The 21st Show

Best Of: Preserving Illinois Country French


Editor's Note: This segment originally aired November 2021. 

When you think of regions where French is spoken outside of France, Canada probably comes to mind in North America, or of course, Louisiana, where the cajun culture and dialect has a deep French influence going back hundreds of years, but there's also a cultural heritage of "Illinois Country French," also known as "Missouri French," here in our state. This Illinois Creole culture is fading, but today we were joined by one of the few speakers left in Illinois, who's been working to keep the heritage alive.


Dennis Straughmatt 

Musician, Folklorist, Historian of Illinois Creole culture



Prepared for web by Owen Henderson

Help shape our coverage on The 21st by joining our texting group and answering weekly questions. To join, text “TALK” to 217-803-0730 or sign up with your phone number below: