About us

Context

Project Background

What is a ‘Differential Glossary’?

The French language in Acadia

Context

Communicating requires adapting one’s message to reduce distance, whether social or linguistic distance, distance caused by the roles played by the people involved or by the level of formality of the conversation. This adaptation is of great importance in doctor-patient communications, especially in French Acadia where the regional language often constitutes a significant barrier.

 

The Glossaire différentiel des termes de la santé is intended to meet the need expressed by doctors who want to be better able to communicate with their patients and avoid mistakes caused by a misinterpretation of their instructions, especially when dealing with those who speak non-standard varieties of French.

 

Project Background

The glossary was compiled by Gisèle Chevalier, former director of the Centre de recherche en linguistique appliquée (CRLA) at the Université de Moncton, at the invitation of Dr. Fernand Arseneau (MD, LMCC, Dip. Sports Med.) from the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont Hospital in Moncton, NB. The project was carried out from 2004 to 2007 and resulted in the publication of Les mots pour parler des maux : Lexique différentiel des termes acadiens liés à la santé, co-authored with Lise Rodrigue of the Université de Moncton.

 

Widely distributed across Canada in medical training centers and services, this glossary has been digitalized and expanded over time to include terms used in Acadia as well as in all Francophone communities across Canada.

What is a ‘Differential Glossary’?

A differential glossary focuses on the lexical features of one variety of language, in this case, Acadian health-related vocabulary . The inventory presents the differences between Acadian words and the standard French terms that serve as a point of comparison to identify the distinctive characteristics of the Acadian vernacular.

 

It is important to note that the terms presented in this glossary are not purely Acadian. In fact, most can be traced back to France and originated in colonial era French or other dialects. A number of the terms are also still used in Quebec, Switzerland, Belgium, Northern Africa and other French-language regions of origin.

The French language in Acadia

Along with Quebec and Louisiana, Acadia is one of the original French settlements in North America. The term “Canadian French” encompasses Acadian French and the so-called “Laurentian” varieties of French that originated in Quebec and later spread into Ontario and Western Canada.

 

Although settlers in Acadia and Quebec came from France, the majority of Acadian settlers arrived from Western France (Saintonge and Poitou). Therefore, Acadian French differs considerably in pronunciation and vocabulary from the “Laurentian” varieties of French spoken in Quebec and the rest of Canada.

 

Multiple varieties of French coexist in today’s Acadian communities, each with its own words to describe ailments and illnesses: standard French, standard Acadian, traditional Acadian, modern day Acadian and a combination of French and English called “Chiac” in South Eastern New Brunswick and “Franglais” in Nova Scotia.

 

Today, Acadia is made up of many communities spread out over a large geographical area. The most homogenous language area is located in the Maritimes, which is home to a large number of Francophones. The francophone population is more concentrated in New Brunswick, especially in Gloucester, Kent and Madawaska counties. According to the 2006 Census, New Brunswick is in the lead with 33% of its population composed of Francophones. Prince Edward Island is in second place with 4.4%, and Nova Scotia is last with 3.8%.

Ligature / sterilization
je suis amarré(e)
ils s'avont fait attacher
ils s'avont fait couper
Delivery
la délivrance
elle est en labour
elle va acheter ben vite
elle va débouler
la femme va être malade
Diarrhea
elle a  le choléra
j'ai le corps changé
j'ai la foire depuis 3 jours
j'ai la va-vite
il a le petit va-vite
il a le petit moulin
ça passe tout drouette
je suis prise de purge
j'ai la shitaway
Constipation
j'suis dur à chier
j'suis aux durs
il peut point physiquer
je suis au dur sur l'estomac
je suis bindé
je suis bloqué
j'ai le corps barré
je suis crampé
il est serré du corps