The French Tables meet periodically to speak in French.
All varieties of spoken French are acceptable, but generally we ask that only passing phrases are spoken in English. If your French is not quite fluent, that’s okay. If you don’t know the word in French say it in English like a good Cajun as in Je vas back mon truck sur le highway, which is to say I will back my truck on the highway.
Speaking French is like riding a bicycle. There is only one way to learn: just do it and keep on doing it until you are good at it. Some participants have not spoken French since they were children; but soon, they discover that their first language returns, maybe not easily, but returns as a though a lost friend has return home.
Viens parler avec nous autres.
Each table has a leader of sorts called by many names, but I am a Captain of a Friday afternoon table from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM that meets at Picadilly Cafeteria on Johnston Street, 100 Arnould Blvd Lafayette LA 70503. We generally just talk about anything except religion and politics. One or many can speak at the same time.
Other French Tables are found throughout the state of Louisiana with some meetings in Texas. The table below is shows all known french tables. If you know of one that has been meeting for at least 6 months, email me to update this list. and let me know. I will add it to the list. Some table come and go, but these listed here have been around for a while, each one is slightly different in some ways, but perhaps very different in other ways.
The Dwyer’s Café in Lafayette French Table each week on Wednesday Mornings at 6:30 AM has mostly traditional Cajun French speakers. It is the oldest table in South Louisiana beginning sometime before 1998. The table captain is Lester Gauthier.
The Pamplona Tapa Bar French Table meets each week on Tuesday at Noon. People speak French from France and Belgium, but also many other speakers talk about life in Louisiana where they grew up. At these two tables, the floor is open to one and all just to speak and have as many conversations as possible at the same time. The table captain is Rick Michaud.
The biggest and most diverse gathering is at Nunu’s in Arnaudville. Conversation is open, but may also include music and presentations. This is a monthly meeting at Nunu Collective. The table captain is Mavis Fruge.
The French Table in Abbeville requires that the person speaking be recognized by the chairperson. They meet at the Vermilion Parish Library each Saturday morning.
Rayne has two tables which meet at the same time on the same day each week. Take your pick.
One is at Frog City Travel Plaza. The event is much like the Dwyer’s, Pamplona’s and Johnston Street Java French Table. There is open conversation.
The other Rayne Table is at Bernard House. William Thibodeaux, the table captain, prepares word lists and folklife presentations each Saturday morning.