Best books to learn Monaco language

Discover a selection of books offered by the Monaco Media Library, where the Monaco Language Contest has just ended.

We know it well: the Monaco language is above all an oral language. It wasn’t until the 1920s that the National Commission for the Traditions of Monaco and the poet Louis Notari had the idea of ​​codifying the language with grammar, spelling, and inflection. But beyond traditional dictionaries and learning guides, how can you learn the Monaco language and discover its expressions and tones?

Céline Sabine, Associate Curator at the Monaco Media Library, brings us some work today for us to learn while having fun.

See also: video. Learn the basics of the Monaco language in three minutes

1. The Legend of Saint Divota

  • The legend of Saint Divota : the legend of saint divot, Louis Notary – Editions de Rocher, 1927.

And of course it all started with this unique work. In 1927, Louis Notary undertakes to produce a script entirely written in the Monaco language and this is what he does with it The legend of Saint Divota : The legend of St. Divot. A very long poem, prepared by Prince Albert II, and, above all, available in French. Thus this bilingual version makes it possible to check the interpretation.

But for Celine Sabine, the poem’s true strength lies elsewhere: ” Louis Notari uses the celebration of Saint Devout, the patron saint of Monaco and the Grimaldi family, to evoke the history, daily life, and customs of the local traditional community. It is a wealth of information. From this book the Monaco language can be fixed. (…) It allows you to learn more about the community of a particular period that you see as an important figure. »

Read also: It’s up to you! Your opinions and memories of the Monaco language

2. I Diti: Les Dits de Mar

  • I Diti: Les Dits de MarMarc Marius Curti – 1991

Let’s take a look at Marc Marius Curti. The Monaco businessman regularly published poetic, philosophical, humorous or even satirical texts in the regional press in the 1930s. After his death, his nephew, in the 90s, wanted to bring them together in a group.

« Some were published in newspapers, but others remained in the family drawerAs Celine Sabine says. There are very entertaining texts, again in a bilingual version. (…) It is multi-thematic, and here, too, the collection allows you to see written works by a local from the 30s. »

Read also: Five literary nuggets to deal with the environment calmly and beneficially

3. “Tintin” in Monaco

Tintin Monaco
  • Iori d’A CastafioreAnd the unicorn secret and others Rakamo’s treasure, RussiaOriginal Works of Hergé translated by Eliane Mollo and Dominique Salvo-Sillario – 2011 and 2012, Casterman Editions

How do you talk about business in Monaco without touching on the famous reporter’s powder-puff adaptations? Castafiori’s jewels, the unicorn’s secret and others Rackham’s Red Treasure had become Iori d’A Castafiore, U Secreto d’A Licorna and others Rakamo Russian Treasure.

This time, there is no bilingual version, but a small glossary of terms: ” It’s a local pride, which has the advantage of being fun, multi-generational and meant for a family audience. Expressions adapted to context and principality: Captain Haddock is Captain Stocafi for example. (…) Tintin is retained but is pronounced Tine-Tine. »

Tintin language of Monaco

As for Dupont and Dupond, whose silencing is based on the homonym of the two drinking police officers, for a different spelling, here, the problem is circumvented and the translation modified: ” The transcription in Monegasque should have been Dupont and Dupond, but that wouldn’t make sense because we pronounce all the letters. (…) In Monaco-Ville, we are familiar with these vaulted lanes that connect parallel streets. They are called ‘Ponte’, if viewed from above, and ‘Futa’, if viewed from below. So there was a great job and we renamed them ‘Duponte’ and ‘Davouta’. »

Printed in a limited edition, these three albums can be borrowed, of course, from the media library.

Read also: The eight best comedy films dedicated to the emirate

4. A collection of traditional Monaco songs

Monaco traditional songs group
  • A collection of traditional Monaco songsItalo Pazzoli, Lucia Capa, Herve Laurent, Alain Bernard, Dominica Mussolino and Olivia Celeste – 2007, Epi Editions

To complete the selection an original idea: learning through songs. Because nothing beats speech for picking up sounds and pronunciation. For this reason, with the help of the Soroptimist Club of Monaco, a collection of songs was created.

There is, of course, the national anthem of Monaco, with its translation, but there is also a whole host of traditional or religious songs, well illustrated. Some scores have been preserved!

Monaco songs collection

« In Echo, I remind you that a few years ago, the Philharmonic Orchestra accompanied the children’s choir at Académie Rainier III to record on CD Aiço D’Aiçì, which can also be borrowed from the media library Celine adds.

So all these books can be borrowed from the media library. Feel free, at the same time, to refer to the MC collection full of books that will immerse you in the history and heritage of Monaco!

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