When I moved to Canada and saw both English and Francais written on signs, boxes of cereal, and bottles of shampoo, it was the first time I had thought about French verbs, tenses and grammar since school.
In the early days I actually wondered if perhaps my exposure to French might help me brush up on some of the lingo.
And then like every other Canadian, I completely forgot about it all and proceeded to lose any knowledge of the language I had acquired.
A recent BuzzFeed video has highlighted just how bad (most) Canadians are at French, despite our official bilingualism.
It shows three people attempting a grade 5 French test – and let’s just say they fare about as well as you’d expect.
All of them confess to having forgotten everything they learned in school (even those who received bi-lingual certification). Jenny apologetically introduces herself (in English), explaining that she is from Vancouver, which explains her horrible French.
“I’m from Quebec and the thing [motto] is ‘Je me souviens’ (‘I remember’),” says a male participant.
“Je me souviens, NOTHING.”
We give them an ‘A’ for Remorse and an F for French.