The Counts of Toulouse and the Cross of Toulouse: Occitan: Relationship with French.
The name Languedoc comes from the old term langue d'oc. The
reference is to the language that used the word oc,
a derivative of the Latin hoc to mean "yes", in contrast
to the old French language, which used the word oïl
to mean "yes". (This language the Langue d'oil developed
into modern French, and the word oïl transmuted
The langue d'oc has contributed about 500 words to modern
French. These include common words like 'bague'
(ring), 'cadeau', (gift), and 'velours' (velvet).
People in Occitan speaking areas often speak French with a distinctive accent.
This can be so strong as to make it difficult for Parisians and other foreigners to understand what is being said.
- letters are enunciated more clearly than by French people in the North. For example "Parce que" is clearly heard as two two words in the Midi.
- there is a marked neutral vowel sound at the end of words where the vowel sound is not heard in the North.
- the nasal sound at the end of French words sounds almost like the ng sound in English. For example "temps" sounds like tang and "bien" sounds like biang.
- The "a" sound as in the word France is sounded as in the north of England (the traditional open sound found in many Indo-European languages) rather than the "aa" sound heard in Northern France and Southern England.
Back to last page
Next Page: Occitan and Provencal