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mardi, 17 novembre 2015 08:53

We have much more in common than we have differences

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It is simply amazing when you realize how many residents of the Acadia of the Lands and Forests share the same last name. For example, there are more than 500  Levesque names in our telephone books and that doesn't include those with no land line. I imagine that other family names are most probably as numerous or even more numerous than ours.  

In addition to family names we've learned that we also share the same values and many of the same past times.  

Objectively speaking, we have much more in common than we have differences. As you know, this was once one contiguous region and, for all practical purposes, we still are. This is the goal of Réussir ici/Succeed here - to promote cooperation and economic development in l'Acadie des terres et des forêts.  

Of course, we Acadians and Franco-Americans in northern Maine include a lot more English in our French than our neighbors but that is pretty much the only thing that differentiates us. The good news is, it doesn't need to separate us.   

Un journaliste du Témiscouata me dit, il y a quelques années, "Je me fais servir en français au McDo de Madawaska (Maine) et je ne peux pas faire ça a Ottawa."  

I was happy and proud to hear this. To be served in French in northern Maine is something we Acadians and Franco-Americans too often take for granted. I can get served in French at lots of places in the Valley. (By the way, "The Valley" is what we call our section of the Saint John River, from Hamlin in the east to Dickey in the west.)  

Comme vous savez probablement (je le souhaite) - il y a pas mal de francophones au nord du Maine.  

Mais là, faites attention ... We speak French but we can hardly read or write it because we never learned. However, the majority of us understand quite a bit of French. What we are missing is the name of common things.  

Here's an example of what I mean. Several years ago two couples from Madawaska went snowmobiling to Dégelis. They needed a place to stay overnight and they saw a nice building called Hôtel de Ville. So they went in and asked the girl behind the counter for a room for the night. Elle dit, "Monsieur, nous ne louons pas de chambre ici." Le franco-américain dit, "Comment ça c'est marqué 'hôtel' en avant de la bâtisse?" Ont a beaucoup ris quand il nous ont conté ça. J'imagine que la secrétaire de l’hôtel de ville a ri aussi.  

So, when you visit northern Maine parlez-nous en français but we might answer in English. Ne vous en faites pas, the important thing is to communicate.  

Patience is word that is spelled the same and means the same in English comme en français.  

Voici un autre mot that is spelled the same and means the same thing in English comme en français: Respect.

Lu 3853 fois Dernière modification le mardi, 17 novembre 2015 09:05
Don Levesque

He spent more than 30 years in community journalism, mainly at the St. John Valley Times, located in Madawaska, Maine. where he wrote a bilingual newspaper column, Mon 5¢, for more than 20 years. He has been inducted into the Maine Franco-American Hall of Fame ans into the Maine Journalisme Hall of Fame.

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