Gallo love poem
Ton·n imaj a taï den l' mirouér
De vraï, s'é mon pu béw poèm
Mé hâtt taï don, le vla qhi s defaç
S'é mon dèrniér "j t'em"
→ Poem the mirror ←
Woman from Nantes
Gallo is one of the two regional languages of Brittany with Breton. It is a Romance language of the group, of oïl languages, heir of the Gallo-Roman period. The current explanation of the word gallo refers to a borrowing from Breton, the gall radical meaning "foreigner" or "French". Leon Fleuriot, a linguist and a French historian, gives indirectly another path. He points out that the Gauls, the Galatians, were designated by the hypocoristic Gallos. The Latinized form gallus gave Gauls.
The linguistic area of the gallo occupies the 2/3 East of Brittany (Haute-Bretagne). In the west, this zone is bounded by the north-south line Plouha (22) - Damgan (56). The eastern border corresponds to the administrative border of Ille-et-Vilaine and Loire-Atlantique. More than 200,000 people would speak Gallo (according to a study conducted by Bretagne Culture Diversité in 2014).
Rich of an oral tradition, Haute-Bretagne, has interested collectors since the late nineteenth century. Paul Sébillot, Adolphe Orain and Paul Féval. The movement of the 70s will give a renewed interest for the language. Associations will multiply as well as events enhancing the language and culture of Haute-Bretagne. In the 1990s, publications grew, and people write in Gallo. One can cite as "famous" writers of Haute-Bretagne: André Bienvenüe, André Le Coq, Patrick Deriano and Ernestine Lorant. Writing competitions also flourish.
Today, there is always an associative dynamism. Since the 2000s, the institutions have been making progress. In 2004, just like the Breton, the Gallo has received an official recognition by the Regional Council of Brittany. The signposting in Gallo of villages develops. Communities and companies are committed to a greater visibility in public space by signing the Charter of the" Galo dam Yan dam Vèr". People from Nantes and Rennes are Gallos.
Brittany therefore has two languages, Breton and Gallo, both are made up of various variants.. Breton is the language of the Celtic islanders who came from Great Britain to establish themselves in the western part of Brittany as reinforcements to the Roman armies up to the time of the Anglo-Saxon invasions. Gallo is the language of Latin origin of the people of Côtes d'Armor, Ile et Vilaine and Loire-Atlantique, who will come to form Brittany with those of Breton language in 851 after the victory of the Breton armies in Jengland. The borders of Breton and Gallo dialects fluctuated according to the epoch, the Breton spreading towards the east, then the Gallo pushing it towards the west.