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Our president should speak English: French students
Photo: YouTube Screenshot

Our president should speak English: French students

The Local · 16 Feb 2016, 12:14

Published: 16 Feb 2016 12:14 GMT+01:00

President Francois Hollande does not have a sufficient level of English for his job, according to over three quarters of French students studying English, surveyed by language school ABA English.
 
Some 41 percent of the 3,000 respondents said the president should be perfectly bilingual, while 49 percent said a French president should speak "fluent" English. 
 
Nine percent said the president should at least be able to understand, while 2 percent said it wasn't important.
 
Hollande speaks English very rarely - and it's no wonder. When he tries, he is crucified mercilessly by comedians and YouTubers across France. 
 
The clip below, where he says (among other things) "Thank you to be there for your works" was highlighted by comedy programme Le Petit Journal last year.
 
 
But he's not always that bad, to be fair.
 
Watch him, below, making a joke about the weather in Washington and getting a laugh (before switching quickly back to French "because he was obliged to"). 
 
 
It's not all bad news for France, however. Tuesday's survey showed that Economics Minister Emmanuel Macron carries the torch as the best English-speaking politician in France, according to 65 percent of the 3,000 students surveyed.
 
And that's hardly a surprise - Macron speaks great English, albeit with a strong French accent. Take a listen to him chatting with the BBC below, dropping phrases like "it's not a showstopper".  
 
 
Perhaps surprisingly, Opposition Leader Nicolas Sarkozy came in second with 10 percent of the votes (tied with Bordeaux Mayor Alain Juppé) - and Sarko is also famously ridiculed for his English. 
 
 
We admire his efforts in this clip (and quite like his pronunciation of the word "money") - but it's a concern when this is your second-best English speaker. 
 
 
Meanwhile, if you want a little medley of the worst English efforts of French politicians, look no further than this clip:
 
 
But we can't poke the finger at French politicians without taking a look on the other side of the Channel (and beyond).
 
Story continues below…
In the interest of equality, The Local has scoured the internet for examples of British Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Obama speaking French. 
 
The best we could find was this three-word "sentence" from Cameron (which translates to "Let's go") at the very end of this clip. 
 
 
And Obama's pronunciation of "merci beaucoup" leaves a lot to be desired - while his take on the French slogan liberté, égalité, fraternité brought up laughter from the crowd.
 
 
Foreigners aren't always butchering the French language, however. Check out this collection of world leaders who have mastered French. There's hope for us all yet. 
 
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