Speaking French

Certain Ideas of Europe, the Economist blog, under the heading Speaking French: a British terror, has links to clips of Tony Blair and Queen Elizabeth II speaking French, and Nicolas Sarkozy speaking English.

Your reporter once had a boss in Brussels, many years ago, who came from a generation of Englishmen who learned technically perfect French but believed that it was somehow actorish and unmanly to speak it with anything except a full-strength British accent.

My mother did French at school and at university, in the early 1920s, and she used to say, ‘We didn’t do the accent in those days’.

1 thought on “Speaking French

  1. Margaret Marks points at a post in the Economist blog making fun of Brittons speaking French with an accent:
    Your reporter once had a boss in Brussels, many years ago, who came from a generation of Englishmen who learned technically perfect French but …

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