Modern Provençal: Part 3

Small Talk

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This is part three in a series on the modern Provençal language. See part one to start at the beginning.

So far, we've been introduced to the basics of the language and the conjugation of verbs in present tense. The next few articles will be shorter than the first two and focus on expanding on those basics. In this article we will introduce a few words and phrases for small talk and other pleasantries.

Black-and-white drawing of a trobador playing a lute.
Trobador by Hubert von Herkomer, 1924 Cleveland Museum of Art.

Table of Contents

  1. First article in the series
  2. Previous article in the series
  3. Next article in the series
  4. All articles in the series
  5. Disclaimer
  6. Small Talk
    1. Greetings
    2. Responses
    3. Farewells


I am not a native speaker, nor any kind of authority on Provence or the Provençal language. I'm compiling these notes from limited and fragmented resources as a way to teach myself, and while I've made every effort to be as accurate and in-depth as possible, mistakes are bound to happen.

I try to verify and weigh information against multiple sources, but something may ultimately come down to a difference between dialects or individual speakers. If you have any comments or corrections, please contact me, including your source(s) and/or credentials.

For now, consider this a work-in-progress.

Small talk


Bonjorn is a common greeting during the day. In the evening and at night, change to bòn vèspre. If you're being informal or familiar, you can use adieu at any time.

Good morning
Hello (formal)
Bòn vèspre
Good evening
Hello (formal)
Hi (informal)

When greeting someone formally, it's customary to say sénher ("Mr." or "Sir") for a man or a boy, dòna ("Ms." or "Ma'am") for a woman, and Madamisèla ("Miss") for a girl, followed by their last name or their title if either is known.

A definite article (lo, la, or lei) is required before the honorific when refering to (but not addressing) someone by their last name or title.

Bonjorn, sénher.
Hello, sir.
Bonjorn, dòna.
Good morning, ma'am.
Bonjorn, sénher Vidal.
Greetings, Mr. Vidal.
Bòn vèspre, dòna Dumont.
Good evening, Ms. Dumont.
Bonjorn, Madamisèla Sánchez.
Good morning, Miss Sánchez.
Bonjorn, sénhers Beaufort.
Greetings, Messrs. Beaufort.
Bonjorn, dònas.
Hello, ladies.
Bonjorn, dòna Presidenta.
Greetings, Ms. President.
La dòna Larue ditz bonjorn.
Ms. Larue says hello.
Lei dònas Matieu son sòrres.
The Matthews are sisters.
Lo sénher director es ocupat.
The director is busy.
Dònas e sénhers!
Ladies and Gentlemen!

There are also two levels of formality when asking how someone is.

Coma siatz?
Coma anatz?
How are you? (formal)
Coma vai?
Coma anam?
How are you? (informal)

Welcoming someone depends on their gender:

Welcome (said in general)
Welcome (said to a woman or a girl)
Welcome (said to an all-male or mixed group)
Welcome (said to an all-female group)


We've seen how to say yes and no, but there's another way to say yes:

Òc e non
Yes and no

As with welcoming someone, saying 'pleased to meet you' depends on the gender:

Pleased to meet you (said in general)
Pleased to meet you (said to a woman or a girl)
Pleased to meet you (said to an all-male or mixed group)
Pleased to meet you (said to an all-female group)

To respond to 'how are you doing?' you might say:

Vai plan
I'm doing well
Pòu anar
I'm doing okay

Here are a few more responses to spice up your conversations:

Thank you
Thank you very much
De segur
De tot segur
Plan segur
Of course
Mai o mens
Pauc o pron
More or less


For when it's time to say farewell:

Bòna nuech
Good night
Goodbye (informal)
Goodbye (formal)
A reveire
A la revista
See you again
A lèu
A ben lèu
See you soon