Culture Jersey

L’Office du Jèrriais



L’Office du Jèrriais is charged with the responsibility and challenge of saving Jersey’s native language Jèrriais by raising awareness of the language, teaching it to adults and children around the island and creating an archive that will preserve its legacy.

The Jèrriais Plan, endorsed by the States of Jersey Council of Ministers in June 2017, states the principal aim of investing in the language is to ‘maintain Jèrriais as a spoken language by creating competent speakers of all ages’. To achieve this aim four new teachers have been appointed to learn and teach Jèrriais, as well as raise the public profile of the language, assist in its preservation and create opportunities for its use.

The new teaching team is currently developing a teaching programme, due to be rolled out across Jersey’s schools from September 2018. To support this programme the team has:

  • Created new schemes of work and teaching resources for primary, secondary and adult teaching.

  • Developed a new Learn Jèrriais website to host learning resources for students as well as the general public.

  • Joined the committee for the Jèrriais section of the Jersey Eisteddfod and introduced new classes for singing and dramatic performance.

  • Teamed up with Walker Books to publish a Jèrriais translation of ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury to distribute to Jersey schoolchildren.

  • Collaborated with l’Office du Jèrriais to create a new brand and logo for the language.

  • Been attending and participating in local heritage events to raise the profile of Jèrriais.

  • Been exploring how to make Jèrriais language learning more accessible to those in the local community with a view to expanding the current offer.

  • Been working with heritage and community organisations to consider how the teaching team can support their efforts.

For more information about Jèrriais lessons for children and adults visit our website or contact l’Office on the telephone number or email address below. We also meet every Thursday morning from 10.30am until 11.30am at Costa café in Bath Street for coffee and conversation, as well as every Tuesday evening from 5.30pm until 6.30pm at the Adelphi pub in the Parade for a chat over a pint. All levels of Jèrriais speaker (and listener) welcome.

L’Office du Jèrriais offers a free translation service. Get in touch for help with house and baby names, as well as slogans for shops and businesses. You might like to consider the use of Jèrriais on your signs, posters, advertisements, notices and websites.

Contact l’Office for translations of longer texts by prior arrangement and to access an archive of Jèrriais texts, which are available by request for research purposes. The Jèrriais language officer is also happy to share information about the history of the language and how it reflects our cultural heritage.

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