'No quick fix' for Guernsey French language decline

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There is "no quick fix" for the long-term decline of Guernsey French as a language, according to a member of the commission set up to protect it.

Deputy Darren Duquemin said the commission had been working to "lay solid foundations" for a project that would last for "at least 20 years".

He said moves such as recording the few hundred Guernesiais speakers would help conserve the language for the future.

The States of Guernsey annually spends £20,000 on the commission's work.

The 2001 census revealed the language was spoken daily on the island by about 1,300 people.

In Jersey, more than £100,000 is spent every year on preserving Jersiais, which has seen a large amount of work in schools and the setting up of a GCSE in the language.

Deputy Duquemin said the Guernsey government "does recognise the importance of the language" but said the focus was on adult learning and ensuring that once anyone learnt the language, they continued to use it.

About 40 people attended a public meeting on Thursday to discuss the work of the commission since it was officially launched in May.

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