Facts from My Fiction: Kouri-Vini

In my current work-in-progress, Bayou Fire, there is a fictitious organization called the Bayou Cultural Society.  This is where our male protagonist, Amos Boudreaux, works as an attorney.  Loosely based on a real organization, CODOFIL, the Bayou Cultural Society’s mission is to preserve the languages and culture of Louisiana. That not only includes Louisiana (Cajun) French but also the Louisiana Creole language, also known as Kouri-Vini.

Kouri-Vini is a dying language.  Best estimate is that there are fewer than 7,000 speakers of this French-based language remaining world-wide.  There are some efforts being made at preservation, as is the case with Louisiana French.   I’m learning Kouri-Vini myself as part of my research for the book; even though I am fairly fluent in French, it can be tough going since the syntax is very different.

Anyway, the language is poetic and interesting.  This song, “Vini, Jilie” (“Come, Jilie”), is sung in Kouri-Vini.  Enjoy!

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