November 27th, 2009


Occitan dialects in Provence

Setting: 1822, the countryside around l'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France. Thus, I'm looking specifically for Provençal dialect, but I fear a lot of what is on the web may be Lengadocian.

Research: Omniglot has the phrases I need, but they don't note the dialect/if there's a strong dialectal difference. I'm less concerned with the spelling, actually, as the orthography varies between Classical and what Mistral did for the Provençal dialect, as long as I can get Provençal rather than Lengadocian. As it is, at this period, it may well be a more localised patois, but I'd like to have something.

The story is this: 15 year old son of wealthy landowner has been at boarding school in Avignon, gets to come home to the village for Easter, has sex with slightly older farm girl after mass. His father is proud. At this period, if the farm girl is not the one in her family constantly going into town for market, then she is unlikely to speak any French, correct? Not that one needs much dialogue to have sex, but I'm looking for a very few basics so that my boy can at least try to be polite to her by coming out with a few phrases in her language.

The needed phrases:
Hello/Good day (also, pronunciation may well have changed significantly, but in modern Occitan in this general area, does "bonjorn" sound different enough from "bonjour" to make it worth using as a greeting or is it the same as "bonjour" with a heavy accent? If the latter is the case, is there a reasonable alternative, or do I just deal with "this not where my language issue comes in"? Formal preferred, as this would be the girl addressing the boy.)
How are you? (formal and informal forms of address)
I love you. (unless "S'il vous plaît, mademoiselle, je voudrais vous baiser" is not going to get wholly lost in translation to Occitan.)
Goodbye (formal and informal if there are differences - I want the boy to be slightly confused as to his own use of phrases.)

So I'm really looking for two things: confirmation that I'm right that there is a linguistic issue to accompany the class issue, and clarification as to if Omniglot's phrases are useful to me.

Crossposting to multilingual.