French astronaut Philippe Perrin set off on a mission into space with six other passengers and… a copy of The Little Prince. To mark the occasion, a badge in the Little Prince’s colours was made for Philippe, who said he was keen to gain a perception of the « spiritual dimension » of his journey into orbit. His destination was none other than the International Space Station, ISS, still under construction at present.
Marianne Hass has translated Le Petit Prince into Platt, a French dialect spoken in the region of Sarreguemines, in north eastern France. This dedicated defender of the dialect has already produced a glossary of Platt terms containing over 5,000 words.
Fifteen centuries ago, the incoming Franks brought with them a Germanic language very different from and much older than German, known as Frankish, Franconian or Platt. This was the language spoken by Clovis and Charlemagne. Today it is spoken by some 350,000 people, over half of them in the Moselle department of France but also in Germany (Saarland, Rhineland-Palatinate), Luxembourg and a small area of Belgium. Three forms of Franconian are spoken in the Moselle: Moselle Franconian in the Pays de Nied, Rhenish Franconian in the coalfields that stretch as far as Alsace and Luxembourgish Franconian in the region of Thionville.