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  • Breton, along with Cornish and Welsh is a member of the Brythonic languages, a subgroup of the Insular subgroup of the Celtic branch of the Indo-European language family.

  • Spoken in Brittany in northwestern France (all of Finistère and the western part of Côtes-d'Armor and Morbihan).

  • Breton speakers are also found in the cities of Rennes and Nantes, and in Paris.

  • Various polls indicate that about 450,000 people understand Breton, 300,000 of whom also speak the language. (

  • Breton is closely related to Welsh, Cornish and, more distantly, to Irish.

  • After the 17th century, Breton occurs in four major dialects: those of Léon, Tréguier,Cornouaille, and Vannes.

  • The number of speakers is declining.

  • Breton is not an official language of France, although there is a strong nationalistic movement demanding recognition, a place in the schools, media, and public life.
  • The dialects of Breton identified by the Ethnologue are Leonais, Tregorrois, Vannetais, and Cornouaillais.
  • Although most Bretons no longer speak Breton, an effort has been underway for several years to begin teaching the language in schools to keep it alive.
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