Used to single out an individual member of a specified group or class.
An individual item, as contrasted with a universal quality.
adjective. special - specific - peculiar - especial - individual
noun. detail - circumstance - particularity
But Imy is right, French as it is spoken nowadays (still in Europe) is very uniform, be it in terms of pronunciation or of vocabulary. And dialects like Occitan or Ch'ti are -almost - no longer used, except for folklore.
I guess it depends on the region however. It's possible that Alsatian or Breton is more resilient, because the South attracts so many people that it's hard for local languages to survive.
France being a very central country, it was forbidden to speak other languages than French at school or to give Breton/Basque/etc names to your kids until the 60's. Entire generations ended up using French only.
My grandmother is from the North of France, and although she left it more than 40 years ago she still knows the patois, as they call it. She regularly goes back to her region but hardly finds people to speak with, even among her family.
We all use some regional expressions, but that's different.
June 21, 2012, 10:51 a.m.
The Breton community is particularly active, in Britanny and Paris.
Where are you from, Jorgis ?
Go to the "Mission Bretonne" in Paris : you will be surprised by the number of people learning and talking Breton !!!
I know that there are people who speak these languages (my grandmother for example), but they are mainly old people. I know an Italian girl who spent a semester in Bretagne and visited all the region so I asked her about Breton. She heard it only in songs or spoken by old dinosaurs during festivities, and none of the people she knew spoke it.
I agree though that there is a new trend that makes people want to learn these languages, especially Breton or Occitan. Thanks to Nolwenn Leroy, maybe.
[comes back in the evening]
June 21, 2012, 11:19 a.m.
"I know an Italian girl (...)".
Go to see by yourself. Go to the "Mission Bretonne" in Paris. Avarage age : I would say 28-32 years old.
Go to see a rugby game in Biarritz : a lot of people speak Basque there, among the players and the supporters.
As Imy said, these languages are threatened, but not dead, far from it.
Take a look at this: http://www.ouest-france.fr/region/bretagne_deta...
Breton is one of the most endangered languages in France and yet when I hear some people (not you) it seems that it is spoken by all the people living there or almost. Of course you'll always find some young people who speak it, but I'm sure you could also find people speaking Klingon.
Basque and Catalan are different I think, since they are also spoken in Spain and the Catalan/Basque identity is quite strong. I've heard many people speak Catalan in the PO and whenever I cross the border I hear it all the time.