Breton language

Celtic language spoken in France

Breton (Brezhoneg, in Breton) is a Celtic language spoken in Brittany, in the north-west of France. Breton is closely related to the Cornish language of Cornwall spoken in south-west Great Britain. It is less closely related to Welsh, and the Goidelic languages of Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Man. The Breton language has about 240,000 speakers,[2]111 but this number is falling very quickly due to the French government's policy of using French. As such, Breton is considered to be an endangered language.

Native toFrance
Native speakers
206,000 (2007)[1]
Latin script
Language codes
ISO 639-1br
ISO 639-2bre
ISO 639-3Variously:
bre – Modern Breton
xbm – Middle Breton
obt – Old Breton
xbm Middle Breton
 obt Old Breton
Linguasphere50-ABB-b (varieties: 50-ABB-ba to -be)
Road sign in two languages (in Kemper/Quimper)


  1. Fañch Broudic, 2009. Parler breton au XXIe siècle – Le nouveau sondage de TMO-Régions. (including data from 2007: 172,000 speakers in Lower Brittany; slightly under 200,000 in whole Brittany; 206,000 including students in bilingual education)
  2. O'Reilly, Camille (2001). Language, Ethnicity and the State: Minority languages in the European Union, Volume 1. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 033392925X. Retrieved 31 March 2011.