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Old 09-26-2018, 05:05 PM
Location: DC metropolitan area
631 posts, read 351,088 times
Reputation: 754


I lived in Lafayette in the late 1990s. I used to go out into the countryside explicitly to see if I could find Cajun French speakers. I did find them regularly in Vermilion Parish... older men in country stores talking with each other and the store clerk. But, that was some two decades ago.

It was well-known in the 1990s that the Houma Native American people of Terrebonne Parish spoke the most French back then (many lived way down in the parish, where the sea is now eroding away the land). They used their own version of Cajun French. I later read that this was because they were denied access to good schooling during segregation. The Houma of neighboring Lafourche Parish could go to white schools, but in Terrebonne Parish they had to go to Indian school or, for high school, to the black school. Most Houma parents did not want to send their kids to the black schools. So, the education effect on language use was delayed there among them.

The LSU Cajun French Studies program takes undergraduates in the program to Arnaudville for a Louisiana French language and cultural immersion experience. Tellingly, for language immersion, they go to the local "retirement" home.
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Old 09-29-2018, 09:33 AM
Location: Pereira, Colombia
1,296 posts, read 2,199,147 times
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I also don´t want to neglect paying dues to the Creole community in Louisiana....one of my best friends is married to a girl from around Jeanerette (Iberia Parish)...like the generalization, her family is most African descended, but Creole doesn´t necessarily pertain to being one race or color...if anything it´s often a glorious mix of many. Before Katrina if you took a ride down the road in southern Plaquemines Parish, most everyone in places like Port Sulphur is mixed...they can identify as ¨white¨ and look very latino, or identify as ¨black¨and look very mulatto. My family is mostly French and Canary Islander mixed who identify as being Cajuns, but we also have some French-only descended Creole roots from outside New Orleans as well.

Anyway, the way my buddy´s wife described the language dynamic of her family was more or less the same as my Cajun family, that is to say the grandparents spoke it as well as English, if not better, did not teach it to their kids too much, and now it´s on the way out. I wonder how those communities would feel about working with CODOFIL, at least to keep some variety of French going in the community.

I know north of Lafayette getting into St. Landry Parish, there is still a big Creole presence. I don´t know the area well enough to say how much French one can hear there...but we owe it all to them that we have Zydeco music, I think it´s the most marketable product from SW Louisiana, much more than Cajun fiddle/accordian music...that´s my opinion though.

At one time, Louisiana was seeing huge Haitian migration...most of this occurred around the time of Napoleon, but there´s still a presence there and a steady trickle coming in. My mom used to work for a talk radio station in New Orleans, and the Haitian community was given a couple hours a week to have a program, apparently a mixture of Kreyol and standard French. It may only be a couple of hours a week, but it´s there.
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Old 10-24-2018, 01:01 AM
Location: The Heart of Dixie
8,703 posts, read 13,093,925 times
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Yeah both times I've heard Cajun French spoken in Lake Charles it was by white families. I've never heard it spoken among Creoles in the New Orleans area.

As for Cajun French music, I've never heard any of it played at local joints around Baton Rouge or Hammond except for one swamp pop artist that occassionally plays at the Texas Club. I don't think there's any completely French FM radio stations anywhere in the state the way there's Spanish language stations in Texas that play Mexican music all the time.
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Old 10-24-2018, 10:43 AM
Location: Pereira, Colombia
1,296 posts, read 2,199,147 times
Reputation: 1464

This station out of Lafayette is pretty French-heavy.
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