If France does not change its attitude towards Bretagne and the Breton language, there will be just a few tens of thousands of Breton speakers, Emmanuel de Merlus, a representative of the nongovernmental organization Unis dans la Diversité Linguistique / Unanet e Liesseurted ar Yezhù said speaking at the Warsaw Human Dimension Conference 2023, according to Report.
"It is the last Celtic language spoken in entire Europe. In the early 20th century more than a million people spoke this language. Today most of them are more than 75 years old. If France doesn't change its conduct towards the Bretons, there will be just a few tens of thousands of Breton speakers. UNESCO has specified the Breton language among several endangered languages," he said.
He said that according to the agreement of March 15, 2022, the French government undertook to increase the number of students learning the Breton language from 19,000 to 30,000 in 2027 and to mobilize resources to train bilingual teachers. However, very few new schools in the Breton language were opened by the start of the academic year in September 2022 and last month.
The ministry of education has not yet announced a plan of training teachers, while it is necessary to train 400 teachers to achieve the aims set out in the agreement.
"France has still not signed the Council of Europe Framework convention for the protection of national minorities. France has still not ratified the Council of Europe's Charter for regional minority languages," Le Merlus said.