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."
High-profile criminal defense attorney Daniel Stanford awaits his fate in the Curious Goods conspiracy trial.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is set to put the kibosh on the legal ownership of monkeys trained to help the disabled, and the agency wants to know what you think.
A federal judge on Thursday asked lawyers battling over Louisiana's new, restrictive abortion law for an agreement that apparently could let clinics stay open — at least for a while — after the law takes effect Sept. 1.
An abortion rights organization wants a federal judge to block enforcement of Louisiana's new abortion law while its lawsuit to overturn the law makes its way through court.
Republican presidential prospects Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal are planning to speak at an Iowa Christian conservative event in September.
The attention surrounding Victor White III has spiked with the release of last week’s autopsy report, which has raised a number of serious questions about the night of his death and has put the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office under an increased wave of scrutiny as more national media outlets are jumping on the story, most recently seenh on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
Dogs get back-to-school blues; mother pleads for release of journalist; ice bucket challenge and more national and international news for Thursday, August 28, 2014.
A group supporting taxpayer-funded private school tuition vouchers is appealing a federal judge's order that Louisiana must provide regular reports to federal officials on the state's voucher program.
The Discovery Channel has canceled reality TV star Will Hayden's popular "Sons of Guns" show after his arrest on an aggravated rape charge.
The LPSB will finally hear from the attorney it hired to investigate the superintendent at a special meeting Thursday at 4 p.m.
Authorities are investigating a report that a student there warned the principal of impending violence similar to that depicted in the movie "The Purge."
Saints cornerback Champ Bailey has played for more than a handful of playoff teams during a career that has seen him selected to 12 Pro Bowls.
Police say a 56-year-old Lafayette man walking behind a dump truck died when the truck hit him as it was backing up.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is a proud papa of new baby girl.
The books on Louisiana's last budget year have been closed, but it took a bit of borrowing from this year to make the numbers work.
The Iberia Parish Coroner responded Monday to the attention surrounding the questionable shooting of Victor White III, a black man from New Iberia who died April 2 while in the custody of local law enforcement.
Two months after lawmakers agreed to create a $40 million higher education incentive fund, no decisions have been made about how to divide the money.
With Drew Brees back healthy, the New Orleans Saints are free to work on the little things that can make the difference between a Super Bowl run and something less.
Incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and her lead GOP challenger Congressman Bill Cassidy are running close when it comes to money. Landrieu has $5.5 million to Cassidy’s $5.6 million in the bank.
With expectations mounting that Gov. Bobby Jindal will soon announce his campaign for president, attention is turning to not only who he will bring along with him but also what will transpire politically back home during the transition.
Seven of the 11 U.S. cities in a new ranking of “most dangerous diets” are in the Bayou and Lone Star states, but the ranking is more about poverty than fried oysters.
Lafayette police are investigating a fatal shooting involving an alleged burglar and homeowner.
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham got the message from the NFL. He's not dunking footballs over goal posts any more.
With qualifying over, the start of campaign season is official, and for the Lafayette Parish School Board, the race toward Nov. 4 will pit 20 candidates in battles for all 9 of the district’s available seats.