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."
The Lafayette Parish School Board's mishandling of its insurance selection process over the last two years has caught the attention of the FBI.
Kids under 18 will have to pursue skin cancer the old-fashioned way.
Lafayette Parish School Board member Kermit Bouillion says he will defend his District 5 seat in the upcoming election.
The Louisiana chapter of Americans for Prosperity sent the pledge request to all 144 lawmakers in February.
The 5-foot-10, 203-pound former second-round pick has gone to three Pro Bowls in his five seasons.
The state argues that if they identify how they're getting the drugs, they could have trouble buying more because companies don't want to be known as helping in an execution.
The enrollment period ends this month.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday, March 12, 2014:
So far the Democratic agenda includes proposals to expand Medicaid; increase the minimum wage; offer equal pay to women; heighten regulations on predatory lending practices, like payday loans; and add more transparency in the governor’s office.
Hot-button education issues ranging from Common Core to charter schools have some lawmakers pushing to scrap the appointing process and go back to electing the state's super.
Police say the handcuffed man fatally shot himself in the back, but his family isn't buying the story.
Gov. Bobby Jindal offered a budget proposal that suggests new education and health care spending, pay raises for state workers and an incentive fund to encourage colleges to enhance their science, engineering and technology training.
Hopefully he’ll be better prepared today than he was in that Feb. 20 deposition.
They came by the hundreds, arriving from all regions of the state to gather on the steps of our Capitol in protest of the Legislature’s long tradition of giving industry the go-ahead to abuse our air, our water and our coastline, all in the name of good economics.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent rhetoric against President Barack Obama has failed to boost his standing among the conservative base.
Louisiana's annual legislative session begins.
The state has hired marksmen to shoot feral hogs from helicopters at two wildlife management areas in south Louisiana.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.