Acadian French

Not to be confused with Akkadian language.
Acadian French
français acadien
Native to Canada, United States
Region New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Magdalen Islands, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire
Native speakers
370,000 (1996, 2006)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog acad1238[2]
Linguasphere 51-AAA-ho

Acadian French

Acadian French (French: français acadien) is a dialect of Canadian French. It is spoken by the francophone population of the Canadian province of New Brunswick, by small minorities in areas in the Gaspé region of eastern Quebec, by small groups of francophones in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, in the Magdalen Islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

In the United States, the dialect is spoken in the Saint John Valley of northern Aroostook County, Maine. Elsewhere in Maine, New England French is the predominant form of French spoken (apart from standard French).


Since there was relatively little linguistic contact with France from the late eighteenth century until the twentieth century, Acadian French retained features that died out during the French standardization efforts of the nineteenth century. That can be seen in examples like:

Many aspects of Acadian French (vocabulary, alveolar "r", etc.) are still common in rural areas in the West of France. Speakers of Metropolitan French and even of other Canadian dialects sometimes have minor difficulties understanding Acadian French. Within North America, its closest relative is the Cajun French spoken in Southern Louisiana as the two were born out of the same population that were affected during the Expulsion of the Acadians.

See also Chiac, a variety with strong English influence, and St. Marys Bay French, a distinct variety of Acadian French spoken around Clare and also Tusket, Nova Scotia.




Metathesis is quite common. For example, mercredi (Wednesday) is mécordi, and grenouille (frog) is guernouille. Je (the pronoun "I") is frequently pronounced euj.

In words, "re" is often pronounced "er". For instance :

Pronunciation of oi

Elision of final r



Examples of Acadian words

The following words and expressions are most commonly restricted to Acadian French, though some can also be found in Quebec French.


  1. Canadian census, ethnic data Archived July 25, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Acadian". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.


External links

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