Date(s) - 03/21/2019
7:15 pm - 10:30 pm

Nashua Public Library


7:15 to 8:30 pm  Evening Presentation:  «”Les dialectes du Québec et de l’Acadie en Nouvelle-Angleterre”» by Robert Perreault et Henri Vaillancourt – Nashua Public Library

The French-Canadian language spoken in Quebec and the maritime provinces of Acadia are based on old dialects from the different regions of France from where the first settlers originated. These dialects contain many ancient words and expressions that are closer to Latin and the other romance languages than the “Parisian” French.

Speakers bios:

Robert B. Perreault has worked as a research assistant/oral history interviewer, librarian/archivist, freelance writer, historical tour guide, public speaker, photographer, and conversational French teacher to promote Manchester’s history and New England’s Franco-American culture since 1973. His works of nonfiction and fiction, written in French, in English or in both languages, include seven books and more than 160 articles, essays, and short stories published in the US, Canada and France. M. Perreault holds an MA in French with specialization in New England Franco-American studies from Rhode Island College and an MFA in Creative Writing/Fiction from Southern New Hampshire University. In June 2012, Franco-Américain Centre named him “Franco-American of the Year.”

Henri Vaillancourt was raised in Greenville NH, and his generation’s maternal language is French – the third generation born of Quebecois and Acadian immigrants in the late 1800’s. He attended Sacred Heart School, where half the day was conducted in French into the 1960’s by the Canadian religious order based in Nicolet PQ.

He briefly attended UNH before embarking on a career of self employment with the construction of birchbark canoes patterned after those used by indigenous tribes and in the French fur trade. His work resides in museums and private collections throughout the world .

His work has been featured in numerous publications such as : “The Virtuoso – face to face with 40 extraordinary talents’’ ; “Wooden Ship”; “Fine Woodworking”; “Wooden Boat’’; “Yankee Magazine”, and chosen for exhibit at the Smithsonian Renwick Gallery, The Herbert F Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell, and the American Craft Museum in NY.

In 1977, he and Todd Crocker co-founded the Trust for Native American Cultures and Crafts, a non-profit foundation for the purpose of documenting the material culture of the northern indigenous people.

His interest in French language and culture was sparked in a conversation  in France during a 5 week bicycle trip in 1993 when he was told he spoke an old dialect from northern France .This has led to a study of the dialects he grew up with, and the development of a program which was shown in Oct 2018 to an enthusiastic audience in his hometown in collaboration with Robert Perreault.