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Gallo is a regional language of France. Gallo is a Romance language, one of the o√Įl languages. It is spoken in Brittany and the west of France along the border with Normandy.

Gallo was originally spoken in the March of Neustria which now corresponds to the border lands of Brittany and Normandy and its former heart in Le Mansmarker, Maine. As an O√Įl language it forms part of a dialect continuum which includes Norman, Picard and Poitevin among others. One of the features that distinguishes it from Norman is the absence of Norse influence. There is some limited intercomprehension with adjacent varieties of Norman language along the linguistic frontier and also with Dg√®rn√©siais and J√®rriais. However as the dialect continuum shades towards Mayennaismarker there is less of a clear isogloss. The clearest isogloss is that distinguishing Gallo from Breton, the Celtic language which is traditionally spoken in the Western territory of Brittany.

In the west, the vocabulary of Gallo has been influenced by contact with Breton, but remains overwhelmingly Latinate. The influence of Breton decreases eastwards across Gallo-speaking territory.

, Gallo's western extent stretches from Plouha (Pl√≥ha), in C√ītes-d'Armormarker, south of Paimpol (Paimpol), passing through Ch√Ętelaudren (Ch√Ęti√©), Corlay (Corla√®), Loud√©ac (Loudia), Pontivy (Pontivy), Locmin√© (Lominoec), Vannes (Vannes) and ending in the south in the Rhuys peninsula, in Morbihanmarker.


One of the metro stations of the Breton capital, Rennesmarker, has bilingual signage in French and Gallo, but generally the Gallo language is not as visibly high-profile as the Breton language, even in its traditional heartland of the Pays Gallo which includes the two historical capitals of Rennesmarker (Gallo Resnn, Breton Roazhon) and Nantesmarker (Gallo Nauntt, Breton Naoned).

Different dialects of Gallo are distinguished, although there is a movement for standardisation on the model of the dialect of Upper Brittany.

Although a written literary tradition exists, Gallo is more noted for extemporised story-telling and theatrical presentations. Given Brittany's rich musical heritage, it is also the case that some contemporary performers produce a range of music sung in Gallo (See Music of Brittany).


English Gallo French
bee avètt abeille
chair chaérr chaise
cheese fórmaij fromage
exit desort sortie
to fall cheir tomber (archaic: choir)
goat biq chèvre (slang: bique)
house ostèu maison (archaic: hostel)
lip lip lèvre
mouth góll bouche ('Jaw': gueule)
number limerot numéro
pear peirr poire
school escoll école
squirrel chat-de-boéz (wood cat) écureuil
star esteill étoile
timetable orier horaire
to smoke betunae fumer (archaic: pétuner)
today anoet aujourd'hui (archaic: hui)
to whistle sublae siffler


  • Of Pipers and Wrens (1997). Produced and directed by Gei Zantzinger, in collaboration with Dastum. Lois V. Kuter, ethnomusicological consultant. Devault, Pennsylvania: Constant Spring Productions.

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