Sunday, 9 March 2014

Occitan

Photo by K_rho CC BY 2.0

Those of you used to visiting the South of France will be familiar with Occitan. It is the most spoken regional language in France, and you will find speakers in Spain, Italy and Monaco as well. Its literature, poetry and music go back to more than 1000 years when wandering singers (les troubadours) brought it to European courts.
A lot of families will still speak it among themselves and some of its words have spread to French in some regions. You won't find them in the dictionary!

Avoir la cagne: to be very tired, too tired to do anything!
Un fenestrou: a small window
Péguer: to be really sticky
S'espatarer: to slouch or lie down in an undignified fashion
Bader: to look at something gormlessly, possibly with your mouth open!

Do you know any of these phrases? What are your favourite ones?


You can listen to an Occitan song here, sung by the uncle of Audrey, one of our French tutors.


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