I learned French watching a hit 90’s TV Show
Most people born in the golden era known as the 90’s or slightly before that remember the hit Nickelodeon show All That. For many, it was a great comedic release from our daily stressful lives of caring for our Tamagotchi’s and NeoPets. Today, it serves as a nostalgic memory that we will forever cherish as we relive them by listening to 90’s theme songs playlist on YouTube and take Buzzfeed quizzes to figure out which Rugrats character we are. However, for one man, Josiah Brown from Atlanta, Georgia, All That was much more than a sketch comedy show. Josiah Brown has spent years watching rerun episodes of All That paying special attention to the segment “Everyday French with Pierre Escargot”. In this segment Pierre Escargot, portrayed by actor Kenan Thompson, wears his iconic yellow jacket, sits in a tub filled with bubbles, and recites simple one liners in French which he later translates to English. Video below:
After watching a few clips, we were astounded by how one man could learn such a complex language from a sketch comedy show so we reached out to Josiah Brown via Skype.
So how did you figure out you could use All That to learn French?
Josiah Brown: “Well, originally when I watched it as a child I thought it was funny. However, after watching one of the episodes on Teen Nick I saw the real educational value in each skit. So, I would pull out my journal and my French dictionary, write notes, translate the one liners, and recite the lines to my cat Fromage. Pierre Escargot was a real inspiration and teacher to me.”
Did you have any interest in French before watching All That?
Not really, I took Spanish while in school, but the teaching methods my instructor used just didn’t resonate with me. The language just didn’t stick. After taking the language for 2 years, I have very limited Spanish speaking abilities. I guess one positive is that I can understand Justin Bieber’s part in Despacito.
Err .. well That’s great. Can we hear some of your French?
Josiah Brown: “Sure, Je ne suis pas vraiment intelligent.”