Invest in our Linguistic Heritage

We are excited to announce the latest forthcoming publication from Blue Ormer. A Glossary of the Norman Language in the Channel Islands, compiled and edited by Professor Mari Jones of the University of Cambridge, based on fieldnotes made by Professor J.P. Collas almost a century ago.

For the first time, we are offering the opportunity to join a crowdfunding initiative to support the launch of this important addition to the literature on the Norman languages of the Channel Islands: Guernésiais, Jèrriais, Sercquiais and Auregnais.

There are four subscription options:-

  • Supporter – receive a copy of the book on the day of publication.
  • Subscriber – receive a copy of the book and your name listed as Subscriber in the Tabula Gratulatoria.
  • Sponsor – receive a copy of the book with personalised signed bookplate and your name listed as Sponsor in the Tabula Gratulatoria.
  • Patron – receive five copies of the book with personalised signed bookplates and your name listed as Patron at the top of the Tabula Gratulatoria.

The launch date for the book will be confirmed when the crowdfunding campaign reaches its target.

 Subscribers, Sponsors and Patrons will be invited to a special launch event (travel restrictions permitting).

All royalties from the sale of this book will be donated to the Priaulx Library.

For more details on how the campaign works, see the Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQ) section below.

Current progress
(Updated 29 Oct 21)

About the Book

John Peter Collas (1911-1984), Professor at Queen Mary College, London, is best known for his work on the legal vocabulary of the Norman language spoken in Britain after the Conquest. However, a collection of several hundred unordered slips of paper, some of which were stored in Guernsey and others located in Wales, reveal that Collas also had a well-developed academic interest in the Norman spoken in the Channel Islands, probably stemming from his own family background in Guernsey. In this Glossary, Professor Mari Jones has reunited the collection and, by ordering, transcribing and editing the slips, she has made Collas’s work accessible to a broad readership for the first time, providing a record of Guernésiais, Jèrriais and Sercquiais terms that will be an invaluable resource for scholars and students alike.

Pages: 256
Hardback with dust cover
ISBN: 978-1-9993415-8-9 

About the Author

Mari C. Jones is Professor of French Linguistics and Language Change at the University of Cambridge, Fellow in Modern and Medieval Languages at Peterhouse and Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales. Her research focuses on French linguistics, Romance dialectology, language contact and change, language obsolescence and language revitalisation. She has published extensively on the Norman language in the Channel Islands, including the monographs Variation and Change in Mainland and Insular Norman (Brill, 2015), The Guernsey Norman French Translations of Thomas Martin (Peeters, 2008) and Jersey Norman French (Blackwell, 2001). Her commitment and support for the revitalisation of Guernésiais, Jèrriais and Sercquiais have been steadfast and sustained.

What People are saying about the book:

“If you have an appetite to learn and understand more of the history and culture of the Channel Islands in order better to appreciate the value of our heritage, this work will be an important addition to your bookshelves … the islands owe an enormous debt of gratitude to [Professor Jones] for compiling and editing my late uncle’s work and creating a source of reference material that will endure for all time and for all people.”

Sir Richard Collas, Bailiff of Guernsey (2012-2020)

“Without Professor Jones’s meticulous and painstaking work, J.P. Collas’s material would probably have remained inaccessible and largely forgotten. The Glossary she has produced will be of enormous importance to scholars and students of Norman. The wealth of vocabulary that it makes available will also assist greatly in the ongoing endeavour to revitalise our precious indigenous Channel Island languages”

Ben Spink, Head of Jèrriais Teaching Service

Frequently-Asked Questions

Q. What is a Glossary, and how does it differ from a Dictionary?

A. A Glossary is a word list, rather than a comprehensive list of all the words in a language. What is unique about Collas’s glossary is that for each English word it lists the equivalent word in one or more of Guérnesiais, Jèrriais, Sercquiais and Auregnais.

Collas also included quotations that illustrate how the word is used and phonetics to show how the word is pronounced.

See right for a sample from the letter B.

An extract from the letter B (Part I).

Q. There are already dictionaries of Guérnesiais and Jèrriais – why do we need another one?

A. The Glossary complements existing Dictionaries of Guérnesiais and Jèrriais, but is also the only comparative study of the vocabulary of the Norman language in the Channel Islands.

Q. When will the book be launched?

A. When the crowdfunding campaign reaches its target, we will announce the launch date for the book. We are hoping that this will be in Spring 2022.

Q. How can I become a Subscriber?

A. You can either

  • click the link above and pay by credit card or Paypal.
  • if you would prefer to pay by cheque, then please download and complete this flyer.

Q. How can I become a Patron or Sponsor?

A. If you would like to make a more significant contribution to this project and appear as Patron or Sponsor in the Tabula Gratulatoria, then please contact us for details.

Q. What if the fundraising campaign doesn’t reach its target?

A. In the event that the campaign does not reach its fundraising target, all payments will be refunded.