Although estimates of the number of Breton-speakers range from 400,000 to 800,000, you’re unlikely to encounter it spoken as a first, day-to-day language. Learning Breton is not really a viable prospect for visitors without a grounding in Welsh, Gaelic or some other Celtic tongue. However, as you travel through the province, it’s interesting to note the roots of Breton place names, many of which have a simple meaning in the language. Below are some of the most common:

aber estuary lann heath
argoat land lech flat stone
armor sea mario dead
avel wind men stone
bihan little menez (rounded) mountain
bran hill menhir long stone
braz big meur big
coat forest nevez new
cromlech stone circle parc field
dol table penn end, head
dolmen stone table plou parish
du black pors port, farmyard
enez island roc’h ridge
goaz stream ster river
gwenn white stivel fountain, spring
hir long traez henn beach
ker village or house trou valley
kozh old ty house
lan holy place wrach witch

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

France features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The best places to go in spring

The best places to go in spring

Springtime is beautiful, with its big blue skies and flowers in bloom, so there may be no better time to travel. If you're thinking about getting away, here are…

14 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
20 fantastically romantic places

20 fantastically romantic places

Whether you're looking for a beautiful beach to share a sundowner on, or you want to get lost in each other amongst the bustle of a city, these are the best pl…

09 Feb 2017 • Tim Chester camera_alt Gallery
26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

From ancient temples to hyper-modern skyscrapers, these are just a few of the world's most incredible architectural wonders. Whether you're looking to wander l…

01 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month