French in the United States

From Academic Kids

The French language is spoken as a minority language of the United States. It is the second most-spoken language in four states: Louisiana, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

Cajun, a variant of French, is spoken in some parts of Louisiana (a colony of France from 1682 to 1762 and again from 1800 until it was sold to the United States in 1803). Canadian French is also spoken in parts of northern New England, a legacy of significant immigration from Quebec between 1880 and 1920. More than 13 million Americans claim French ancestors, but only 1.5 million speak the language. The city of Miami is home to a large Francophone community, mostly Haitians. Many Quebec pensioners live in Florida.

Until the 1980s, French was the most popular foreign language studied in the United States. (Indeed, French has traditionally been the foreign language of choice for English speakers across the globe.) That distinction has since been claimed by Spanish - likely a consequence of heavy immigration from Latin America - but French remains widely studied as well, and virtually all schools offer courses in the language.

Many places in the United States have names of French origin, a legacy of past French exploration and rule over much of the land and in honor of French help during the founding of the country:

Seasonal variations

Florida, and a few other resort regions (most notably Old Orchard Beach, Maine) popular in Quebec are visited in large numbers by Quebecers during winter and summer breaks.

See also

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