CAJUN FRENCH.

The Department of French Studies of Louisiana State University has a web page called Un glossaire cadien-anglais/A Cajun French-English Glossary:

A number of resources exist for those looking for Cajun French vocabulary, but all of them pose problems for LSU students in Cajun French because they are either too regional in scope, too inconsistent in spelling, or too theoretical in approach for beginning students. Therefore, in response to our students’ expressed need for a basic vocabulary resource, we are in the process of building a glossary…

As they emphasize, it’s a work in progress, but it’s already very useful, especially since they’ve added audio files to many entries. The unofficial nature of the language is clear from an entry like this:
cacher-faite (n.m.) [KAH SHEH FET] hide and go seek game. [A preferred spelling has not been established. Variant spellings include: cachez-fête, caché-faite, cache-et-fête, etc.]
(Via Mithridates, where you will find other Cajun resources, like the Kreyol Lwiziyen site, which has a short English-Creole glossary.)

Comments

  1. I find it interesting that faite and fête are homonyms in Cajun French.
    In Acadian French, faite would be pronounced [f?t], while fête would be [fæt].

  2. Let’s try that again:
    [fɛt] and [fæt]

  3. As with English creoles, it seems that the orthographic complexity of the source language is complicating the transcription.
    I’d guess that most Cajun speakers a generation ago had no problems with this, they would have been largely illiterate in Cajun (English being the language of instruction).

  4. andrew perrin says:

    Hello,
    I am trying to learn cajun french and thought it would be very beneficial if I could find a Cajun french speaking internet radio show to listen to while working. I found this site while searching for one. Unfortunately I found no such radio show. Does any one know of one?
    Thank you,
    Andrew

  5. Aaron Richard says:

    I’m a Cajun-Australian (I think there are about three of us!!) and I’d be interested in learning more about the language… My father and his siblings understood Cajun French but didn’t speak it as my grandparents in the 40s and 50s didn’t want the kids growing up seeming ‘backwards’…
    Any resources people know of?

  6. Andrew: According to the KRVS website, they broadcast at least a couple of programs at least partially in French: Rendez-Vouz des Cajuns and Bonjour Louisiane. You can listen live to the station at http://www.krvs.org
    Aaron: there’s lots of stuff. just google it. One interesting group is Codofil which promotes French-language teaching in Louisiana. http://www.codofil.org

  7. Very useful site – thanks. we area samll town in England which is twinnined with another small town in France. Our twinning social event on 3 march will take thetheme of French Cajun culture. We are planning food and music but any contributions (eg sound file saying ‘hi to Wirksworth’ in Cajun) or anecdotes would be most welcome.

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