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May 13 2011

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Planning my next escape…

I will be back in Paris in September, and then on to Toulouse where I will be spending a few months working with a research team at one of the universities there, so thought I would ask guest blogger/photographer Macondo to share some of his insights into Toulouse…

Carriera Tripiera is Occitan for rue Tripière, in the city of Toulouse, which has maintained its Occitan heritage and language by having street signs and all signs in its Metro system in the two languages, and reflects the very individualistic nature of France’s fourth largest city, with its strong Spanish influence. Friends in Toulouse told me that very few people speak the language in the street, however.

An earlier photo, uploaded in 2009, from ‘The Pink City’ was taken while standing in the popular and trendy shopping street, Rue de Saint-Rome. A few metres away from that location I found the tiny street of rue Tripière, almost mid-way between the Pont Neuf and the large Capitole square. This year I took my camera into the narrow lanes which wind their way around this area.

According to Wikipedia ‘the name Occitan comes from lenga d’òc (i.e. òc language), which comes from òc, the Occitan word for yes.’ It is still understood in much of southern France, Catalonia (where it’s an official language) and even Calabria in Italy. In the mid-19th century about 40% of the French population were Occitan speakers, but that proportion has dwindled to about 6% today. One of the many descendants of Latin, it is well over 1000 years old and most closely related to Catalan among existing Romance languages.

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