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Old 04-14-2012, 02:08 PM
 
44,645 posts, read 43,162,678 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredtinbender View Post
Glad you enjoyed it all. I remember a car mechanic when I was staioned in La. He spoke that type of French but usually only when he broke a knuckle or something like that. Then a big pull of the jug in the back. C'mon up to Maine.for a vacation Heckuva lot cooler in the summer than Ole Miss. Plus they speak French up in Aroostook.
I can speak French myself. My only issue is the differences between what I learned in school and what is spoken in Louisiana and northern Maine. I'm wondering if I'll understand it and if other people will understand me. That is the only question I have. Other than that, I can embrace and enjoy the culture.
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Old 04-14-2012, 03:54 PM
 
Location: 3.5 sq mile island ant nest next to Canada
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Yeah, Cajun is a lot different. Nth Maine I don't think so much. I have a friend from up that way who had a few tours in Nam. He said his French helped him a lot with the locals over there. Come try it out. Bring a coat. I remember Kennesaw; you'll need one just not all the time.
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Old 04-14-2012, 09:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredtinbender View Post
Yeah, Cajun is a lot different. Nth Maine I don't think so much. I have a friend from up that way who had a few tours in Nam. He said his French helped him a lot with the locals over there. Come try it out. Bring a coat. I remember Kennesaw; you'll need one just not all the time.
I'll definitely remember the coat. I'll also bring some hot chocolate, cookies, and marshmallows.

Right now, I don't even need to wear a jacket tonight in Kennesaw.

I will give my French a try in northern Maine. I've been thinking about going up there for a while, to visit. As soon as I have some traveling money, and more time, that is among the places I'm trying to travel too.
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by bobbyd72 View Post
if you learned French in high school you will most likely not understand the French spoken in the "Valley" as that French is not International French, it is North American French. Here is a great website that deals with North American French www.toutcanadien.com
I also kept learning French in college.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Central Maine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbyd72 View Post
if you learned French in high school you will most likely not understand the French spoken in the "Valley" as that French is not International French, it is North American French. Here is a great website that deals with North American French www.toutcanadien.com
This ia very true. I once hired someone from the Valley hoping she could help with the translation of French customers (from France). They had real problems communicating with each other. To some degree it's the dialects, but it is also a generational thing. Older people in the Valley speak a "purer" Acadian French that is much easier understood by people speaking France French. The younger people in the valley now speak a pidgeon-french, that even to a non-French speaker, doesn't sound like French.
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Old 04-15-2012, 03:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bangorme View Post
This ia very true. I once hired someone from the Valley hoping she could help with the translation of French customers (from France). They had real problems communicating with each other. To some degree it's the dialects, but it is also a generational thing. Older people in the Valley speak a "purer" Acadian French that is much easier understood by people speaking France French. The younger people in the valley now speak a pidgeon-french, that even to a non-French speaker, doesn't sound like French.
Then what does a speaker of Standard French do?
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Old 04-15-2012, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Central Maine
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Originally Posted by green_mariner View Post
Then what does a speaker of Standard French do?
There are people in the Valley that speak standard French excellently. Many take French in high school and college.

Almost everyone up there speaks English now. Everyone under 60 speaks English as their primary language, although many family's use French around the house. The days of non-English speaking Acadians is pretty much over (unless you cross the border, where French is the primary language in that area).
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Old 04-15-2012, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Lubec, ME
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Acadie was an area that encompassed Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, and parts of New Brunswick and Maine. It originally extended to the Penobscot valley, up along the coast and around and throughout Nova Scotia proper. The center was Port Royal in the Annapolis Valley.

They are a certain culture of Francophones that settled in the area. The constant conflicts between the English and French in the area led them to be driven out and about. Some of them went back to France, some stayed and were absorbed in British America and later, the United States (for those in the Maine area). The boundary between NB and Maine in recent times is visible, but in the past it was largely administrative only. Much of the cultures of most of Downeast Maine and Nova Scotia were intertwined.

Cajuns are another group of Acadians - direct descendents, who after being driven out looked for a new life in Louisiana. They are a distinct culture, but directly descended.


I dated a Nova Scotian from the Digby area; she lived in the center of what could be considered the remnants of Acadie and their culture. A large portion of the population down there is fully Acadian descended; her father was half-Acadian. They all spoke fluent French. They have both English and French schools; some of the older population are French as a first language. It is dying but the culture still remains and is strong on the west coast and in the Annapolis Valley. I was sitting at a hockey game with her and an old man began to speak to me in French. She translated for me.
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Old 04-15-2012, 03:54 PM
 
44,645 posts, read 43,162,678 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bangorme View Post
There are people in the Valley that speak standard French excellently. Many take French in high school and college.

Almost everyone up there speaks English now. Everyone under 60 speaks English as their primary language, although many family's use French around the house. The days of non-English speaking Acadians is pretty much over (unless you cross the border, where French is the primary language in that area).
I ask because I actually would not mind using my French in northern Maine.
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Old 04-15-2012, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by green_mariner View Post
I ask because I actually would not mind using my French in northern Maine.
It depends on a number of factors, the most important of which is your own fluency in French. The more fluent you are in any variety of a particular language, the easier it usually is to understand other varieties of it.

Another factor is the level of education in French of the person you are speaking to. If a person went to school in English all his life and only spoke French with his grandparents (for example), then communication will likely be more difficult. 40 or 50 years ago, a Quebec TV program broadcast an interview with Jack Kerouac in French, and most people watching were shocked at how he spoke, because he sounded like a backwoods lumberjack from the 19th century. This was because he had never had any formal education in the language.

Finally, some people in places like northern Maine are ashamed of their French and don't want to speak it to outsiders - not even with people from Quebec or New Brunswick. I ran into this in Louisiana as well.

I am a fluent native French speaker and generally speaking I have never had much difficulty communicating in French with people from northern Maine.
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