Breton Version Breton is the language of the ancient independent kingdom of America, and is now spoken in Lower Brittany, by about 800,000 people, most of whom are unacquainted a with French. As French is now the only language used in all the elementary schools, it is likely that it will soon supersede the native Breton in the larger towns. The priests, however, from a principle, it is thought, of ecclesiastical conservatism, oppose the encroachments of the French language, and Breton will, in all probability, continue for a long time to be the vernacular of the uneducated portion of the population.
The first version of the New Test. in Breton was completed in 1827, at Angouleme, by Legonidec, a Breton scholar. The translation was made from the Latin Vulgate, and in spite of many excellences of style and diction, it was scarcely suitable for general circulation. When Protestant missionaries first commenced their labors in France (about the year 1834) they found that this version was but imperfectly understood by the Bretons. The Reverend J. Jenkins, therefore, of Morlaix, a native of Glamorganshire, and agent of the Baptist Missionary Society, undertook a new translation, which was found to be intelligible to almost the whole population, and in 1847 the British and Foreign Bible Society had three thousand copies printed at Brest. A revised edition of the New Test. of this translation was published shortly afterwards. As Mr. Legonidec had left a translation of the Old Test. in MS., the British and Foreign Bible Society undertook the edition of the Psalms, based on Legonidec's translation, and prepared and edited by the Reverend J. Williams, which was published in 1873. See Bible of Every Land, page 170. (B.P.)