Breton Language

Guest   Sun Sep 23, 2007 10:23 am GMT
I'm fascinated by the Celtic languages, but they are soo difficult! I wish I could speak one of them. How difficult is Breton compared to Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh and Cumbric? Are they all mutually intelligible? About the situation of Breton in France , how many people understand it? I heard that this language is becoming more and more a dead one. I would be a pitty. How many people are still fluent in Breton?
Skippy   Sun Sep 23, 2007 2:54 pm GMT
I'm not an expert on the Celtic languages, but my understanding is that Breton is experiencing somewhat of a revival in Brittany (far northwestern region in France). It was somewhat mutually intelligible with Cornish but not that much with Welsh. It's definitely not mutually intelligible with Manx, Irish, or Scots Gaelic.

Like all the Celtic languages, it's fairly difficult, and in spoken language has retained some of the morphology that Welsh hasn't.

Let me know if I missed/got anything wrong.
Louis   Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:31 am GMT
I've heared that Celtic is considered by some experts as not being really Indo-European - is this the reason that it is so difficult to learn? How Indo-European is the Celtic language compared to Sanskrit, Latin, Greek, Iranian, German or Russian?
Guest   Tue Sep 25, 2007 10:08 am GMT
How come Celtic languages are now not Indoeurpean according to some scholars? They share the typical root words with other IE languages: brother, mother, father, night, the numbers from 1 to 10, and so on. Probably the Celtic Languages were the first family of languages which arrived to Europe.
Guest   Tue Sep 25, 2007 11:21 am GMT
Italo-Celtic is the one not considered Indo-European; there is no doubt about Celtic languages now.

Also, Celtic languages didn't "arrive to" Europe, they were originated in Europe. Or in Indo-Europe...
Guest   Tue Sep 25, 2007 11:30 am GMT
I meant to say Western Europe, since Proto Indoeuropean came from the zone between the Caspian and Black seas.
OïL   Tue Sep 25, 2007 11:42 am GMT
En fait, les langues I.E. les plus 'déviantes' (notamment au point de vue vocabulaire) sont les langues germaniques et le grec !
Guest   Tue Sep 25, 2007 1:10 pm GMT
<<En fait, les langues I.E. les plus 'déviantes' (notamment au point de vue vocabulaire) sont les langues germaniques et le grec !>>

So are you saying those are harder to learn than Celtic languages?
Guest   Tue Sep 25, 2007 3:33 pm GMT
Celtic languages are not more difficult than German for let's say, a speaker of a Romance language.
Skippy   Wed Sep 26, 2007 12:01 am GMT
German uses more words borrowed directly from Latin than the Celtic languages do (probably due to proximity, if not for the strength of Catholicism in southern Germany and Austria) despite the Celts' historic contact with the Romance languages.

The Celtic languages are definitely Indo-European. The Italo-Celtic connection was probably due to their proximity during the Roman Republic and Empire, not because of anything genealogical.
Guest   Wed Sep 26, 2007 7:44 am GMT
Italic and Celtic languages share very few similarities. I don't understand why they were put together in the same linguistic familiy.
Alain Stivell   Wed Sep 26, 2007 8:37 am GMT
There is no future for Breton if it doesn't get officially recognized and used in administration soon
Chirac   Wed Sep 26, 2007 8:46 am GMT
If that is the case you'd better say au revoir to Breton, Alain.
suomalainen   Wed Sep 26, 2007 5:26 pm GMT
Could we ask Sarkozy to admit official recognition and administrative use for Breton and tell that preservation of minority languages is a duty of honour for civilized countries?
Guest   Wed Sep 26, 2007 9:17 pm GMT
Yes you could, but if I were you I would wait for the right moment, for example when he is drunk.