French Language a Hoax, It Turns out!

Since published in Liberty Unbound. Try it you might like it.

After yesterday’s Wikileaks revelations, Nicolas Sarkozy has today confirmed that the “French language” is indeed a one thousand year old hoax. The president of France revealed that what purported to be his native tongue was in fact complete gibberish, admitting the French really speak English, except in the presence of the British. This comes as Wikileaks published cables sent by French diplomats to countries such as Spain, China and Russia which were all found to be written in English.

During a speech given in received pronunciation, the French President came clean, stating that it all started off as a joke during William the Conquerer’s invasion to make the aggressors seem a bit more exotic. “What was initially a prank snowballed and after a few years we realised we’d look silly revealing the truth, so we had to keep up the façade,” said the Premier. “In the company of any Brits we would try to make convincingly “French” sounds, a mixture of guttural grunts and rapid-fire syllables.

But as soon as we were on our own we’d all heave a huge sigh of relief and revert to English. We developed a heavy reliance on hand gestures to cover up when we ran out of likely noises, and the shrug was a particular boon if inspiration dried up. In the end we became quite the raconteurs, with an impressive array of supposed vocabulary. So what began as a game for the élites, became a hobby across all levels of society, and it shocked us that the Brits were so naïve as to not see through the charade.”

Sarkozy claims Wikileaks will soon expose a number of other “languages”. “I mean, seriously guys, has anyone ever actually listened to “Arabic”? Je ne sais pas…..”


Here are my (JD’s) comments about this terrible revelation first published in NewsBiscuit circa Feb20th 2011

It’s a wonder the hoax lasted so long, the deceit was so transparent and so unsophisticated. Take the alleged French word for “table,” for example. It’s simply: “table.” They did not bother to change even a single letter. Or take the supposed French word for “intelligence.” It’s just the regular word “intelligence” pronounced in an affected and effeminate way. Only once in in a while did the French even make even a small effort to appear to have their own distinctive language. So, for example, they took the English word “connoisseur” and made it “connaisseur,” turning a o into an a in the middle of the word to try and trip the unaware and the naïve. Frequently, they just add an e at the end of a normal word in a paltry attempt to appear different. This goes, for example for the longest word in the alleged French language “anticonstitutionalisme,” which shows with pathetic clarity that it’s simply pseudo-English.

To be completely fair, the engineers of the hoax of a distinctive French language managed two clever defenses that retarded significantly the unavoidable uncovering of their treachery. I refer here to “irregular verbs” and to so-called “false-friends.”

Every young American, or Englishman, or Australian, who as ever forced to learn the French “language,” first went through an obligatory period of intimidation. They were all told that they had to master “irregular words,” like this: “je vais, j’irai, j’allais, [que] j’aille.” (I go, I will go, I used to go, that I go). They were all told of the three hundred like this they must master without fail. Naturally, as you would expect, all of those young people quickly became discouraged. And, of course, their mass failure only served to re-inforce overtime the myth of a separate French language. The French themselves have never heard of such barbary. In private, they used word like you and I (“you and me”?)

The second obstacle thrown in their path, the so-called “false friends” were thrown at random into the pseudo-language by the perpetrators. Thus, “deception” means “disappointment,” “entree” means “hors-d’oeuvre,” and , the old English word “mercy,” they rob of its final y and replace it with an i and then, they tell you it means only “Thank you” in their pretend-language

Had we been more observant, we would have uncovered the deception much earlier noting the curious absence of certain essential words, in that imaginary language, French. Thus, it has no word for “fun” and, on the Internet, it uses “LOL” to mean exactly “LOL.”

We were had. Dommage!

About Jacques Delacroix

I am a sociologist, a short-story writer, and a blogger (Facts Matter and Notes On Liberty) in Santa Cruz, California.
This entry was posted in Cultural Studies, Socio-Political Essays. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to French Language a Hoax, It Turns out!

  1. Jacques:

    Is this for real??? It sounds like a “put-on”…

    Carmel Valley

  2. Terry Amburgey says:

    I should’ve known all along. It’s such a cruel charade; the Quebecois have even insisted that this so-called language have equal status with English in Canada.

  3. David says:

    I knew it! I always knew those frenchmen were shifty…

  4. Ronald says:

    I knew there was something up! There are just too many unpronounced letters in French words. I thought I detected a smile on my prof’s face when she was trying to get me to hear and pronounce the difference between sur and soeur. She made me say it 50 times!

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Why did it take you a thousand years?

      • Ronald says:

        Well Jack,

        My prof asked me not to let the rest of the class know, but when she refused to give me an A for my silence, I knew I had to do the right thing and let the rest of the class know of the hoax! Now my Canadian friends are refusing to speak Americain. They now only speak Canadien in my presence. I am not sure that reveling this hoax to my class has worked out for me. Is it true that “american” means “speaks one language” in Italian?


      • jacquesdelacroix says:

        Ronald: First, it’s not “Jack, it’s “Jacques” like a woman’s long love moan.
        What are you doing learning French, or pretend-French anyway? Are you effeminate or just trying to get a leg up on resisting girls?
        If it’s the latter, here is my advice: It would be easier to learn to speak English with a French accent. I am thinking of starting a school. What do you think?

  5. Thomas H. says:

    Guys, French is actually a language, really like none other, not even like Spanish that is very frequently spoken in many places, especially in the States. You appear to be with the ages – old sociological group, despite the comments for the people by the French president, who enjoy thinking about French seafood, wine, cheese, and travel to the Loire and so forth. Please try to understand that while you have found a “loophole” with respect to French, that not everyone in France or French – speaking will agree with the loophole. Moreover, there are common misconceptions and criticisms of French that have come out in this discussion, and in the old days when brought up were called a little racist, if you do not mind the term.

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