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Basque 'regionalism' in France

Liberation is reporting on a campaign to carve out a Basque département in Pyrénées-Atlantiques.

Traditionally French basques have been rather quieter than in Spain, although it has been said that Paris turned a blind eye to ETA so long as they didn't start bombing etc in France. It will be interesting to see how this one shakes down, as the Elysée has rarely been exactly sensitive to the cultural identities / languages of the other historic minorities in France, like the Bretons, Flemish and German speakers in the East and Occitan and Provencal speakers in the South. Maybe change is afoot in western Europe's most monolithic state, as I spoted the other day that Alsacian is now being promoted by the regional authorities there. Napoleon, De Gaulle etc must be spinning in their graves.

Meanwhile, other fun and games in the French press. Le Monde has a rather amusing item claiming 'The 5 o'clock tea ritual returns in strength' to these parts. It illustrates with an anecdote about Joan Rivers missing out on tea at the Ritz as she hadn't booked, and further claims "City bankers now have power teas, competing with the lunches of the same name". First I've heard of it.


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Blogger UK Daily Pundit said... 11:19 am

I've just added a load of links to my blog for newspapers around the world and for the life of me I couldn't find any English language versions of European newspapers.

Even Le Monde was in French. Do they exist, English language versions of French newspapers?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 11:28 am

Can't say I've seen any. I just dig around on Liberation, Le Monde, Le Figaro etc to see what the Gauls are up to, find something bloggable and then use babelfish to do the spadework before tweaking the auto-translation into something resembling normal English.

A bit of digging has turned up Le Monde Diplomatique in English. It is analysis / commentary based rather than a news service as such.  

Anonymous Verity said... 10:18 pm

Doesn't The Telegraph provide links to English language versions? I thought they did. Die Welt, for example, and LeMonde and Frankfurter Algemiener (sp). Perhaps I dreamt it.

Come, come, Croydonian! When was the last time you heard an Occitan speaker in the Languedoc??????  

Blogger Croydonian said... 10:25 am

I'll go for a rummage and see what I can turn up, but my digging for English language French news has only turned up some rather thin expat etc titles thus far.

Can't say I've heard anything I could lock down as Occitan (my mother lives in the Herault), although overheard snatches of conversation show something rather removed from Parisian French. Mind you, London English is rather different from Newcastle English, and the dividing line between dialect and language can be a difficult one to draw.  

Anonymous Verity said... 7:07 pm

I also had a house in l'Herault!
I lived there for three years, and they all speak French, including in the villages. No, it's not Parisian French, but it's perfectly easy to understand.

Well, I just went back to The Telegaph, and of course, they've changed the front page to make it nice and tabloidy. But I couldn't find the European papers segment they used to have. Possibly they didn't have room after they added Shopping, Games and Horoscopes. Too bad.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 7:26 pm

Wellx3. Small world, not that I'd want to paint it. My mother is in the St Pons area.

Agreed - the Telegraph site is a bit tacky. Private Eye call the paper 'the Maily Hellograph', which is a little excessive, if rather amusing. Still the only daily worth buying though.  

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