Language of Corsica
All Corsicans can speak French, as this is the official language of Corsica. Many Corsicans also speak Corsican (Corsu) that is quite similar to Italian, while just a few of them can speak or at least understand English or German.
If you don't speak French at all, it may be rather difficult to make yourself understood in Corsica. Try to learn at least few French phrases before your journey and don't be afraid to use them when talking to Corsicans -- they'll appreciate your effort. On the other hand, trying to speak Corsican is not recommended to foreigners, because Corsicans value their language as a national treasure. If you speak Italian or even Spanish, many Corsicans will understand.
Understanding maps and local names
All towns and villages have both French and Corsican names, as well as major mountains, rivers, lakes, mountain passes etc., but many local names are in Corsican only. Most maps are available in French, but they still mix French with Corsican, sometimes in rather bizarre way. Some places are written there either in French only (e.g. Col de la Croix) or in Corsican only (Bocca a Croce), but other ones makes a strange mixture of the two languages (e.g. Col de Battaglia instead of Bocca di Battaglia).
The two tables below should help you understand such French-Corsican maps better.
Common geographical objects
|auberge de jeunesse||youth hostel|
|commune||district, commune, borough|
|défilé||gorge, defile, narrow pass|
|gite d'etape||hostel, dormitory for hikers|
|golfe||gulf, smaller bay|
|mont||monte (pl. monti)||mount|
|place||square, town square|
|tour||torre, (pl. torri)||tower|
French and Corsican names of major places
Useful resources for the languages spoken in Corsica
Last modified on Sun, 2013-04-28 19:30