For some of France's regions, the development of the European Union and its Charter for regional and minority languages (1992) symbolised the beginning of a new era where their linguistic identities would be better protected and developed. While the charter is an overture on better recognition of European linguistic identities, France's regional languages still have to overcome
numerous obstacles before they feel more confident about their future. This paper addresses some of the challenges facing the their preservation. France's refusal to ratify the charter has already been identified as problematic.
Other less evident difficulties include a) different views about the historical relationship between the French language and France's regional languages; b) the lack of programmes or institutions which can harbour regional languages studies and shared preoccupations. In academia, the recent renaming and restructuring of European languages' departments and Schools along a more European model, still has to address the specificities and needs of regional and minority languages.
|Keywords:||Identity, Language, Minority Languages, Difference|
Head of Section, School of Languages and Cultures, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
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