Sunday, August 20, 2017

Chiac in Shediac


Gordon:  Much of our communication in the past 6 weeks has been in French.  While neither of us is fluent, we both have an intermediate knowledge and can comfortably travel in French.  We have, however, struggled with the accents in Quebec and New Brunswick (which are not the same.). But today we truly were out of our depth when we encountered Chiac at an outdoor concert.  Chiac is a form of Acadian French that is syntactically different, uses a lot of  archaic French and incorporates considerable English, as well as a bit of Micmac.  It is spoken in southeast New Brunswick, and the name Chiac is probably derived from Shediac, the name of the beach town near Moncton where we are staying.

When the lead singer of the band addressed the audience in this bizarre mixture of French and English we thought it was a parody of one or both of the languages.  Ruth had heard of Chiac, however, and we quickly confirmed via Wikipedia that this was what we were hearing.  Wikipedia includes some example sentences to give the flavour of the dialect.  How about this one: "Ej vas tanker mon truck de soir pis ej va le driver. Ça va être right d'la fun." (I am going to go put gas in my truck and drive it tonight. It's going to be so much fun.)  While Chiac is an exaggerated version, French in Eastern Canada generally incorporates some of these contractions and changes in pronunciation.  No wonder we have been struggling a bit to understand the spoken language.

Our tripometer rolled through 3,000 kms today.  We are only 25 kms from our ultimate destination, Moncton, but we still have five riding days available.  As a result, we have decided to see a little bit of Nova Scotia.  We are riding to Springhill tomorrow.




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