Facebook recognises Breton language

It only took three years of fighting, but supporters of the Breton language finally convinced Facebook to recognize France's regional tongue this week.

Facebook recognises Breton language
Supporters of the Breton language were given a boost from Facebook this week. Photo: Fred Tanneau/AFP

It’s doubtful whether Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg has ever uttered a word, but this week Breton was added to the list of the social media network’s list of official languages.

“We have the pleasure to announce the Breton will now appear in the list of language options on Facebook,” said Facebook’s translations team this week.

The move represented a victory for the Facebook group “Facebook e brezhoneg!” (Facebook in Breton) which, along with its 11,000 members, had led the three-year fight to convince the social network giant to recognize the language. 

Breton now becomes the 121st language recognised by Facebook.

Following the announcement a call went out to all Breton speakers to translate their page into their “mother-tongue”.

SEE ALSO: France finally takes step to recognise regional languages

Although how many of the 200,000 or so Breton speakers in France, most of whom are over the age of 55, decide to follow the call remains to be seen.

Nevertheless campaigners were delighted.

Fulup Jakez director of the National Office of the Breton Language said the move would allow learners of Breton as new way of practicing the language.

Facebook users themselves have the task of translating their page into Breton.

“The job of translating is just beginning,” said Jakez.

So for the term “Like”, which is “J’aime” in French, there are a couple of options in Breton to chose from – “me ‘blij din’ or “plijus” and “Share” can be translated as “rannan” or “kenrannan”.

Breton is not the only local or regional dialect that Facebook recognises. Quechua and Aymara from the Andean regions are also among the 121 languages, as is Klingon, the fictional language from Star Trek.

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