Pardon My French

Pardon my French

My good friend and fellow professional speaker, Marc Andre Morel, delivers a speech with the title, “Pardon my French”. It’s an entertaining presentation. He is French Canadian and fluent in both French and English.

English speakers sometimes use the phrase, “Pardon my French” when they use crude or rude language. In this case it has nothing to do with speaking French. The phrase is ‘culturist” because it assumes that crude or imperfect English is French.

I often work with presenters whose mother tongue is other than English. They often feel self-conscious about their lack of perfect English.

I wish that they would see how silly this concern is because most natural born English speakers are less than perfect English presenters. As an English speaker all my life and with a university education I still make English errors. We all make mistakes.

A good example of how imperfect English hasn’t hurt him is US president George W Bush. And he went to Harvard.

So when I work with business speakers whose first tongue is not English, I remind them that it is about getting your message across. It is not about speaking ‘perfect English”.

George Torok

Pardon my English

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