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Old 03-30-2018, 11:10 AM
 
Location: DC area
82 posts, read 59,752 times
Reputation: 134

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CODOFIL and others have been trying to bring back French to southern Louisiana for years, but it's been pretty much a failure (IMO). Does anyone ever speak French there as a matter of affirmation or purely out of interest and, if so, what reception do you get? When I lived in Lafayette, I would occasionally see clerks wearing pins that read, "Je parle francais", and would always speak French with them. It was fun to do and it felt like a contribution to keep French alive there.
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Old 03-30-2018, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
11,756 posts, read 10,508,920 times
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Growing up in "Acadiana" there was a family that only spoke French to their children and forbid them to speak English inside their home.

It takes special effort to not speak English and only French but there are some families that do so.
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Old 03-31-2018, 01:45 PM
 
Location: DC area
82 posts, read 59,752 times
Reputation: 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by cBach View Post
Growing up in "Acadiana" there was a family that only spoke French to their children and forbid them to speak English inside their home.

It takes special effort to not speak English and only French but there are some families that do so.
Thank you for your reply.
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Old 04-02-2018, 10:29 AM
 
11,635 posts, read 9,322,093 times
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My grandparents spoke a blend of Cajun French and English. Their children spoke more English than French. My grandparents told us of the horrors of public school for those who only spoke french. Punishments varied by teacher and student. Punishments could be paddling, open hand slap across the face, closed fist punch (face or gut), whip with belt, and on rare occasions a bull whip beating. Most of my generation lost the language. All that effort USA went to outlaw and abolish the French language and then those French speakers were needed in France in WW2.
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Old 04-02-2018, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Laurentia
3,396 posts, read 1,673,570 times
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I worked with man who was Cajun when my company was bought out back in 1990 and I was living in Louisiana.

He lived in Empire, Louisiana which is about as far south as you can live in the state. He lived right on the water in a house built up on stilts which I thought was cool My company was a merchandising/distribution company and we had company cars. One day, my Cajun co-worker's company car had failed to start and apparently he did not own a personal vehicle. When I got to his house, the entire family was speaking French.

He spoke French exclusively in his home and in the area he lived in which was populated with other Cajuns. The only time I ever heard him speak English was with me or other Anglophones

He was pretty rare though in terms of people I met when I was down there. Most of the other people I met of French Canadian/Cajun descent spoke English the majority of the time and in a lot of cases, the 2nd generation did not speak French or knew only a few basic phrases.
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Old 04-02-2018, 04:53 PM
 
Location: DC area
82 posts, read 59,752 times
Reputation: 134
I've heard also that Cajun French speakers used to feel shame because they felt "less than" compared to Anglo-Americans, who early on in Acadiana tended to be the wealthy ones. In this area, it looks like CODOFIL and company were successful in raising the profile of the language and those who spoke it. Back in the 1990s, it didn't feel like that stigma was so anymore. The French immersion programs in the public schools are another qualified CODOFIL success. The programs are still growing, albeit slowly. It just doesn't seem like the kids in these programs have much of any opportunity to use French outside the classroom, though.
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Old 04-03-2018, 09:29 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,071 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phaneuf View Post
I've heard also that Cajun French speakers used to feel shame because they felt "less than" compared to Anglo-Americans, who early on in Acadiana tended to be the wealthy ones. In this area, it looks like CODOFIL and company were successful in raising the profile of the language and those who spoke it. Back in the 1990s, it didn't feel like that stigma was so anymore. The French immersion programs in the public schools are another qualified CODOFIL success. The programs are still growing, albeit slowly. It just doesn't seem like the kids in these programs have much of any opportunity to use French outside the classroom, though.
I used to hear old-timers speak Cajun French all the time in Vermillion Parish. They never had any shame about it. You can still hear the French in certain words people use in English here, even the younger ones.
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Old 04-03-2018, 10:51 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
8,703 posts, read 13,095,302 times
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I've never heard French spoken here in Baton Rouge except for a couple friends who know a few Cajun French words. While there are many people with partial Cajun ancestry, there are very few full blooded Cajuns. However Louisiana is marketed to French tourists and some plantations, etc in the state and the state capitol have French language tours.

I've heard French spoken in Lake Charles by a family in a park and it seemed like they were locals since its not the kind of area that French tourists would visit.

Remember that Cajun French is unique and different from regular French and many people only consider Cajun French to be their heritage, not Parisian French and think its pointless for their kids to learn France French in the spirit of cultural revival. Besides the Cajuns initially left France for Canada because they didn't fit in in France anyway just like the original British colonists left England because they were being persecuted and hunted down due to the Pilgrims' religion.
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