VIDEO: Did you know all these stars spoke great French?

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 28 Dec, 2016 Updated Wed 28 Dec 2016 10:26 CEST
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VIDEO: Here's a collection of celebrities who have mastered the language of love... But how fluent are they really?


Carrie Fisher

Yes, Fisher, who died at the age of 60 on Tuesday, spoke impressive French indeed with a fantastic accent. Here's a 1977 clip of her talking about Star Wars. We give her a 9/10, only losing a point for throwing in the occasional English word. 

Tom Hiddleston

British actor and heartthrob Tom Hiddleston caused quite the stir when he slipped into French while talking about his character of Loki, from the movie Thor. He only had to ask for help with one word "deep down", which we admit is a tough one. And his accent was impressive. So, although a little refresher on his vocabulary mightn't go amiss, we give Hiddleston a 8/10.

Johnny Depp

Although Johnny Depp didn’t ever get around to marrying his French ex Vanessa Paradis, it seems that he did manage to pick up some language lessons from her along the way (perhaps around the pool of their multi-million euro pad on the French Riviera). In this quite moving little speech, he showcases his talents to a French audience. Yes, he is speaking French, but no, it's not very fluent. 5/10 for effort. 

Jodie Foster

One of the best French speakers on the list, Jodie Foster is so fluent that she has starred in a number of French films and also dubs her own films for French audiences. To be fair, however, she has been speaking the language for a long time, she went to a French-language prep school. Still, she's a standout star pupil - 10/10.

Bradley Cooper

In the video above, Cooper tells his interviewers that he learned French because he loves the language. And we're impressed. Sure, he did spend six months living with a family in southern France's Aix-en-Provence while he was at college, so he does have some good first-hand experience. And he certainly managed to retain charm his interviewers at this radio station; enough to receive a dinner invitation anyway. As impressed as we are, we can only give him a 9/10 - his comprehension saw him one step behind a few times. 

Diane Kruger

The German goddess that is Diane Kruger is known for her roles in both French and English films, neither of which are her native language. Indeed, she moved to Paris as a youngster to learn French (and start modelling). Her five-year marriage to Frenchman Guillaume Canet must have given her a helping hand in mastering the accent so well, because to our ear, it sounds like her French is perfect. 10/10.

Gwyneth Paltrow

No need to be so modest Gwyneth. Not only does she speak fluent Spanish, it turns out she also is very good at French, too. While she isn't as quick as Kruger of Foster (above), she certainly knows what she is doing. 9/10.

Kristin Scott-Thomas

Having lived in Paris since she was nineteen, British actress Dame Kristin Scott-Thomas sometimes even considers herself more French than English, and could you blame her with that wonderful accent? Truly, elegante. 10/10

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Even the interviewer compliments Gordon-Levitt’s French in this interview, admitting that he is ‘very impressed’. It might not be perfect, but to hold almost an entire interview in French is impressive work. A solid 8/10. If he spent two months in the French countryside, we'd see a ten out of ten for sure. 

Jonny Wilkinson

A man of many talents, it would seem. There is certainly no mistaking his British accent, but that probably makes rugby star Jonny Wilkinson’s French all the more charming for a francophone audience. But it loses him points from us - 7.5/10. 

Kylie Minogue

Although we only get a few glimpses of her French in this clip, that’s good enough for us. Although Australia's favourite ‘pint-sized princess’ has previously described her abilities as ‘Emergency French’, her performance throughout this quite lengthy scene of the film shows that she is being a little humble. Still, it's scripted (and when she gets interviewed on French TV, she prefers to answer in English). 6/10. 

Audrey Hepburn

Actress, fashion icon and humanitarian figure; just when we thought the charming Audrey Hepburn couldn't get any more perfect, we find out that she spoke not one, not two, not even three... but five languages. And yes, French was one of them. She was born in Brussels, of course, which surely had a lot to do with it. 10/10

Tony Blair

People may have disagreed with him on a number of things, but there is certainly no faulting his efforts in French. In this clip, he is able to discuss complicated topics in presque parfait French. Mastering a language at this level means an automatic 10/10.

READ ALSO: World Leaders who mastered French 

Queen Elizabeth

And finally, Her Majesty the Queen. Not only has she taught us the ‘Queen’s English’, she is also apparently rather familiar with the language from over the Channel. Enough to chat with France's President Francois Hollande, anyway. While the Queen's official website describes her as fluent, we took a closer look at these claims to mark her 90th birthday. Considering she is the Queen (and 90 years old), we'll giver her an honorary 10/10. 

By Hattie Ditton

Another version of this article appeared in April 2016.



The Local 2016/12/28 10:26

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