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Lettre adressée à M. Deixonne par un instituteur breton (1948)

Until the Deixonne Law (1951) (see attached document), the status of regional languages in France had been rather precarious. Suspicion that regional languages hindered the propagation of progressive ideas and favoured separatist tendencies was rife among left-wing republicans. In this letter, a primary school teacher explained how the love of Breton is not incompatible with the love of France and how pedagogically the use of Breton is a tremendous tool to achieve a higher degree of fluency and accuracy in French. The letter is addressed to Maurice Deixonne, who was in charge to draft the legislative proposal which led to the formal, but limited, recognition of regional languages in 1951. The original letter can be found in OURS (Office Universitaire de Recherche Socialiste, Paris), the French Socialist Party’s private archives (web link included here). Final year and MA students may find this original document useful to discuss, evaluate and revisit the complex relations between French republicanism and cultural minorities.

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