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Why even being bad at a second language is pleasurable

Try it, and you find parts of your brain that had lain unused for years

By Sam Leith   February 2018

A French Supermarket in Tahiti. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

“Do you have an ice cream?” my wife asked the guy in the buffet car on the Eurostar in French, waving her can of beer in a friendly way. After a moment of mild confusion, he smiled and handed her a plastic beaker. My wife’s very slight Geordie accent—and assumption that “glass” in French is the same as the English word—had led to her unexpected question.

A weekend in Paris (chief finding: if you get the chance to have lunch at…

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