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EU Urban Mobility Observatory
News article2 August 2023Marseille

Marseille to make public transport announcements in local dialect

Marseille, one of the French cities that will be hosting the 2023 Rugby World Cup, and following in the footsteps of Toulouse, will make all public transport announcements in the local Provencal dialect from September this year, as well as in standard French.

The idea of translating public announcements into the regional dialect started several years ago with Jean-Michel Turc, a teacher and a local Marseille district councillor, and was intended to add more ‘soul and colour’ to the city. The announcements in the local dialect will initially apply to the metro – all 18 metro stations on the M1 line and the 13 stations on the M2 line – but the plan is to extend this initiative to the local tram network as well.

Some believe that France’s regional identities have been suppressed over the last 100 years to promote a French identity. For instance, under French law, regional languages cannot be taught in school and have no official state protection. However, from the Middle Ages, in Southern France or the region known as Occitanie, the main language was Occitan, which briefly resurged in the 19th century under the Felibrige movement, led by the author Frederic Mistral.

First published by The



Publication date
2 August 2023
Policy and research