The best book to learn Monaco

The carefully selected books are provided by Médiathèque de Monaco, who has just finished the Monégasque dialect competition.

It is a well-known fact that Monaco is essentially a spoken language. It wasn’t until the 1920s that the National Commission on Monaco Tradition and the poet Louis Notari had the idea of ​​systematizing the language through grammar, spelling and conjugation. But how can you learn Monaco, its expressions and intonations apart from traditional dictionaries and textbooks?

Today, Céline Sabine, assistant curator of the Médiathèque de Monaco (Monaco Media Library), suggests some books to make learning fun.

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1. Legenda de Santa Debota

  • Legenda de Santa Devota: The Legend of Saint Devota, Lewis Notari-Published. Éditions du Rocher, 1927.

Of course, everything started with this unique piece. In 1927, Louis Notari decided to produce a work entirely written in Monaco, and he Legenda de Santa Devota: The legend of St. Devota. This is a very long poem, prefaced by Prince Albert II and also available in French. In the bilingual version, you can check simultaneous interpretation.

But the true strength of this poem, Celine Sabine, is elsewhere. It’s a treasure trove of information. Thanks to this book, I was able to establish the Monaco language. (…) It allows the reader to learn more about the society of a particular era, as seen by important figures. “

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2. I Diti: Les Dits de Mar

  • I Diti: Les Dits de MarMarc-Marius Curti – 1991

Take a look at Marc-Marius Curti. This Monaco businessman regularly published poetic, philosophical, humorous, and even satirical texts in the local press in the 1930s. After his death, his nephew wanted to put them together in a collection in the 1990s.

“Some were in the press and some were left in the drawers of the house,” says Celine Sabine. “There are also some pretty interesting texts, also in bilingual format. (…) The subject matter is different, and in this collection you can also see works written by locals in the 1930s.”

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3. Monaco “Tan Tan” series

Tantan MonacoTantan Monaco
  • I Iori d’A Castafiore, U Secretu d’A Licorna When U Tesol de la Cam U RussuOriginal work by Hergé, translated by Eliane Mollo and Dominique Salvo-Cellario – published in 2011 and 2012. Edition Casterman.

I couldn’t talk about the work in Monaco without mentioning the adaptation of the famous reporter to Quiff. Castafiore emerald, the secret of the unicorn When Red rack ham treasure Become I Iori d’A Castafiore, U Secretu d’A Licorna When Rakamu U Rususu’s U Tesoru..

These are not bilingual versions, but they have a small glossary. “It’s a source of local pride, and the advantage is that it’s fun and transgenerational for family readers. The formula is tailored to the context and the Principality, for example. Captain Haddock is Captain Haddock. (…) Tantan retains his name, but it is pronounced teen teen. »»


As for Thomson and Thompson, the two mustache policemen have the same name but different spellings. Here, the translation has been adjusted to work around this issue.The Monaco transcription had to be Dupont and Dubon, as in the original French text, but it didn’t make sense because it pronounces all the letters in Monaco. (…) The arched walkways that connect parallel streets are well known in Monacoville. When viewed from above, it is called “Ponte” (a bridge like DuPont), and when viewed from below, it is called “Vota”. So, very cleverly, the policeman was renamed to “Duponte” and “Davota”. »»

Of course, these three limited albums can be borrowed from Médiathèque.

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4. Collection of traditional Monaco songs

  • Recueil de chansonstraditionnel les monégasques (collection of traditional Monaco songs), Italo Bazzoli, Lucia Cappa, Hervé Laurent, Alain Bernard, Domenica Musolino, Olivia Celest – 2007, published.Edition Epi

Here’s an original idea to complete your selection: Learn to sing! Nothing beats the words spoken to pick up sounds and pronunciations. Therefore, the collection of songs is Soroptimist Club Demonaco..

Not surprisingly, it includes the Hymne monégas and its translations, but also many traditional or religious songs with beautiful illustrations. Some scores are also saved!


“To reflect this, I want to remind readers a few years ago that the Philharmonic Orchestra accompanied the children’s choir of the Rainier III Academy and recorded Aiço D’Aiçì on a CD that could also be borrowed from the media library. I think. “Celine adds.

Therefore, all of these works are available at Médiathèque. At the same time, be sure to check out the MC Collection, which is full of books that dive into the history and heritage of Monaco!

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