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Guernsey photo project to capture those who speak Guernésiais

Credit: ITV Channel TV

A photo project is taking place in Guernsey to capture islanders who are native in Guernésiais.

It is a partnership between local photographer Aaron Yeandle and the Guernsey Language Commission.

The project will be known as the Last Native Speakers and it aims to create a social history record of Guernésiais.

Those defined as 'native' speakers are people who spoke Guernésiais before they went to school, where they learned English.

A member of Guernsey's Language Commission has said it is important to record the island's ancient language with its long and distinctive history.

Today, the number of native speakers in Guernsey is in decline. This might change in the future, but we feel it's important to capture this current situation as a chapter in the story of Guernésiais.

– Jo Dowding, the Guernsey Language Commission

As well as being a photographer, Aaron Yeandle is a teacher of the discipline and has taught photography across the island and in schools and universities across the UK.

Those who want to take part in the photographs are also being invited to record a short piece of audio in Guernésiais.

The photographs and audio will be kept in the Guernsey Museums archive with the intention to display them as an exhibition in the future.

There are said to currently be about 100 native speakers of Guernésiais.

The project team is calling for anyone who wants to get involved to contact the Language Commission.