Anybody who has ever expressed an interest in learning French while living in Jamaica will find that their experience resonates with the ultimate truth of the title of this post.

French in Jamaica does not exactly receive the same level of support that other languages do. In simpler terms, you’re more likely to be exposed to some aspect of Spanish culture or be encouraged to learn Mandarin before French enters the language discussion. And there are very limited opportunities for exposure to French language and culture in schools or media, but that’s a post for another day. Don’t get me wrong, there are organizations such as the Alliance Française de la Jamaïque and the embassies of France, Belgium and Canada that host or support French culture events. But in my personal experience, only a small section of Jamaican society knows about these events, while the masses are still kept in the dark. I specifically remember finding out about the Alliance Française by sheer luck.

My point is, the cards are stacked against us, Jamaican French learners, lovers, speakers and potential seekers. But if the cause is so hopeless, why am I saying all of this? And why did I decide to start this blog, The Jamaican Francophile, instead of say, learning Mandarin? Perhaps in the hopes of filling the information gap (or maybe abyss is more accurate) when it comes to French language learning and cultural experience in Jamaica. And hopefully creating a community for those learners, lovers, speakers and seekers who want the space to satisfy and explore their interest in French in a country that admittedly could do more to foster this community.