From a long-running radio show to bilingual street signs, efforts are being made to preserve a vernacular once repressed by law.
This radio show is part of a conscious effort to sustain an iteration of French that followed its own evolutionary path here, far from the famed vigilance of the Académie française. Many now believe Louisiana French to be endangered, even as other aspects of the state’s rural culture flourish amid the homogenizing forces of modern life. “We’re not losing the music. We’re not losing the food,” Mr. Layne said from his office, Ville Platte, a city of 7,500 about two and a half hours west of New Orleans. “But we’re losing what I think is the most important thing, which is language.”