Quoi de neuf? / What's new?

Kirby Jambon reconnu par l'Académie Française

posted Nov 16, 2014, 7:25 PM by Amanda LaFleur   [ updated Nov 16, 2014, 7:46 PM ]

petites communions
Louisiana poet and immersion teacher Kirby Jambon has been named the winner of the prestigious Prix Henri de Régnier by the Académie Française for 2014.  This is the first time ever that a Louisiana author has been so recognized by the Academy.  Jambon, a Thibodaux native who was raised on Bayou Lafourche, will be reading from his award-winning work, Petites communions, at a celebration in his honor to be held at Vermilionville in Lafayette on Tuesday, November 18 at 6:00 PM.  The event is free and open to the public.  Food and drink will be available for sale at the celebration. Venez partager notre joie!

“We have need, indeed, a profound need of this collection of poetry and musings penned by Kirby Jambon. Why? Because this book is more than a book; it is art –deep, moving and profound art. What will you find here? When he’s not writing poetry, Kirby is a teacher and h is “Petites Communions” teach us lessons, much needed lessons for the entire world. For those who would relegate Louisianan French to the dustbin of history, this poetry will open your eyes and make your ears dance to the tune of lilting modernity and you will see how a language can draw strength from a myriad of sources to project itself into unknown tomorrows. For those who seek to make your lives fit into the neat boxes of ‘mine’ and ‘yours’, this poetry will shamelessly snap at you. It will penetrate your boundaries with generosity, sharing, and the ability to give. For those who see paradise as some faraway ideal, this poetry will enlighten you. It will reveal to you the heaven that dwells in the cracks of daily routine, in the hollows of the hic and nunc, in the heart of ‘righthererightnow.’ For those who think, like the major dictionaries, that a ‘communion’ is a ‘gathering of individuals’ who profess the same beliefs,’ this poetry will surprise you. It will teach you the real meaning of religion : the quest to discover all that binds us together when we go beyond our differences. We are not just mere observers fascinated by this poet-prophet-teller-of-tales-and-juggler-of-thought : we walk beside him and dance with him on razor’s edge, held in suspension between tears and laughter, between Mardi Gras and the cosmos, between ecstatic faith and joyous heresy. Kirby invites us all to commune with him there.” -Clint Bruce

C'est une grande réunion de famille!

posted Oct 10, 2011, 3:22 PM by Amanda LaFleur   [ updated Oct 10, 2011, 3:24 PM ]

It's on---Le Grand Réveil Acadien!  The Great Acadian Awakening!  Beginning October 7 and extending through October 16, 2011, French-speaking Louisiana welcomes our Acadian and other francophone cousins to experience beautiful Autumn weather, Festivals Acadiens, and a host of special activities, entertainment and conversations about our shared heritage and future.  This includes events throughout south Louisiana.  Allons montrer à nos visteurs la magnifique hospitalité de notre monde à nous-autres.  Pour plus d'informations visitez l'URL suivant (ouais, c'est bilingue!!!):


Apprends le français avec ton iPhone!

posted May 7, 2010, 2:30 PM by Amanda LaFleur   [ updated May 28, 2010, 11:24 AM ]

Here's some good news for iPhone users!  Now you can download a free iPhone app from BYKI that will allow you to study our Cajun French lists on your phone.  To get started, download a BYKI language app.  The one for Haitian Creole is free (a wonderful service that BYKI offers to assist those who want to pick up Haitian Creole before they go over to help with earthquake relief efforts).  The 15 language "sampler"  is also a free download.  If you prefer, you can choose to download any of a number of other individual language apps for $7.99.  It doesn't matter which of these you choose.  The important thing is to get a version of the app on your iPhone.

Many thanks to LSU Cajun French student Steven Young for letting me know about this learning opportunity.  According to Steven, here are the steps required to get the Cajun French lists from the BYKI web site onto your phone:

1) If you haven't already done so, create an account and then sign in on the BYKI List Central Community website
2)  To quickly access all of our Cajun French lists, type amandalafleur in the "Search" box.  This will pull up all the lists we have created for Cajun French learners, including some specialized lists that go with lessons taught at LSU.
3)  Next, click on the list that you want; scroll down and click where it says "add the list to my favorites." 
4)  Open the BYKI app on your iPhone, go to "Downloads", and select "List Central."  It will contain each list that you added to your favorites. 
5)  Click the blue icon beside each list to download it, and it will be saved along with all of the other lists that you have, which you go to by clicking "Learn."

(Note:  The picture shown with this article is a generic clip from the Internet so that you can see what the interface looks like.  It is not from a Louisiana French BYKI list.  In Louisiana, ice cream is called la crème glacée.  La glace is ice.

Enfin! Le dictionnaire du français louisianais

posted Jan 7, 2010, 6:43 PM by Amanda LaFleur   [ updated May 9, 2010, 5:39 PM ]

After more than ten years of field work, discussion, negotiation, editing and re-editing, the Dictionary of Louisiana French is now a reality.   Many of you are familiar with Fr. Jules Daigle's Dictionary of Cajun French published in 1984.  The new dictionary, the result of a collaborative effort of a team of nine editors and hundreds of native speakers, builds on Daigle's work, as well as regional collections undertaken since the 1930's by various scholars and students.  It is also based on words and phrases we were able to extract from a large corpus of transcribed interviews and other texts.  Further, it  has the distinction of offering the user contextual examples for almost every article in the dictionary, giving the reader an opportunity to experience words in their natural environment.  Sticklers for detail and dialectal variety can use the region codes furnished to find out where words were collected.  This does not mean, of course, that the words are limited to that region, but rather that these are the locations where the word has been attested.

As its subtitle indicates, the dictionary represents the French of Louisiana "as spoken in Cajun, Creole and American Indian communities."  Many hours of heated debate went into the selection of that title.  While the most common moniker for our language variety is "Cajun French," the French language has long been spoken in Louisiana by people who do not necessarily consider themselves Cajun in the strictest sense of the term, that is "of Acadian origin."  Many will argue that the term "Cajun" is much more inclusive in its meaning these days, and that is no doubt true, especially given the popularity in recent years of all things Cajun.  Still, there are those who with no malice intended toward Cajuns prefer to refer to themselves using other ethnic labels.  Interestingly, it is a testament to the successful fight for ethnic pride among Cajuns that a whole generation of young people has grown up with no memory that the term "Cajun" was ever derogatory.  And it is these young people, wanting to be inclusive in their enthusiasm for heritage language preservation in Louisiana, who have most adamantly campaigned for a more accurate name for our language variety.  We have no problem acknowledging the multitude of ingredients in the rich gumbo that is the French of Louisiana.  Call yourself what you will.  Just don't call us late pour le souper.

Any author can attest to the twinge of disappointment that comes when, upon opening one's published work, you discover that first typo, error or omission.  And I had not turned more than four pages when I noticed a common Cajun word missing and another whose gender was indicated incorrectly.  That slight dismay is mitigated, though, by the echos that we are already getting from people who are browsing the dictionary, finding words that remind them of other words, noticing that a word presented in the dictionary varies slightly in pronunciation from the word they grew up with, or remembering yet another meaning for a word they had forgotten.  I have the sense that the Dictionary of Louisiana French will prime the pump of our collective memory and help reveal many, many more words and meanings that might otherwise have remained forgotten.  Here's to the second edition!

The Dictionary of Louisiana French is available through University Press of Mississippi.

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