Native toFrance
RegionCharente, Charente-Maritime, Gironde
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Linguistic area of Saintongeais the Charentes and the Northern part of Gironde

Saintongeais (séntunjhaes) is a dialect of Poitevin–Saintongeais[2][3] spoken halfway down the western coast of France in the former provinces of Saintonge, Aunis and Angoumois, all of which have been incorporated into the current departments of Charente and Charente-Maritime as well as in parts of the neighbouring department of Gironde and a town[which?] in Dordogne. Although many of the same words are used in both Charente departments, they differ in what they mean or in how they are pronounced.

Saintongeais which is a langue d'oïl, and Gascon which is a langue d'oc variety have significantly influenced the Acadian and Cajun dialects of French spoken in Canada and the United States respectively.[4]

Geographic distribution

Its area covers the entire department of Charente-Maritime (except the very north), the west and centre of the department of Charente, the northern department of Gironde with its Pays Gabaye and its enclaves around Saintonge, Monségur. Today, Saintongeais is no longer widely spoken except in the countryside. It is still used in shows, magazines, and radio. Some words from Saintongeais are still used in the region. Words like since (floorcloth) are so widespread that they are considered by some to be French.

Cultural distribution

Along with French, Saintongeais is used in the magazine Xaintonge, which is published twice a year. The great promoters of spoken Charentais at the beginning of the twentieth century were "le Barde Saintongeais" Goulebenéze [fr], succeeded by Odette Comandon [fr], author of comedy and folk tales, patois actress and storyteller. Country doctor Athanase Jean also wrote several plays in the dialect and helped promote the Saintonge culture.


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian (2022-05-24). "Oil". Glottolog. Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. Archived from the original on 2022-10-08. Retrieved 2022-10-07.
  2. ^ "Langues régionales". Ministère de la Culture (in French). Archived from the original on 2020-02-10. Retrieved 2020-01-01.
  3. ^ "Poitevin-saintongeais (dialecte)". Retrieved 2021-11-21.
  4. ^ [1] In the 20th century, almost half of the Acadian population has Poitevin and Saintongean roots. Acadian French has, despite everything, retained a great originality in relation to Quebecois precisely because of its Poitevine and Saintongean origins. At the phonetic level, the number of preserved dialect features is greater than that of Quebec, especially in the communities of Old Acadia, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, and that in particular [jh] Saintongeais is maintained there to the present day.

Media related to Poitevin-saintongeais language at Wikimedia Commons