Brayon and Chiac, Canadian dialects of French

I personally never realized how many distinct dialects of French were spoken just in North America alone. Louisiana has a different variety from town to town, but in Canada, there are entirely distinct ethnic groups using their own kinds of French, Chiac French is a subdialect of Acadian French, but Brayon is its very own dialect, and ethnic group.

Chiac is spoken in New Brunswick around the cities of Moncton, Shediac, and other towns in that area. Chiac is used on a range between full Chiac Acadian French, and Chiac mixed with lots of English. Some believe it is threatened, but it was also found that when many Chiac speakers went to Quebec or an anglophone part of Canada, that they could switch between full French or full English just fine. It has become increasingly more mixed with English in the past few decades as English media increases and French education or media continue to not be offered much in the region where Chiac is spoken. One article said that the amount of French used will determine the future of Chiac in the region, and it is important that the speakers continue to use a healthy amount of French to ensure the variety can survive for more generations to come.

Brayon is spoken in the Madawaska region of New Brunswick. It has four main sound changes that occur between it in French. The “-a/â” representation are both pronounced /ɑ/, like an “ahh” at the back of the throat, but the back of the tongue is lifted, as called an open back unrounded vowel. The difference also happens with “ai” and “ê”, which both have the /ɛ/ sound in Brayon. This is most similar to the “e” in “bed”. If you’re familiar with Quebec French, many speakers pronounce the object pronoun “moi” or “toi” (me/you (obj.)) as “moé” and “toé“. The Brayons pronounce any word ending with “oir” as “oér”, instead. Brayon also has colored French with its own localized expressions, even some unique ones to their region.

Check out these resources for more information on Chiac, and how it’s viewed.

There isn’t really anything for Brayon outside of the Wikipedia page and native speakers. A native speaker suggested the topic, and helped me with information for the video, and provided audio recordings and verified the original script.

Bureau, Government of Canada, Public Works and Government Services Canada – Translation. “Vous parlez chiac? Crazy! – Articles – From Our Contributors – Language Portal of Canada”. www.noslangues-ourlanguages.gc.ca. Archived from the original on 2016-04-21. Retrieved 2016-05-29.

“Chiac: A pride or a threat to French?” https://www.clo-ocol.gc.ca/en/cyberbulletin_newsletter/2012/october-11

Native speakers speaking Chiac https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOrLAkSNe5c

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