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Can the British do foreign languages?

There is a popular BBC TV comedy from the 1980s called Allo Allo, which is set in France during World War Two.  One of the characters adopts a cod French accent, to much hilarity from the studio audience.  His catchphrase is "Good Moaning", which is how the French say Good Morning apparently.


Joining Arthur Bostrom and Peter Sellers in the pantheon of Brits adopting cod French accents is Joey Barton, the former Premier League footballer who currently plays for French Ligue 1 team Marseille.  To date, over 1.7 million people have watched his attempt at using a French accent to win over the French media:


















Joey is not the first Brit to try and win over his adopted nation by imitating their accent.  Former England Manager Steve McLaren tried much the same thing when he moved to Holland to manage FC Twente:


There are two schools of thought to this interview:  The majority tends to believe McLaren was acting crazily in trying to speak as he perceived the Dutch to speak.  I am more with the minority in thinking that everybody adjusts their language to adapt to the people they are talking to, and this is exactly what the football manager was doing.


British people, and probably most nationalities, will speak differently in McDonalds or in a pub compared with how they speak at work or to their parents-in-law, so we will give Steve the benefit of the doubt in this case.


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Arthur Bostrom, the comedy French policeman from 'Allo 'Allo

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