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Title: Chiac  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Canadian French, Languages of Canada, Acadians, Acadia, Acadian French
Collection: Acadian Culture, Canadian French, Languages of Canada
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Native to Canada
Region Acadian communities throughout the Maritime provinces, mainly around Moncton, Shediac and Memramcook
Native speakers
(this article does not contain any information regarding the number of speakers)
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog None
Linguasphere 51-AAA-am

Chiac is a variety of Acadian French heavily mixed and structured with English. It also has various Aboriginal languages influence as well, mostly being Mi'kmaq (such as the word for porcupine, Matues). It is spoken as the native and dominant language of most Acadians in southeast New Brunswick, especially among youth, near Moncton, Dieppe, Memramcook and Shediac. It is a more recent development of the French language, spurred by exposure to dominant English-language media (radio, television, internet) and increased urbanization to Moncton and contact with the dominant Anglophone community in the area since the 1960s especially. The word 'Chiac' is thought to derive from "Shediac".

The roots and base of Chiac are Acadian French, a spoken French often tinged with nautical terms (e.g. haler, embarquer), reflecting the historic importance of the sea to the local economy, as well as older French words (e.g., bailler, quérir, hucher, gosier), many deemed archaic by the Académie Française, testimony to three centuries of relative isolation of Acadian communities from French influence. The collected works of Goncourt Prize-winner Antonine Maillet, and her play La Sagouine in particular, illustrate very well this variation of French. What sets Chiac apart from Acadian French is that it is a vernacular French mixed with English. It uses primarily French syntax with French-English vocabulary and phrase forms (see below). It is often deprecated by both French and English speakers as an ill-conceived hybrid — either "bad" French or "bad" English. See franglais for a wider discussion of this phenomenon.

Chiac has been embraced in recent years by some Acadian groups as a living and evolving language, and part of their collective culture.

Acadian writers, poets and musicians such as France Daigle, Zero Celsius, Radio Radio, Paul Bossé,[1] Fayo[2] and 1755[3] have produced works in Chiac.

Recently, Chiac has also made its way onto local television with Acadieman, a comedy about "The world's first Acadian Superhero" by Dano Leblanc.[4] The animated series, also a comic book, contains a mixture of Anglophone, Francophone, and "Chiacophone" characters. The popular Acadian rap group Radio Radio have also raised the profile of Chiac by rapping almost exclusively in that language. "Acadian" French has been greatly influenced by Chiac as it has spread especially among the younger generations.


  • Example sentences 1
  • Films 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5
  • External links 6

Example sentences

  • "Ej vas tanker mon truck de soir pis ej va le driver. Ça va être right d'la fun." (I'm going to fill up my truck tonight and take it for a drive. That will be lots of fun.)
  • "Espère-moi su'l'corner, j'traverse le ch'min pi j'viens right back." (Wait for me on the corner, I'm crossing the road and I'll be right back.)
  • "Zeux ils pensont qu'y ownont le car." (Them, they think they own the car.)
  • "On va amarrer ça d'même pour faire sûr que ça tchenne." (We will tie it like this to make sure it stays.)
  • "Ca t'tente tu d'aller watcher un movie?" (Do you want to go see a movie?)
  • "Ej ché quosse vous faites de soir?" (I don't know. What are you doing tonight?)
  • "J'aime ta skirt, j'aime la way qu'a hang." (I like your dress, it fits you well!)
  • "Ton car é ti en pretty good shape?" (Is your car in adequate working order?)
  • "C'é pretty right on man, mon truck handle dans les trails." (It's really fun, my truck handles well off-road.)
  • "Man, c'té nouvelles light-là son complicated, j'aimais mieux le four-way stop!" (Man, these new lights are complicated, I preferred the four-way stop.)
  • "Mame, les rules des quads sont tu les mêmes sur les chemins?" (Mom, do the four wheeler regulations apply on the city streets?)
  • "T'é pu avec lui anymore, c'é pretty right on ça." (You aren't with him anymore; well that's good news.)
  • "Sylvie, ça semble comme si tu work out man, moi chu naturally fit though!" (Sylvie, it looks like you have been working out, I'm lucky enough to be naturally fit.)
  • "J'vai parker mon car dans le driveway là." (I'm going to park my car in that driveway there.)
  • "Quossé tu parle about"(What are you talking about.)
  • "Yinque à ouaire on oua bien" (Just by seeing, you see well.)
  • "Cousse-tu veux chte-dise?" (What do you want me to tell you?)
  • "Tchein ton siault d'beluets!" (Hold on to your blueberry bucket!)
  • "J'étais tellement en djable que j'l'ai horer par dessus la fence." (I was so upset that I threw it over the fence)
  • "J'ai crasher dans l'peteau, pis l'car étais toute smasher." (I crashed into the telephone pole and the car was all smashed.)
  • "tchin tes chulottes." (Keep your pants on!)
  • "Ayousque ta mis mes hardes?" (Where did you put my clothes?)
  • "Astheure cé mon tour." (Now it's my turn.)
  • "Reste icitte, j'v'aller parker car dans champ a côté d'la garage." (Wait for me here, I'm going to park the car next to the garage.)
  • "Le gars puait assez qu'l'ai genoux m'buckleyiant!" (The guy stank so much my knees buckled.)
  • "Cé right hard de driver standard quand tu commence a driver." (It's very hard to drive a manual stickshift when you're a beginner.)


See also


  1. ^ Manning, Joanna (2006-12-14). "High-flying literature".  
  2. ^ Laberge, Corinne (2007-06-28). "Le monde de Fayo". Retrieved 2007-08-09. 
  3. ^ Elsliger, Lise (2007-06-26). "Acadian band 1755 together again". Retrieved 2007-08-09. 
  4. ^ " 
  5. ^ IMDB
  6. ^ Onesheet

Further reading

  • King, Ruth. "Overview and Evaluation of Acadie's joual," in Social Lives in Language - Sociolinguistics and multilingual speech communities: Celebrating the Work of Gillian Sankoff edited by Miriam Meyerhoff and Naomi Nagy (2008) pp 137ff
  • Chiac: an example of dialect change and language transfer in Acadian French. National Library of Canada, 1987.

External links

  • (How about speaking Chiac?)"Et si on parlait chiac ?". November 4, 1998. Retrieved 2011-06-14. 
  • The Chiac verb particle construction - A linguistics paper (beginning on page 56 of the pdf document) examining certain features of Chiac grammar.
  • Music video for Radio Radio's song "Jacuzzi", with captions.
  • Interview with Radio Radio about chiac - Starts at 12:00 minutes in
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