Sark children help revive island's traditional language

Children in Sark have been performing traditional folk songs in the island’s native language.

Pupils at Sark School have been singing in Sark French, also known locally as patois or Sercquiais, as part of a project by a PhD student.

It is believed it is the first public performance of music in the language since the 1970s.

Sercquiais has been spoken on the island since the 1500s. Despite Sark being in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, the language actually developed from Jèrriais when the island was colonised by families from St Ouen in the 16th century.

PhD student Martin Neudörfl has been on the island to document the historic language by speaking to the four islanders who still speak it.

Martin Neudörfl is documenting the language of the island for a postgraduate thesis. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Esther Peree was brought up with Sark French as a first language. She says it is important to keep the heritage of the island alive.

Esther Perree is one of the four Sercquiais speakers on Sark. Credit: ITV Channel TV