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Old 01-28-2019, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aab7855 View Post
I can contribute to this, being Cajun myself. The true answer? It´s more complicated than people realize. Yes, as previously said, when we were all expelled from Canada by the British, some of us settled in the Caribbean. We generally didn´t do too well in the Sugar Islands, but we didn´t exactly adapt to life back in France either. When we looked into the story of my family, we discovered that a good chunk of our French-speaking relatives first went to Cuba (obviously still a Spanish colony at that point) before settling in Louisiana. The Spanish Crown was very kind to us in general; people don´t always realize that when the Cajuns settled in southwest Louisiana, it was in fact in Spanish hands. I know plenty of latino-looking Cajuns with French last names, and very pasty white people in that region with Spanish last names like Nunez (it lost the ñ over time), Miguez and Romero. This is a result of both intermarriage as well as some families deciding to adopt last names from the other country out of respect. New Iberia was founded by Analucians and many Canary Islanders settled in Louisiana as well.

The Cajun dialect is both archaic as well as bastardized. Old words were sometimes kept around long after the language envolved in places like Paris and even Québec, for example the word for car in Cajun French is chariot (carriage). We sometimes adopted indigenous, Spanish, English or African words, presumably when new things around out that had no equivalent in France or Canada were around.

My great uncles were split up prior to D-Day and distributed into different platoons to basically serve as informal translators during the liberation of France. Most Cajuns originally came from Normandy and northern France in general, and they were received quite well in the countryside. The long separation resulted in some struggles to communicate from time to time, but there wasn´t a serious issue. The warm welcome went cold in cities like Paris, where people essentially told them they spoke the ugliest French they´d ever heard!

Many Haitians of all colors immigrated to Louisiana during the slave uprisings, but I´m afraid I don´t know enough of their story to say much about it.
French history on the American continent is fascinating.
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Old 01-28-2019, 08:53 PM
 
Location: Canada
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Quote:
I am originally an Acadian from the Canadian Maritimes, and a native French speaker though I did much of my schooling in English. I've lived in Quebec in a very predominantly French environment for quite a few years
Ahhhhhh you're a Maritimer Acajack. Moi Aussi. (My adopted culture.)
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Old 01-28-2019, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aab7855 View Post
I need to get up to French Canada, and not just Québec province, but all of it. My Spanish far exceeds my French these days, but I still have an ear for French and teach a French I elective at my school in Colombia. What I wanted to add, which directly corresponds to what you have said, is that listening to a video of French speakers in New Brunswick took me back to my relatives´ houses in Acadiana for sure (southwest Louisiana). For one, I feel like we both speak in a much more nasal way than in France, or is it just me? I agree with you that I think Canada and Louisiana can understand each other easier than we can French speakers from across the pond. Cheers.
Quebec and the Maritimes are the best known and largest French speaking areas. Northern Ontario and the prairies also have French speaking communities. I plan on visiting many of them this year.
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Old 01-29-2019, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Originally Posted by UrbanLuis View Post
Ahhhhhh you're a Maritimer Acajack. Moi Aussi. (My adopted culture.)
I know. You've lived in a surprising number of places in Canada! You seem to move consistently westwards. Perhaps you will end up in Vancouver eventually.
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Old 01-29-2019, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
21,960 posts, read 27,390,495 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aab7855 View Post
For one, I feel like we both speak in a much more nasal way than in France, or is it just me? .

I've never really given much thought to the general nasality of French speech on this side of Atlantic vs. the other side.


But I do find there are a number of common pronunciations and also "short cuts" in North America that you don't usually hear in Europe.
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Old 01-29-2019, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aab7855 View Post
I agree with you that I think Canada and Louisiana can understand each other easier than we can French speakers from across the pond. Cheers.
I'd say Québécois in particular would probably come down somewhere in the middle. Many people here understand the French pretty well, and it really depends who you talk to I think.


While they're not fully into it, my guess is that my teenaged Québécois kids can probably understand French slang more easily than they could very colloquial Louisiana Cajun French.


So there might be a generational aspect to it as well.
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Old 01-29-2019, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
21,960 posts, read 27,390,495 times
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Originally Posted by 2ner View Post
Nearly everyone calls the local Creole, Patois, except for a handful of *activists* who are trying to elevate its status in the country. The Folk Research Centre is spearheading these efforts: Folk Research Centre - St. Lucia Home. It has now been put to writing, but there is little interest among St Lucians in learning to write it... and the spoken language is dying out to the local English, especially in and around Castries.

The French Creoles of the Caribbean are different from each other by a bit, but St Lucians and Dominicans can communicate with each other with ease. It seems to me that most Martinicans have moved away from it. When they visit St Lucia, St Lucians tend to consider Martinicans snobbish (in part because of language, but also because Martinicans know they have it better). I met one St Lucian who was angry at the UK because the Brits threw away all their Caribbean subjects by forcing independence on them while France brought them fully into the fold.





Lewiston-Auburn is in what Mainers call "Central Maine". It is not near the border, but it is closer to Quebec than New Brunswick. It is a good old-fashioned New England mill town. It has been losing population for decades, but now some 40% of elementary school children in Lewiston are of African or African-American origin (when I was in high school, just two of my classmates were black [all grades combined]).

I did go to high school with just one girl who spoke Acadian-like French (her parents were from New Brunswick). All others I knew who spoke French spoke a type of low-class Canadian (Quebec) French. In high school, I worked in the produce department of a local supermarket. The guys in the meat department were all from Aroostook county and spoke like Acadians.

Northern Aroostook county still has French-speaking Acadian communities... Madawaska, Fort Kent, Van Buren, Frenchville (!!!!), Ste-Agathe (St. Agatha)...

It's also worth keeping in mind that the Québécois are maybe 20-25 times more numerous than the Acadiens. And so most anywhere in the NE US where you have Franco-Americans of Canadian descent the population will be primarily Québécois in origin. There wouldn't really have been any predominantly Acadien concentrations and those who moved from the Maritimes during the main migration eras (100+ years ago) would either have blended in with the Québécois or simply struck out on their own and lived amongst the Anglo-American majority.


Northern Aroostook County is a bit different in that the population there has close ties with people just across the border in New Brunswick. The predominant accent in the Madawaska-Fort Kent area is Acadien-style, even though the people are a mix of Acadien and Québécois origins. This is consistent with the demographics of northwestern New Brunswick across the border, where people are a mix of Acadien and Québécois due to proximity to Quebec. In other parts of New Brunswick, French speakers tend to be much more predominantly of Acadien origin - close to 100% in some cases.
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Old 01-29-2019, 06:04 PM
 
Location: DC metropolitan area
632 posts, read 288,759 times
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This post was originally aborted above, but is reposted here for the sake of maintaining the integrity of this thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanLuis View Post
Interesting. I got confused. I meant to say Creole. I will have to look up some of the St lucian Creolo.
Nearly everyone calls the local Creole, Patois, except for a handful of *activists* who are trying to elevate its status in the country. The Folk Research Centre is spearheading these efforts: Folk Research Centre - St. Lucia Home. It has now been put to writing, but there is little interest among St Lucians in learning to write it... and the spoken language is dying out to the local English, especially in and around Castries.

The French Creoles of the Caribbean are different from each other by a bit, but St Lucians and Dominicans can communicate with each other with ease. It seems to me that most Martinicans have moved away from it. When they visit St Lucia, St Lucians tend to consider Martinicans snobbish (in part because of language, but also because Martinicans know they have it better). I met one St Lucian who was angry at the UK because the Brits threw away all their Caribbean subjects by forcing independence on them while France brought them fully into the fold.


Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanLuis View Post
Is that closer to Quebec or New Brunswick. Are there any French speaking Acadians communites in Maine?


Lewiston-Auburn is in what Mainers call "Central Maine". It is not near the border, but it is closer to Quebec than New Brunswick. It is a good old-fashioned New England mill town. It has been losing population for decades, but now some 40% of elementary school children in Lewiston are of African or African-American origin (when I was in high school, just two of my classmates were black [all grades combined]).

I did go to high school with just one girl who spoke Acadian-like French (her parents were from New Brunswick). All others I knew who spoke French spoke a type of low-class Canadian (Quebec) French. In high school, I worked in the produce department of a local supermarket. The guys in the meat department were all from Aroostook county and spoke like Acadians.

Northern Aroostook county still has French-speaking Acadian communities... Madawaska, Fort Kent, Van Buren, Frenchville (!!!!), Ste-Agathe (St. Agatha)...
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Old 01-29-2019, 06:40 PM
 
Location: DC metropolitan area
632 posts, read 288,759 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
Northern Aroostook County is a bit different in that the population there has close ties with people just across the border in New Brunswick. The predominant accent in the Madawaska-Fort Kent area is Acadien-style, even though the people are a mix of Acadien and Québécois origins. This is consistent with the demographics of northwestern New Brunswick across the border, where people are a mix of Acadien and Québécois due to proximity to Quebec. In other parts of New Brunswick, French speakers tend to be much more predominantly of Acadien origin - close to 100% in some cases.
I read parts of Raphaële Wiesmath’s Le français acadien. It’s based on her doctoral research in the Maritimes. She found varying degrees of influence of (Radio-Canada) Quebec French on the language varieties spoken by Acadians in NB, PEI, and NS. Communities in greater contact with Quebec (its people and media market) have lost some of the distinctive features of old-time Acadian French. Isolated communities, like those in Chéticamp (Cape Breton Island) and Digby County (mainland NS), hold on to more features of traditional Acadian speech.

Louisiana Francophones use some of the features of old-time Acadian French, in pronunciation and certain grammatical conventions.

One thing French-speaking Cajuns say to each other is mon nèg, meaning 'my man'. However, etymologically speaking nèg is the n-word in English. Cajun French speakers have a very salty language. In the states, I hear black young people call each other 'my n*gger' frequently. Nèg in Haitian Creole also means 'man'.
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Old 01-29-2019, 07:33 PM
 
Location: DC metropolitan area
632 posts, read 288,759 times
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As for South America, French is obviously spoken in French Guiana. In Brazil, there is a Native American tribe called the Karipúna, whose elders still speak a French-based Creole. They live in Amapá state. It is thought by some that they moved there from French Guiana.

To me, the tribal name 'Karipúna' sounds a lot like the name of the people living on the Caribbean coast of Belize, Guatemala and Honduras, namely the Garifuna. Both have their ethnogenesis in the Carib people (for which the Caribbean is named), at least in part. DNA-wise, the Garifuna are about 80% West African and 20% Carib, but their language is a phonetically Africanized version of Carib, with about 15% of the its vocabulary derived from French (I think the numbers, days of the week, and months of the year, among others, are all in French). They lived on St Vincent. They were enslaved by the native Carib after a slave ship wrecked off their island's coast, but eventually diseases the Africans carried and for which the Caribs had no immunity, killed off all the Caribs. When the British took over the island, the Garifuna said, in effect, "you can't enslave us, we are native Carib people." So, the British shipped them off to Roatan Island. From there, they hopped over to Honduras.

In colonial Belize, the Creoles (English-speaking blacks) looked down on the Garifuna (Black Caribs) because they were considered once the slaves of Indians. The Creoles inherited British institutions. The Garifuna inherited a primitive backwater culture. This is not the case anymore and the two groups intermarry with each other. The Garifuna language is threatened, although many in the coastal village of Hopkins could still speak it until recently.
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