French speaking countries in American aeras

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The Americas have many emblems, many historical areas as far as the Francophonie is concerned. Quebec, the Acadian region of New Brunswick, the French-speaking part of Ontario are all located in Canada. In the the United States, Louisiana is representative of the Fancophonie. Although it is less obvious in South America, the "Francophonie" is imprinted in the very history of European immigration whether in Chile or Argentina. Let’s start our introduction from the North to the South.


[edit] 1 French-speaking countries in North America

[edit] 1.1 la Nouvelle France

Let’s have a closer look at Quebec. It was founded by the French explorer Jacques Cartier in1534 and was first a French colony that settled on the current city of Quebec in 1608. The French colonization will bring 69000 immigrants in North America until the British conquest in 1763. Throughout the 18th and 19th century, the British conquest will lead to the control of the land occupied by the French settlers. Canada today is a bilingual and multicultural nation : French and English are two official languages with the same status. "Quebec" is the only province with so many French-speaking citizens (80%) whereas in New Brunwick or in Yukon, bilingualism is real.

[edit] 1.2 History of "French Cultural Union"

The French-speaking Canadians have played a key role in the development of of the Francophonie as they have founded the "French cultural Union" in 1954. In 1961, at the university of Montreal, "AUPELF", an association of French speaking universities was created.In this context and with such a lively set of initiatives, a dynamic generation of Quebec writers emerged. Hubert Aquin (1929-1977) created the ’nouveau roman" there.We can also mention Réjean Ducharme who published ’the Swallower swallowed" in 1966 or Dany Laferrière.[1]

[edit] 2 French-speaking countries in USA and West Indies

[edit] 2.1 Louisiana

In the USA, at the end of the 1960’s, the Francophonie also developped by creating a new institution called "CODOFIL" (Council for the Development of French in Louisiana). This organization was created by James Domengeaux, an American Repesentative and French-speaking lawyer. Louisiana is not officially bilingual but the actions led by the CODOFIL have pemitted to give French a specific status. In 1971, the governor elected there, Edwin Edwards, was the first French-speaking high rank politician with responsibilities at the Federal level.

[edit] 2.2 New concept of "Négritude" in West Indies

In the "West Indies", we cannot but evoke the one who first employed the term and the idea of ’negritude’, namely Aimé Césaire[2], a writer and politician from the Martinique. What is ’negritude’? It is the Blacks’set of spiritual and cultural values. This notion will be largely spread by Léopold Sédar Senghor and by the Guyanese, Léon Damas (1912-1978).

Let’s us move further South in America.

[edit] 3 South Ameraic and French-speaking countries'

[edit] 3.1 Chile

South America also has a history connected to the Francophonie.

Most immigrants who settled in Argentina came fromEurope and mostly from France. In Chile, the phenomenon is even more clear. Politicians in hile in the 20th and 21st century have, like Mrs Bachelet, the current Chilean president, French ancestors.[3]

On a cultural level, some parts of Santiago town centre reminds us of the Haussmannian architecture. Chileans’ daily life can be influenced by the French gastronomy. For instance the French baguette in Chile, called ’marraqueta’ was in fact invented by the Marraquets, two French brothers who had invented that product at the beginning of the 20th century.

[edit] 3.2 Some different features of French-speaking countries

Eventually, some regions in South America belong to France, like Guyana.

As can be seen, all those cases seem different. There are many sorts of "francophonies". Anywhere, when French is the official and main language, we can talk of bilingualism. At last, in other countries, French can be just connected to the history of migrations throughout the 19th century. All these cases will be analysed in EFCS.

  1. VALDMAN (Albert) et al., Le français en Amérique du nord, 2005, Presses universitaires de Laval, Québec, 2005, 583 pages
  2. JAUNET (Claire-Neige), Les écrivains de la négritude, Paris, Ellipses, 2001, 127 pages.
  3. BLANCPAIN (Jean-Pierre), Le Chili et la France : XVIII-XXème siècle, Paris , l’Harmattan, 1999, 239 pages