KVPI Tasse de Cafejeudi, 24 janvier 2013
If you'd like to practice listening to some real Louisiana French, listen to KVPI each morning beginning 7:30am Central (8:30am to 10am Eastern). At 7:30am you can listen to the news in French. Followed on Wednesdays and Fridays by the show Tasse de Cafe at 7:45am (Central). Tasse de Cafe is a Louisiana French call-in show hosted by Mark Layne and Charlie Manuel. Folks call in and talk about anything. The hosts also do a "word of the day" so listening will help build your vocabulary.
For a view of life in Louisiana, read Ashlee Michot's blog, La Prairie des Femmes. Ashlee writes in English, but salt and peppers her posts with plenty of spicy Louisiana French.
Cajun 101 Mailing Listmercredi, 23 janvier 2013
There's been some action on our mailing list. Some new folks have signed up to participate and exchange comments about their Cajun and French Louisiana heritage. You're welcome to join it. Write in French if you can, or in English. We're a friendly group.
Cajun French Lessonsmardi, 20 septembre 2011
Bonjour! I know it looks like I'm disorganized, but there is madness to my method. (Or is it the other way around?) Basically, I've got two tracks running here for two different trains. One track is my son's learning path; it's called Cajun for Kids. The other track is adapting the Cajun French resources I have (see the sources listed below) for my own (and your) study; it's called Elementary Louisiana French.
For my son, I'm trying to build his vocabulary and develop his French comprehension skills, so we are doing a lot of conversation and French language videos. The videos are in International French, but that's okay. I'm pointing out some of the differences as we go along.
For me and you, I'm putting together Quizlet sets with Cajun French phrases. If you don't know already, Quizlet is a really cool online flashcard based learning tool. You can follow along with the Cajun French sets I'm creating, by joining the Français Cadien/Cajun French group on Quizlet. Or you can wait until I post the new lesson here on Cajun 101 and follow the link to the specific Quizlet set.
About Cajun 101
These Louisiana/Cajun French lessons are a work in progress. I'm teaching my son French at home; he's eight. I still think of myself as a student of French, but trying to teach French is a really good way to learn it. I figured since I'm doing all this work to get lessons ready for my son, then I'd share the materials with everyone, in case it's useful.
The lessons of Cajun for Kids are organized into units of increasing difficulty. Well, I say organized, but they are roughly in the order that I do them with my son.
If you are ready to jump right in, go to the Cajun for Kids page where you'll find an annotated table of contents.
While the Cajun for Kids units will work for adults too, you might wish to start with my Elementary Louisiana French track. That's the one I'm using to teach myself.
Important: As you go through these pages and the associated lessons and exercises, keep in mind that the purpose here is to document Louisiana French, not International French. Louisiana French is not identical to the French spoken in the rest of the world. So, if you are an International French speaker, you will find things in these lessons which you will think is "incorrect French." However, the French presented on this site is correct Louisiana French (or as correct as I can get it (see the disclaimer referenced above).
Nearly 99% of the examples of Louisiana French given on this site are taken from already published sources. I've added a few examples of my own that I'm sure are mostly correct. However, you might find typos. If you are knowledgeable of Louisiana French, and have some suggestions or corrections, then please let me know. All I ask is that you support your corrections with some sort of documentation. (And saying "that's how my grandmother says it," is fine, but I'd like to know where you are getting your information.)
Sources: Here are the list of sources from which all the study materials on this site are adapted. Cajun French I by James Donald Faulk (Cajun Press, Inc., Abbeville, LA. 1977). Cajun Self-Taught by Rev. Msgr. Jules O. Daigle (Swallow Publications, Ville Platte, LA. 1992. Sixth Printing: 2005). A Dictionary of the Cajun Language by Rev. Msgr. Jules O. Daigle (Swallow Publications, Ville Platte, LA. 1984). Cajun French: Dictionary and Phrasebook by Clint Bruce and Jennifer Gipson (Hippocrene Books, Inc. New York. 2002). Conversational Cajun French 1 by Randall P. Whatley and Harry Jannise (Pelican Publishing Company. Gretna, LA. 2006). Cajun and Creole Folktales: The French Oral Tradition of South Louisiana collected and annotated by Barry Jean Ancelet (University of Mississippi Press. Jackson, MS. 1994). Dictionary of Louisiana French: As Spoken in Cajun, Creole, and American Indian Communities edited by Albert Valdman, Kevin J. Rottet, Barry Jean Ancelet, Richard Guidry, Thomas A. Klingler, Amanda LaFleur, Tamara Lindner, Michael D. Picone, and Dominique Ryon.