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Get ready for beginners’ French
Get ready for beginners’ French

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4 Be inspired!

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Figure 4 Le français: un super pouvoir

Imagine this situation: you’re waiting in a train station concourse, and you notice a French visitor is having great difficulty sorting out her travel arrangements at the ticket desk. You can speak French – you can help them! You might feel a bit nervous about your pronunciation and getting things exactly right, but your motivation to communicate and provide assistance outweighs this, and your bilingual abilities resolve the situation. The employee at the station is relieved and impressed. The French visitor is very grateful for your help. In a way, speaking a language is like having a special power – and no-one knows until you suddenly reveal it.

In the same way, you never know who else might possess this special power! As it turns out, some famous faces are French-speakers. Actors like Tom Hiddleston, Bradley Cooper and Hugh Grant, for example, can conduct interviews in French, as can Serena Williams. American politician Mitt Romney was once filmed talking in French about his visit to the country. Jodie Foster and Kristin Scott Thomas can use French very confidently to talk about their experiences both in front of and behind the camera. And Eddie Izzard has performed whole comedy shows in French!

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Figure 5 Famous French speakers (L-R: Serena Williams, Hugh Grant, Jodie Foster, Kristin Scott Thomas, Eddie Izzard)

You can find various clips online of the people above speaking or performing in French. Some examples are below if you are interested (make sure to open any links in a new tab/window so you can easily return to this page).

Serena Williams speaking French [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

Hugh Grant speaking French

Jodie Foster speaking French

Kristin Scott Thomas speaking French

Eddie Izzard speaking French

Now, you might not find yourself interviewed on TV, but learning French will enable you to communicate in all sorts of different situations, and you never know when it will come in handy!