1. I want to learn French, but where do I begin?

Learning a language involves consistently pushing yourself just beyond what you know.  This site of curated resources includes materials for absolute beginners - people who are just starting out or who are really rusty and need a review of the basics - as well as material for learners who already have some of the basics and are looking to push themselves just a little further, bit by bit, towards fluency. 

If you’re looking for some guidance on how to structure your learning, check out the printable PDF we made called the Independent Learner’s List and try to split your time between instructional materials and media resources.  Direct instruction (grammar books, language learning apps, traditional classes) helps you to understand how the language works and to make sense of all this new information.  Getting exposure to media (reading a children’s book, listening to French music, watching a film with or without subtitles) helps you grow accustomed to the language in the way it’s naturally used.  For more guidance, follow us on Quoi Ça Dit?, the blog part of our site.

  1. Should I learn Louisiana French or International French?

You should learn whatever variety of French you want!  We include resources we’ve found for International French as it’s spoken in Europe, Africa, Canada and elsewhere - as well as for Louisiana French and Louisiana Creole, the Creole language related to French that’s also called Kouri-Vini.  You can choose to focus on one variety over the other, but know that a lot of people don’t see it as an either-or situation.  They might take advantage of the huge amount of resources available in International French, and then “louisianify” their French with locally made resources, French tables, local music, etc. 

Want to know more about the difference between Louisiana French and “France French”?  Check out this video we made in collaboration with Télé-Louisiane.

  1. Some of these resources say “Cajun French” and some say “Louisiana French.”  What’s the difference?

For the most part, this is just a question of labels. When the cultural and linguistic revival movement began in Louisiana in the 1960s, it was very common to refer to the language as “Cajun French.”  Prior to that, however, there was a lot more variation when it came to labeling the way people in Louisiana spoke.  Some people with very strong ties to an Acadian heritage may have called it Cajun French, but many people simply called it “French.”  Recently, more and more people choose to call it Louisiana French to reflect the diverse Louisiana populations that speak it (Cajun, Creole, American Indian, etc.).  Whether a resource is labeled ‘Cajun’ or ‘Louisiana’ French is most likely a reflection of the personal choices of the people who created it and/or the time period in which it was made.

  1. What do the badges like "Media" or "Instructional" mean?

At the top of each entry on this site, you may see badges like "Media," "Instructional," or "Louisiana."  The "Media" badge means that this resource is something you can use to expose yourself to more French - to practice hearing it, reading it, etc.  The "Instructional" badge means that this resource actually gives direct guidance about the language: it's a teaching type of resource that will explain grammatical concepts or give you guided practice.  The "Louisiana" badge means that the resource is Louisiana-centric, whether it's a blog created by young Louisianians or a video of an older couple speaking Louisiana French together.  And, of course, "Paid" and "Free" just tell you if you'll need to pay anything to access this resource!