The Guernesiais Translations of Thomas Martin, by Professor Mari Jones

23rd March 2019

A talk about Guernsey French. 2.30-4.00 p.m. Free entry, numbers limited: The Martin Manuscripts form the largest corpus of prose from a single pen in Guernesiais. Dating from the turn of the twentieth century, the manuscripts consist of 295 exercise books, which contain a complete translation into Guernesiais of the Bible and of 100 plays from the work of Shakespeare, Longfellow, Pierre and Thomas Corneille, Voltaire and Molière. My talk will discuss the way in which the translations were undertaken, examining features such as the spelling system used by Martin, the Guernsey ‘flavour’ that he consciously gave his translations, the insight that this work can give into late-nineteenth-century Guernesiais and the new grammatical information the manuscripts provide about Guernsey’s native tongue.

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