Soeur Madeleine AllainSister Madeleine Allain

She was a friend of Algeria who left there after having given much to the culture, especially the Berber language. She not only studied the language, but developed a Kabyle-French dictionary which was published in1982 by the SELAF Editions in Paris.

dictionnaire kabyle françaisThe study of language Kabyle

Sister Madeleine Allain arrived in 1939 in Algeria as a "White Sister" with her religious name: Sister Louis de Vincennes. From that date, she began with passion and method to study the Kabyle language in Ain El Hammam (Michelet) and Tizi-Ouzou. In 1953 she founded in Tizi-Ouzou a house of studies for young sisters (Center for Feminine Berber studies). The center later moved to Larbâa Nath Iraten (Fort National). In 1946 she helped found the FDB (Berber documentation file) that was set up with Fathers Dallet and Lanfry to collect Berber texts. In 1947 Sister Madeleine obtained a degree in Berber language from Algiers University, and in 1949, after a year in Tunisia to improve her Arabic, she obtained her Higher Diploma in Berber.

Tizi WwuccenSister Madeleine held positions of responsibility among different communities of White Sisters in the region. She made a few trips to the South to compare different forms of Berber. In addition to her participation in the development of the Berber documentation file, she authored over thirty articles on various topics under her sister pen-name of Louis Vincennes. She also published a special issue of the file in 1960 and in collaboration with Father Dallet: An introduction to the Berber Language (Kabyle) and in 1987 with EDISUD editions: Tizi-WWUCCEN, Method of the Berber language (Kabylia).

In 1976, after closing the school of Beni Yenni, Sister Madeleine remained five more years, living in a small house to continue her research. In 1994 she left Algeria as she was becoming blind. Sister Madeleine Allain, born March 8, 1915 in Morbihan died in France at the age of 86.

N. B.
Liberté lundi 9 septembre 2002

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