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Learning Occitan

  Tags: Occitan
 Language Learning Forum : Lessons in Polyglottery Post Reply
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LilleOSC
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 Message 1 of 18
30 September 2007 at 8:04pm | IP Logged 
I read in one of your old posts that you rated the Assimil Occitan course very highly. I really like the Occitan language, but there is a lack of materials for the language and it is supposely rapidly losing speakers. Weren't you able to learn Occitan? How do you feel about its future and Occitan learners? Do you recommend any other Occitan courses?


Edited by ProfArguelles on 08 October 2007 at 8:16am

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Iversen
Super Polyglot
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 Message 2 of 18
01 October 2007 at 3:55am | IP Logged 
While we wait for Ardaschir's answer I would say that Occitan has left a clear mark on the pronunciation of the French of many, maybe even most inhabitants of the Southern part of France. But getting to hear true undiluted Occitan is very difficult, - either you have to get very far into the countryside or you have to seek out those few individuals that actively try to keep it alive. As for study materials I have no idea what courses you can get nowadays, but I know that there are grammars and dictionaries and more literature than you might expect.

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Marc Frisch
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 Message 3 of 18
01 October 2007 at 7:07am | IP Logged 
By the way, François Bayrou who came in third in the last presidential election in France is a fluent speaker of Béarnais, which is an Occitan dialect. IIRC, they said on the news that it's still widely spoken (that is, spoken by about half of the population in the region of Béarn and understood by about 70%). In the last 30 years, there have been efforts to preserve the language, such as the creation of bilingual schools. So if you're looking for immersion, that's probably a good place to go.
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ProfArguelles
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 Message 4 of 18
08 October 2007 at 8:16am | IP Logged 
In my personal experience, Occitan is sadly more than moribund. In 1995 or 1996 I spent a good week specifically scouring Southern France looking for native speakers, but I could not find anyone willing to speak with me in a normal context. I stopped looking after attending a meeting of the Occitan League in Carcassonne because even there, in the very heartland and among this select group, French predominated.

In terms of other methods, the firm of Omnivox put out a series of manuals + tapes for various dialects in the late 1970’s. I have L’Occitan leu-leu e plan (Languedocien), L’Occitan redde e ben: lo Lemosin, and Lo Gascon leu e plan. There was supposed to be a fourth volume, Lo Provencau leu e ben, but it either never came out or it was not available when I acquired the others. These are all decent courses, though not as intellectually stimulating as the Assimil Occitan, and some of the voices used on the recordings may strike some sensibilities as strangely exaggerated.

Frankly speaking, if you really want to learn Occitan, I would recommend learning Catalan as well as you can for they are extremely close, and Catalan is the healthiest minority language in Europe with many more resources.

For reading the Troubadours, I imagine that working intelligently with a bilingual volume would suffice.

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LilleOSC
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 Message 5 of 18
19 October 2007 at 7:50pm | IP Logged 
ProfArguelles wrote:
In my personal experience, Occitan is sadly more than moribund.
   That's pretty sad. Especially, since I really like the sound of this language. Everyone, thanks for all of the replies and advice.


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kembreg
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 Message 6 of 18
14 May 2008 at 9:14am | IP Logged 
Hi.

I just read your post.
There are in fact a couple of products to learn Occitan on the market.

Do a google search for Speak! Occitan.
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Iversen
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 Message 7 of 18
19 May 2008 at 5:58am | IP Logged 
... and while you at it you could also do a search for the Valley of Aran in Spain, where there is an officially recognized dialect of Occitan
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peyre
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 Message 8 of 18
21 February 2011 at 8:46pm | IP Logged 
Sorry to join the discussion so late, but I'd like to add my two cents.

ProfArguelles, maybe you should check out Bearn. Because of its political history it held onto its language better than most of Occitania. When my wife and I visited family there in 2003, we found there was somewhat of a revival of the language going on. My cousins learned it in school and spoke it with their grandmother.

If anyone's interested in a copy of "Lo Gascon leu e plan", please contact me.

Hètz beroi!


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