Brickbat: Parlez-vous français?

Vincent Lenoir and his wife Martine were born and raised in a French-speaking part of Belgium. Vincent has lived in France for 24 years and Martine for nine. “I am the commercial director of a French company, my wife wrote a book in French,” Vincent said. And they thought it was time they became French citizens. There’s just one problem: They haven’t been able to prove to the French government they speak at least intermediate French as required by law. “You can see that I’m talking to you [in French] in a correct way, but unfortunately a priori that’s not enough for our administration,” Vincent said. Their degrees from French-language Belgian universities also don’t count as proof they speak French. As far as the government is concerned, the only acceptable proof they speak French is to have completed middle school in France or to have passed an official exam in the past two years.

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