L' Sâint Évàngile Siévant Sâint Makyu 1863

Langue: Jèrriais

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Guernésiais is the form of Norman French spoken on Guernsey in the Channel Islands. It is related to Jèrriais spoken on Jersey. Guernésiais is recognised as a regional language by the British and Irish governments within the framework of the British–Irish Council. Since 2013 there has been a Guernsey Language Commission operated by the Guernsey government to preserve their linguistic culture.

L' Sâint Évàngile Siévànt Sâint Makyu
The Gospel of Matthew in Guernsey French was translated by the poet George Métivier (1790–1881). He had previously published the Rimes Guernesiaises in 1831 under the name Un Câtelain. The Gospel was adapted into Guernésiais from the 1667 French version which had been translated by Louis-Isaac Lemaistre de Sacy (1613-1684). The Guernésiais Gospel was entitled L' Sâint Évàngile Siévànt Sâint Makyu or Le Saint Évangile selon St. Matthieu in standard French.

The Gospel was commissioned by the philologist Louis Lucien Bonaparte (1813-1891), who was nephew of Napoléon Bonaparte. He moved to London in the early 1850s, setting up home at 6-8 Norfolk Terrace, Bayswater, and became an active member of the Philological Society. He was fluent in Italian, French, Spanish, English and Basque. Bonaparte's particular interest was in minority languages. He would pay for the pruinting of many translations of portions of the Bible that he commissioned in Scots Gaelic, Guernsey French and other languages and dialects. Louis Lucien Bonaparte visited Métivier on Guernsey in 1862 when he commissioned the Gospel from him. Originally 250 copies were published by Strangeways and Walden of 28 Castle Street in London in 1863. This included 3 pages of Observations on the pronunciation of Norman Guernésiais and its orthography written by Louis Lucien Bonaparte. In the original print each verse is set on a new line, and the first word of each chapter was in capital letters.

This Gospel of Matthew was digitised for the British and Foreign Bible Society (BFBS) from an original copy in their archives. It was digitised with the help of MissionAssist in September 2016. It is part of an ongoing project to digitise biblical texts in the languages of the British Isles.

digitised text © British and Foreign Bible Society 2016

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© British and Foreign Bible Society 2016