Since 1968, when the Louisiana Legislature created CODOFIL and defined its mission to "do all that is necessary for the promotion of French for cultural, educational and touristic purposes in Louisiana," many have diligently worked to preserve the French language in Louisiana.
Why is it important to save our French language?
The "survival of the fittest" principle does not apply to languages. Indigenous languages are often dismissed as primitive and in need of replacement. However, we know that the process which has led to the dominance of English is not the result of any intrinsic deficiency of French; rather, unequal rates of social change have caused disparities in resources between developed and developing societies resulting in English domination. As modern communication continues to be dominated by English at an increasing rate, this does not mean that people have to lose their mother tongues if they choose not to do so. Bilingualism has, historically, been the norm rather than the exception. In Louisiana, it has been a powerful source of cultural pluralism and diversity.
The Louisiana French language is a source of unique historical data of such things as folklore, land preservation, genealogy and traditions. Languages, like biological species, are highly adaptable to their environments. Much of the detailed knowledge of the past is, over the years, encoded in the language spoken by groups who have lived for centuries in close contact with their surroundings, and this provides useful insight in the management of our environment and understanding of our heritage.
Linguistic diversity is an irreplaceable resource for future generations. While one new technology may be substituted for another, this is not true of languages. To remove the unique French language from Louisiana is to remove it from the world forever. Because a large part of language is culture-specific, an important part of cultural identity is lost when a language disappears.
Louisiana continues to lead the nation in developing its cultural tourism industry. One of the primary reasons given by visitors to Louisiana is our unique French language and customs. Just like any other national resource, the language should be protected rather than "strip mined" as we too often do today.
Louisiana's bilingual educational program is recognized as one of the best in the nation. As we continue to find ways to improve education in Louisiana, we should look to expand, rather than reduce, the support of this program because if we lose the language, we will likewise lose the culture.
We express our thanks to all who help us support and promote French in Louisiana and look forward to working with Lt. Governor Landrieu's new initiative: "Louisiana Rebirth."
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Hello Kitty turns 40; police ambush suspect caught; Knicks surprise Cavs and more national and international news for Friday, October 31, 2014.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
The Lafayette City-Parish Council will consider on Tuesday a revised plan to the transform a block in Downtown Lafayette into a mixed-use residential-retail-commercial development that doesn’t include giving title to the property to the Lafayette Public Trust Finance Authority, an arrangement the council rejected earlier this month.
Trying to combat the national undertones of Louisiana's U.S. Senate race, Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu is traveling the state this week on a sort of pork celebration tour, telling voters about the projects and aid she's delivered to Louisiana.
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The state treasurer won't sign financial documents needed for $200 million in borrowing or for a refinancing of existing debt until he believes they accurately explain the surplus disagreement.
Bill Cassidy voted for 97 percent of the bills signed by Barack Obama.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is joining South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on her campaign bus tour.
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A district judge decided Wednesday against sanctioning attorney/school board candidate Dawn Morris for her behind-the-scenes role in a lawsuit against Mark Cockerham.
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