ERATH, La. (KLFY) — Every Friday in Erath, residents will gather to learn more about the French language, as well as the stories of the area’s strong French culture, both past and present.
Organizers say La Table Francais is open to all. All French dialects are encouraged, whether it be Cajun, Creole, International and others.
Lester Gautier says he’s been attending French table groups for years. Keeping the culture alive is what’s mostly important to him. Although he’s fluent in speaking the language, there is always room for growth.
“I learned from my grandmother,” said Gautier. “I had a little bit of education but I’ve been fighting it for 30 years. I didn’t start being fluent. You have to work at it to be fluent.”
For Mary Dinkins, this is her first time attending a French table group since the Coronavirus Pandemic. She says the long break caused her to forget most things she learned. Now, attending La Table Francais will help her strengthen her fluency in French.
“I was able to go listen and speak a bit but when you stop you start forgetting everything so that’s what happened,” said Dinkins. “I’m hoping that since we’re starting this up again, I will learn some more.”
She grew up in Vermilion Parish. Both of her parents were native French speakers but never passed on the tradition. She says thanks to the table group she’s able to teach her family the French language.
“I would like my kids and grandkids to learn so I’m starting to teach them words.”