French group gathers for monthly soirees

It’s time for Cayman’s French speakers to have a rendezvous.

Aurelie Cabart, a local French tutor, is organizing a monthly meeting where native French speakers and language students can practice their accents and grammar.

Ms. Cabart, who has lived in Cayman for six years, has been involved in the language discussion groups for three years. There was no December meeting due to the group members scattering for the holidays, but Ms. Cabart said there are about 70 people who occasionally come to share a French conversation.

“It’s a really random mix of people,” she said. “People that are starting. And there’s one lady who was teaching French 30 years ago in the United States and is still at a really good level.”

Ms. Cabart said she has been told that the French community in Cayman is about 150 people.

But what’s even more surprising, she said, is the number of countries French-speaking people in Cayman come from. There have been group members from Belgium, Switzerland, Mauritius, Madagascar and Quebec, Canada, Ms. Cabart said, and they are able to teach each other new words from different cultures.

“We have a good group of people who come all the time, and new people,” she said about the group, which peaked one evening at 35 people. “It gets busier and busier. I met somebody last week. She said somebody had told her about the group but she didn’t know how to join. I hear that all the time.”

Ms. Cabart tries to choose a rotating venue, and past meetings have taken the group to Agua and Catch. The next meeting, on Tuesday at The Kitchen on West Bay Road, will be standing room only, she said, which means the French speakers will have to think on their feet before continuing their repartee.

“Usually, the people that don’t speak that well sit next to me,” Ms. Cabart said. “Sometimes, they don’t feel confident. They feel a bit shy. But after two glasses of wine, they’re much better.”

For information on joining the group, email [email protected]

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