While reviewing the tag I noticed something that it may be important to be cognizant of.

Wiki for [dialectes] as of 12.08.2013:

Langues spécialement utilisées par un groupe d'individus déterminé. Les dialectes appartiennent à des langues dites naturelles qui se sont formées au fil du temps. Pour une langue donnée, ils diffèrent généralement par la localisation géographique du groupe d'individus. On les considère comme des variantes d'une langue.

Translation of bolded text:

They [dialects] are considered to be variants of a language.

I think it is very good that this line is in the wiki summary but I wonder if it is enough. Here is why:

It is possible for Acadian French native speakers to become offended if the Acadian French is referred to as a dialect. Acadian French, from a social and cultural perspective, is not considered to be a dialect. It is more often referred to as a variety of French. The reasoning behind this is complex but it is rooted in historical differences between the Acadians and the French.

I have gained this understanding partly from living in regions of Eastern Canada with many Acadians and also from having discussions with a PhD student who is writing a thesis on the subject of Acadian and Shiac French.

I understand that linguistically, the Acadian dialect is indeed a dialect, but to refer to it as such may be offensive to certain users.

I want to know what the more experienced users of this site think of this issue, and if there should be any sort of measure taken to correct this.

1 Answer 1


Tag wikis, as the name indicates, are edited by users. They are treated much like other kinds of posts (questions, answers) and you can see their revision history. Because of their global applicability, it takes the highest privilege level (4000 rep on a beta site) to edit tag wikis unsupervised, below that edits go through the suggested edit mechanism.

If you think the current tag wiki is wrong, please edit it to correct it. If you think that there's an issue that needs to be debated, you're right to raise it on meta.

I don't think this particular wording is wrong. In layman terms at least, it is correct to say that dialects are variantes of a language.

Acadian French is not mentioned in this text, so I fail to see how the debate as to whether it is or not a dialect is a problem.

Sooner or later we'll probably have a tag for Acadian French, and then how to describe it will become an issue. We as a community aren't really equipped to take such a political decision. On the other hand, Wikipedia is equipped for this task, by enforcing a neutral point of view backed by citations, with a resolution process when such issues get heated. So I propose to follow whatever terminology Wikipedia follows (at least if English Wikipedia and French Wikipedia reach the same conclusion).

  • Very informative. Thank you for your answer. I am unsure if the wording will ever become a problem, but I will certainly pay attention to it in the future. The chance of it becoming a debate would possibly arise from a question asking about Acadian French, being tagged 'dialectes'. That was the situation I had in my mind anyway. Aug 12, 2013 at 18:07

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