I have finally decided what introductory Breton course to take this summer. I had to find an introductory Breton program that either immediately preceded or followed my Romansch program in Switzerland. I will be enrolled in the fifth level of Romansch in Laax, Switzerland from 12-25 July and I hoped that there would be a Breton course to my liking that fell either before or after these dates.
My choices, although limited by this timeframe, were nonetheless plentiful. I found several introductory-level courses, and spent a great deal of time corresponding with the organizers to learn more about the programs, the teaching methods and nearby amenities.
I discovered some teaching methods were definitely not to my way of learning. One of the courses was offered in the Breton capital, Rennes. Rennes, a city of over two hundred thousand, is far from the Breton-speaking region of Brittany. I want to totally immerse myself in a language when I study it, so any course in Rennes was out. There were two programs left that interested me, one which preceded the Romansch course and one which followed it. I debated why I should or shouldn’t take each of these courses, and gave reasons favouring a sudden jump from Romansch to Breton (or Breton to Romansch).
In the end I decided to take a course offered by Studi ha Dudi in the village of Plésidy. Plésidy is a town of less than seven hundred, in the Côtes-d’Armor department of Brittany. The Breton name for this town is Plijidi and its department is known as Aodoù-an-Arvor. One of the factors making me choose Plésidy is that they give the students the “Laax treatment”, in other words, accommodation and all meals are provided on site. I will have to bring my own bedding, though.
The Studi ha Dudi Association was founded in 1994 to promote the Breton language and to safeguard it and its culture. Studi ha Dudi offers courses of various durations throughout the entire year.
I am going to be laden with books galore during this trip, and there is no question that I will go nuts splurging on Breton books and books about the Breton language and culture. I will have to pack very sparingly, as a large chunk of the books I will have with me will be books I have to bring with me from home.
After the Breton course I will spend a week touring Breton Brittany, using the language I will have just acquired. Now that I have made my decision on what course to take, I can look for flights. I will try all one-ways on www.kayak.com, going Toronto-Zürich-Paris-Toronto or perhaps take the train from Zürich to Paris to however close I can get to Plésidy. My week after the Breton course will be the most fun, as I visit off-the-map Breton villages and speak to the natives…in Breton!