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The Counts of Toulouse and the Cross of Toulouse:  Occitan:  the Language Today: Learning Occitan

The first masterpieces of the European literature come from the troubadours. Their language is necessary for the reading of these texts and is needed to penetrate the rich culture of the troubadourss - a world which would otherwise be as remote to us as it is already to Holywood film makers. The earliest written manuscript is a fragment of the Boeci, thought to have been written around the year 1000. Another fragment, the Life of Saint Fides, was copied at about that time. Then came William IX, Duke of Aquitain and Count of Poitiers, the first troubadour (who lived around 1071-1127). Although only about a dozen of his works survive, Provenšal literature becomes common starting from him.

Because of its roots, Occitan can be an excellent bridge to those who want to learn Spanish, Catalan, Italian, French, Portuguese, or Latin.

Some claim that it is easier to shade one's thoughts in Occitan than in any other European language: Occitan, it is claimed, has more than 160,000 words (French: about 40,000).

For more about learning Occitan, visit http://perso.wanadoo.fr/babel-site/occitan.html#oclang

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