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Old 04-05-2009, 05:13 PM
 
Location: Louisiana
157 posts, read 514,244 times
Reputation: 49

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In preparing to move to LA. I would like to learn the language lots of the LA people speak besides English. Is there a specific type of French spoken in Louisiana or would I be safe in taking a general French class. I believe it is appropriate to learn all dialects when moving to an area and would appreciate some advice. City moving to is around Lafayette.

I know French is French but wanting to know if there is any other type of language spoken utilizing French I understand some of the natives are called Creole and Cajun and just unclear exactly what this means.

Jody
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Old 04-05-2009, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Haynesville, La.-Pangburn, Ar.
929 posts, read 2,440,458 times
Reputation: 691
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoreeGal View Post
In preparing to move to LA. I would like to learn the language lots of the LA people speak besides English. Is there a specific type of French spoken in Louisiana or would I be safe in taking a general French class. I believe it is appropriate to learn all dialects when moving to an area and would appreciate some advice. City moving to is around Lafayette.

I know French is French but wanting to know if there is any other type of language spoken utilizing French I understand some of the natives are called Creole and Cajun and just unclear exactly what this means.

Jody
I don't know about in south Louisiana but in north Louisiana, we don't speak French. We only know french fries, french toast, and french kissing.
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Old 04-05-2009, 06:38 PM
 
Location: Lafayette, La
2,047 posts, read 4,676,912 times
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its honestly not much different, Perhaps a couple words have a sort of slang dialect, but if you know French you will be ok. Hell I dont know all that much French myself but I manage fine. Youll probably hear it if you live in Southern Louisiana in commercials and see it on billboards sometimes or on the radio, but generally, if youve taken some French courses you should understand just fine.
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Old 04-05-2009, 06:43 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,849 posts, read 31,181,647 times
Reputation: 22435
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoreeGal View Post
In preparing to move to LA. I would like to learn the language lots of the LA people speak besides English. Is there a specific type of French spoken in Louisiana or would I be safe in taking a general French class. I believe it is appropriate to learn all dialects when moving to an area and would appreciate some advice. City moving to is around Lafayette.

I know French is French but wanting to know if there is any other type of language spoken utilizing French I understand some of the natives are called Creole and Cajun and just unclear exactly what this means.

Jody
Trust me. It's totally different. The Acadians were thrown out of their native Nova Scotia many years ago and relocated to the swamps of Southern Louisiana. Despite this, they are very open, caring, loving people. But they do have an entirely different language *based* upon French.

I was married for a time to a wonderful Cajun fellow and let me tell you it is a different world there entirely. Wonderful, joyful, intriguing, but a different world, cher.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 04-05-2009, 08:27 PM
 
Location: Baton Rouge
794 posts, read 3,066,399 times
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Ahhh, it ain't going to matter because you can't understand most of those old acadians even when they speak English. I doubt you'd be able to actually communicate with them in French. Just enjoy the culture you get from them.
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Old 04-05-2009, 08:46 PM
 
1,312 posts, read 4,364,548 times
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Originally Posted by darylwi View Post
Ahhh, it ain't going to matter because you can't understand most of those old acadians even when they speak English. I doubt you'd be able to actually communicate with them in French. Just enjoy the culture you get from them.
Very true! I had a few years of French under my belt when I met my aunt-in-law's parents...true Cajuns from the bayou who only spoke Cajun French...and I had no idea what they were saying! They just smiled and were thrilled I was trying to speak to them at all, being an Ohio yankee. My dad grew up in Laplace, but had to go north for a job in the 60's and never went back.

To get an idea of the history, check out the Acadian Museum in Erath, where my dad's brother lives. The Acadian Museum in Erath, Louisiana. That way you can get a feel for the history of the area. My dad has traced his lineage back to Acadia (now Nova Scotia) all the way back to Alsace, France. The area has a deep and rich history, and is like it's own little world in some areas.
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Old 04-06-2009, 05:37 AM
 
Location: Thibodaux, Louisiana
65 posts, read 356,804 times
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If you are interested in learning about the cajun french spoken in south Louisiana, there have been books published to preserve the language. You might try the bookstores in Lafayette or touch base with the local tourism shop there. Good luck and enjoy.
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Old 04-10-2009, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Cumberland Cove, Monterey, TN
1,286 posts, read 4,176,891 times
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I'm originally from central Louisiana (Avoyelles Parish). Many people there still speak Cajun French. Since my parents usually spoke French to each other, I grew up understanding it. I can tell you that in Cajun French there are many differences in words from French spoken in France.
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC
180 posts, read 613,865 times
Reputation: 110
Cajun French is VASTLY different than "Parisian" French. My wife is a French teacher, went to college in Paris, and it took some effort before she could understand what they speak down south. A lot of grammar goes out the window, conjugation can be bizarre, and even the vocabulary is it's own thing. Keep in mind that south Louisiana was a melting pot of influences and languages.

The language has largely been squelched except in certain small areas. In past generations, children who spoke French in school were actually punished - it was seen as a "dirty" language. A lot of kids therefore did not inherit the language from their parents or never became fluent in it. It's pretty sad, and I think it hurts the state's identity. In northern LA, you'll never even encounter it.
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Old 04-10-2009, 08:41 PM
 
Location: USA
2,796 posts, read 6,874,654 times
Reputation: 1901
One time I recall my late grandmother telling me a friend of hers from France, who was a WW1 bride, trying to have a conversation with a Cajun and couldn't understand much (neither could the Cajun lady). So I'm sure much of Cajun French kind of left off in the 18th century what was spoken in France at the time and since then, the French language has probably somewhat evolved like English has since then.
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