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Oy-ous! Dvis-ous l'Guernésiais? (Do you speak Guernsey French?)

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Monday 04 April 2022

In an exciting development for the promotion of Guernésiais as a unique aspect of the island's culture, heritage and identity, former Bailiff Sir Richard Collas has been appointed as the inaugural chairman of the newly established Guernsey Language Commission.

The States of Guernsey resolved in September 2020 to establish the Commission to sustain, develop and promote Guernésiais.

Following its formation, an open evening will be held on 28 April at 7pm at Les Beaucamps High School for anyone interested in learning more about the Guernsey Language Commission and how they might get involved.

The Commission will operate as a standalone body from the States of Guernsey, and the Commission will be given the responsibility for developing a Strategic Plan for the revitalisation of Guernésiais and will be allocated the funding already voted by the States to deliver that plan.

Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen, President of the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture, which acts as the link between government and the Commission, said:

'The Committee is thrilled that the new Guernsey Language Commission is now in a position to really start to increase the profile of Guernésiais and help people understand what a unique and special part of our island heritage it is.

'Sir Richard Collas is excited about the prospect of the Commission bringing together the vast amount of knowledge that exists around our native language to garner support for the long term We are grateful that he is able to bring his talents and energy to lead the Commission through its early days

Sir Richard Collas, inaugural chair of the Language Commission, said:

"We have a wonderful opportunity to promote and raise awareness of our language which is such an important part of our unique island culture.  We have a heritage of which we can be proud and we owe it to our forefathers and to future generations to preserve and promote it.  I urge everyone who is interested to seize the occasion by coming forward with their ideas and offers to help."

If you would like more information about the Commission, and how you can get involved, please come to the open evening on 28 April at 7pm at Les Beaucamps High School.

The meeting will also be live-streamed, and those unable to make it will be able to watch it after the event. Further details will also be available on language.gg.

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