In fact, it has long been clear that the French cannot really speak at all, proudly asserting their descent from Neanderthals who, as is well known, lacked the hyoid bone needed for a properly functioning vocal tract. They do try to speak English in human company, but nobody can understand what they say, sound and fury yes, sense, mais non, certainement. If my remarks seem the obvious ethnic rantings due to my German origins then I will reply that I am fond of the high cultural achievements of the French nation, such as the compositions for piano by Frederic Chopin and the paintings of Pablo Picasso.
Tangentially, I first interpreted your use of 'pass on' as similar to 'pass up': for example, someone would say "I'll pass on that cake, I'm dieting. Then I realized you meant it in what should have been the more obvious sense, 'give to the next person'. Interesting how a single phrase can have almost opposite meanings depending on context.
(The game still follows the Standard English Ancient and Modern Rules with a few typically French modifications. Chalk Farm or Shepherds Bush gain the player a 3 move subsidy, and as you’d expect the mention of any main-line station will cause the succeeding player to miss a turn, or go on strike.)
As a dose of reality, I actually lived in Paris (with, Oo-La-La, an actual French girlfriend) for the best part of a year back in '68 (and no, that stuff in '68 wasn't all my fault) and I discovered that my schoolboy French didn't work at all. I don't know what language I had been taught, but it didn't seem to have been what any stranger I met spoke. The interesting thing was, however, that anyone Claire introduced to me IMMEDIATELY STARTED TO SPEAK IN PRETTY-GOOD-ENGLISH!! So I assume that it's true; the French, when faced with someone who is English (or, no doubt, American), and thus reminded that we won the lingua franca race, just goes "Ohn! Onn! On! On!" or the like merely to ridicule us.
Remember: if French existed 'Revenge' would be a French word!
And keep watching the skies!
Truth is stranger than fiction. French is not a hoax, but written french was designed as a psyops weapon for a cold war (it was made needlessly complicated intentionally as part of a very successful plan to keep the french nobles too distracted to revolt against Louis XIV).
No one seems to have mentioned that it's a common English idea that people in Wales/Ireland/Scotland transact all their daily business in English, but the moment they spot an Englishman coming into the pub, they all instantaneously switch to Welsh/Irish/Gaidhlig for the sole purpose of confusing the newcomer.
I've been told this in all seriousness a number of times. When I've answered something like "I suppose they do the same thing in Spain" it really doesn't seem to register.
because he (Chopin) had a French name? Though actually, he is often called Fryderyk Szopen in Poland. But seriously – his dad was French or something, and there's nothing we can do about it.
According to Wikipedia, "Chopin's father was Nicolas Chopin, a Frenchman from Lorraine who had emigrated to Poland in 1787 at the age of sixteen and had served in Poland's National Guard during the Kościuszko Uprising (1794)."