fut. chì) feic (south chí)
black noir, noire du du du dubh dubh
white blanc, blanche gwenn gwynn gwyn bàn, geal (fionn 'fair') fionn, bán, geal
green vert, verte gwer, glas gwer, gwyrdh, glas gwyrdd, glas uaine, glas uaine, glas
red rouge ruz rudh coch (also: rhudd) dearg (hair, etc. ruadh) dearg (hair, etc. rua)
yellow jaune melen melyn melyn buidhe buí
book livre levr lyver llyfr leabhar leabhar
day jour, journée deiz dydh dydd latha (also in names of weekdays)
year an, année bloaz bloodh blwyddyn bliadhna blian/bliain
beer bière korev (bier) korev cwrw leann (cuirm) leann, beoir, coirm ale
go aller mont mones (mos) mynd rach (verbal noun dol) téigh (verbal noun, dul)
come venir dont dones dod thig (verbal noun, tighinn) tar (participle, ag teacht)
cat chat, chatte kazh kath cath cat cat
live vivre bevañ bewa byw beò beo
dead mort, morte marv marow marw marbh marbh
name nom anv hanow enw ainm ainm
water eau dour dowr dŵr uisge (dobhair) uisce, dobhar
true vrai, vraie gwir gwir gwir fìor fíor
wife femme gwreg gwreg gwraig bean bean
sheep mouton, brebis dañvad davas dafad caora 'sheep' (damh 'stag', 'ox';) damh 'stag', 'ox'; caora 'sheep'
better mieux gwell, gwellocʼh gwell gwell feàrr níos fearr
say dire lavarout leverel siarad (also: llefaru) can (labhair speak) deir (labhair speak)
night nuit noz nos nôs a-nochd 'tonight'; oidhche 'night' anocht 'tonight'; oíche 'night'
root racine gwrizienn gwreydhen gwreiddyn freumh fréamh, (south préamh)
iron fer houarn horn haearn iarann iarann
summer été hañv hav haf samhradh samhradh
winter hiver goañv gwav gaeaf geamhradh geimhreadh

Borrowing from Breton by other languages

The English words dolmen and menhir have been borrowed from French, which took them from Breton. However, this is uncertain: for instance, menhir is peulvan or maen hir ("long stone"), maen sav ("straight stone") (two words: noun + adjective) in Breton. Dolmen is a misconstructed word (it should be taol-vaen). Some studies state[51] that these words were borrowed from Cornish. Maen hir can be directly translated from Welsh as "long stone" (which is exactly what a menhir or maen hir is). The Cornish surnames Mennear, Minear and Manhire all derive from the Cornish men hyr ("long stone"), as does Tremenheere "settlement by the long stone".

The French word baragouiner ("to jabber in a foreign language") is derived from Breton bara ("bread") and gwin ("wine"). The French word goéland ("large seagull") is derived from Breton gwelan, which shares the same root as English "gull" (Welsh gwylan, Cornish goelann).


.bzh is an approved Internet generic top-level domains intended for Brittany and the Breton culture and languages.[52] In 2023, the Breton internet extension .bzh had more than 12,000 registrations. Alongside the promotion of the .bzh internet extension, the association promotes other services to develop Brittany's image on the web: campaign for a Breton flag emoji,[53] and email service.[54]

See also



  1. ^ a b c d "Enquête socio-linguistique : qui parle les langues de bretagne aujourd'hui ?". Région Bretagne. 8 October 2018. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  2. ^ Diagnostic de la langue bretonne en Île-de-France. Ofis Publik ar Brezhoneg.
  3. ^ a b c Broudic, Fañch (2009). Parler breton au XXIe siècle : Le nouveau sondage de TMO Régions (in French). Emgleo Breiz.
  4. ^ a b Moseley, Christopher; Nicolas, Alexander, eds. (2010). Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger (PDF) (3rd ed.). Paris: UNESCO. ISBN 978-92-3-104096-2. Archived from the original on 23 July 2022.
  5. ^ Bauer, Laurie (2007). The Linguistic Student's Handbook. Edinburgh University Press.
  6. ^ Diamond, Jared (2012) The World Until Yesterday New York: Viking. p.399. ISBN 978-0-670-02481-0
  7. ^ "Breton language". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  8. ^ Benjamin W. Fortson IV, Indo European Language and Culture, chapter 14 paragraph 63.
  9. ^ Koch, John T. (2006). Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. OCLC 62381207.
  10. ^ a b Kuter, Lois (May 2004). "Breton – An Endangered Language of Europe".
  11. ^ Broudic, Fañch (1999). Qui parle breton aujourd'hui? Qui le parlera demain? (in French). Brest: Brud Nevez.
  12. ^ "Breton". Endangered Language Alliance. 2012. Archived from the original on 21 July 2021.
  13. ^ Francis Favereau, "Anthologie de la littérature bretonne au XXe siècle : 1919–1944", "Tome 2 : Breiz Atao et les autres en littérature", Skol Vreizh, 2003, ISBN 2-911447-94-8.
  14. ^ Calin, William (2000). Minority Literatures and Modernism: Scots, Breton, and Occitan, 1920–1990. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 9780802083654.
  15. ^ an Henaff, Goulwena; Strubel, Etienne (2008). Ken Tuch' (Web videos) (in Breton). An Oriant, Breizh: Dizale. Archived from the original on 11 October 2017. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  16. ^ Adkins, Madeleine; Davis, Jenny L. (September 2012). "The naïf, the sophisticate, and the party girl: Regional and gender stereotypes in Breton language web videos". Gender and Language. 6 (2): 291–308. doi:10.1558/genl.v6i2.291. Pdf.
  17. ^ Booton, Diane E. (17 April 2018). Publishing Networks in France in the Early Era of Print. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-351-77805-3.
  18. ^ "Firefox ha Thunderbird".
  19. ^ "Microsoft au secours des langues celtiques y compris du breton". Archived from the original on 19 October 2014.
  20. ^ "Facebook. Et maintenant une version en breton". 2 October 2014.
  21. ^ "Celtic languages". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  22. ^ Wmffre, Iwan (2008). Breton Orthographies and Dialects: The Twentieth-century, Vol. 2. Peter Lang AG, Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften. p. 3. ISBN 978-3039113651.
  23. ^ Kergoat, Lukian. "Breton Dialects" in Celtic Culture, pp. 250 ff. ABC-CLIO (Sta. Barbara), 2006.
  24. ^ EOLAS. "Situation de la langue". Office Public de la Langue Bretonne (in French).
  25. ^ Simon Hooper. "France a 'rogue state' on regional languages". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
  26. ^ "Le Sénat dit non à la Charte européenne des langues régionales" [The Senate says no to the European Charter for Regional Languages]. (in French). franceinfo. 27 October 2015. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  27. ^ "Ofis ar Brezhoneg". Retrieved 3 October 2010.
  28. ^ "La charte "Ya d'ar Brezhoneg" / Ar garta "Ya d'ar Brezhoneg" | KLEG INFOS" (in French).
  29. ^ Devine, Mary Catherine (2017). La Loi Toubon: Language Policy and Linguistic and Cultural Diversity in France (PDF) (Thesis thesis). Carnegie Mellon University. Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 October 2022.
  30. ^ (in French) Diwan FAQ, #6.
  31. ^ "The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA):Articulation of Language Instruction". Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  32. ^ Rostrenn, Yannick /. "Actualités" (in French).
  33. ^ "Dihun – Dihun Language". Archived from the original on 15 June 2006. Retrieved 9 July 2008.
  34. ^ "Interview with Jean-Yves Le Drian, the president of the Region Council".
  35. ^ a b c (in Breton) Ofis Publik ar Brezhoneg: Teul ar c'helenn divyezhek e 2022
  36. ^ a b "Populations légales 2007". Insee (in French).
  37. ^ "L'option de breton: que faire?". Studi: enseigner le breton et en breton. 20 June 2010.
  38. ^ Hemon, Roparz; Everson, Michael (2007). Breton Grammar (2 ed.). Evertype/Al Liamm. ISBN 978-1-904808-11-4.
  39. ^ Hemon, Roparz, ed. (1956). Christmas Hymns in the Vannes Dialect of Breton. Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. pp. x, xxvi.
  40. ^ Jackson, Kenneth H. (1968). A Historical Phonology of Breton. Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. pp. 661 ff.
  41. ^ Hemon, Roparz (1975). A Historical Morphology and Syntax of Breton. Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. p. 5. ISBN 978-0901282637.
  42. ^ a b c d e Martin J. Ball (1993). The Celtic Languages. p. 364.
  43. ^ a b c Stephens, Janig (2002). "Breton". In Ball, Martin; Fife, James (eds.). The Celtic Languages. Routledge Language Family Descriptions. London: Routledge. p. 379. ISBN 041528080X.
  44. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Martin J. Ball (1993). The Celtic Languages. pp. 365–369.
  45. ^ a b c d e f g Fortson, Benjamin W. 2005. Indo-European Language and Culture. Page 295: "Breton has also borrowed much more heavily from French throughout its history than any of the other British Celtic languages ever have from English, to the extent that two-fifths of the ordinary vocabulary is of French origin, according to some extents".
  46. ^ Kennard, Holly J. (12 January 2018). "Non-Negative Word Order In Breton: Maintaining Verb-Second". Transactions of the Philological Society. 116 (2). Wiley: 153–178. doi:10.1111/1467-968x.12119. ISSN 0079-1636. S2CID 148910543.
  47. ^ Hemon, Roparz (1975). A Historical Morphology and Syntax of Breton. Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. p. 5.
  48. ^ Hewitt, Steve. "Background information on Breton".
  49. ^ "Universal Declaration of Human Rights". Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
  50. ^ "Universal Declaration of Human Rights". United Nations.
  51. ^ Strang, Barbara M. H (2015). A History of English. Routledge. p. 94. ISBN 978-1317421917.
  52. ^ "Delegated Strings". Retrieved 23 May 2015.
  53. ^ "The struggle to give Brittany its own emoji". The Economist. Retrieved 6 February 2022.
  54. ^ ", la messagerie créée par des Bretons, pour les Bretons". Ouest-France (in French). 21 September 2021. Retrieved 6 February 2022.

Further reading

  • Press, Ian (2010). "Breton". In Ball, Martin J.; Fife, James (eds.). The Celtic languages, 2nd Edition. Abingdon; New York: Routledge. pp. 427–487.
  • Stephens, Janig (1993). "Breton". In Ball, Martin J.; Fife, James (eds.). The Celtic languages. Routledge language family descriptions. Abingdon; New York: Routledge. pp. 349–409. ISBN 978-0415280808.
  • Ternes, Elmar (1992). "The Breton language". In MacAulay, Donald (ed.). The Celtic languages. Cambridge language surveys. Cambridge; New York; Oakleigh: Cambridge University Press. pp. 371–452. ISBN 978-0521231275.
Historical development
  • Hemon, Roparz. A Historical Morphology and Syntax of Breton. Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1975.
  • Jackson, Kenneth H. (1967). A historical phonology of Breton. Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. ISBN 978-0-901282-53-8.
  • Schrijver, Peter (2011). "Middle and early modern Breton". In Ternes, Elmar (ed.). Brythonic Celtic – Britannisches Keltisch: From medieval British to modern Breton. Bremen: Hempen Verlag. pp. 359–430. ISBN 9783934106802.
  • Schrijver, Peter (2011). "Old British". In Ternes, Elmar (ed.). Brythonic Celtic – Britannisches Keltisch: From medieval British to modern Breton. Bremen: Hempen Verlag. pp. 1–84. ISBN 9783934106802.
  • Ternes, Elmar (2011). "Neubretonisch". In Ternes, Elmar (ed.). Brythonic Celtic – Britannisches Keltisch: From medieval British to modern Breton. Bremen: Hempen Verlag. pp. 431–530. ISBN 9783934106802.
Grammars and handbooks
  • Desbordes, Yann (1990). Petite grammaire du breton moderne. Lesneven: Mouladurioù Hor Yezh. ISBN 978-2868630520.
  • Falcʼhun, François (1951). Le système consonantique du breton avec une étude comparative de phonétique expérimentale. Rennes: Plihon.
  • Favereau, Francis. Grammaire du breton contemporain. Morlaix: Skol Vreizh, 1997.
  • Hemon, Roparz. Breton Grammar, 3rd edn. Trans. & rev'd by Michael Everson. Westport: Evertype, 2011.
  • Kervella, Frañsez (1947). Yezhadur bras ar brezhoneg. Brest: Al Liamm.
  • McKenna, Malachy. A handbook of modern spoken Breton. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer, 1988 (repr. 2015).
  • Press, Ian (1986). A grammar of modern Breton. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. (repr. 2011).
  • Press, Ian & Hervé Le Bihan. Colloquial Breton: the complete course for beginners. London: Routledge, 2004 (repr. 2007, 2015).




{{bottomLinkPreText}} {{bottomLinkText}}
Breton language
Listen to this article

This browser is not supported by Wikiwand :(
Wikiwand requires a browser with modern capabilities in order to provide you with the best reading experience.
Please download and use one of the following browsers:

This article was just edited, click to reload
This article has been deleted on Wikipedia (Why?)

Back to homepage

Please click Add in the dialog above
Please click Allow in the top-left corner,
then click Install Now in the dialog
Please click Open in the download dialog,
then click Install
Please click the "Downloads" icon in the Safari toolbar, open the first download in the list,
then click Install

Install Wikiwand

Install on Chrome Install on Firefox
Don't forget to rate us

Tell your friends about Wikiwand!

Gmail Facebook Twitter Link

Enjoying Wikiwand?

Tell your friends and spread the love:
Share on Gmail Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Buffer

Our magic isn't perfect

You can help our automatic cover photo selection by reporting an unsuitable photo.

This photo is visually disturbing This photo is not a good choice

Thank you for helping!

Your input will affect cover photo selection, along with input from other users.


Get ready for Wikiwand 2.0 🎉! the new version arrives on September 1st! Don't want to wait?