Occitan 1

Before 1789 France was a loose community of regions and languages - Breton, Alsatian ....and Occitan - the language of Occitanie - the region that stretched from Bordeaux and the Pyrenees in the West - to the Alps and Northern Italy in the East. The language of a culture with a rich creative History.

But the French Revolution and then Napoleon codified everything in a new Constitution, which stated that France “is one people, one nation, one language! So Occitan all but disappeared into folklore. Today, it’s still spoken in the French countryside and in the north of Italy, where it’s recognized as an official regional language. But no one really knows how many use it regularly because the French government has never done a survey. Unofficial guesstimates suggest several hundred thousand speak Occitan as a private “intimate” language at home and amongst friends, usually in the countryside. But never at work!


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