Here at Babbel, we don’t shy away from the big questions. How can we solve global warming? Is Keynesian economics dead? Which nationality has the sexiest accent?
A worldwide poll of women conducted earlier this year found that the French have lost their crown. The Irish accent is now number one. Goodbye Nicolas Sarkozy, hello Colin Farrell. One of the pollsters even went so far as to blame the ex-president for the decline of the French accent’s popularity.
But has anyone asked the French what they think?
We did. In a survey of French speakers commissioned by Babbel*, Italian was the sexiest accent (47%), followed by Spanish (35%) and English (33%). No great surprise that the language of pasta, passion and prosecco was the most popular among the French. But if the English accent is so high, then what’s the least popular?
Sorry, Germany. You came in at just 4%. Even lower than the Russians, with 9%.
There is another intriguing revelation. Just under half of the respondents admitted to having flirted with somebody in order to learn another language – or having considered it.
Everybody’s heard stories of learning a language to be closer to that special boy or girl, but what about getting closer to that special boy or girl to learn a language? Are debonair Frenchmen not the dashing scoundrels we thought but simply honest souls dedicated to improving their language skills? Does the guy chatting you up at the bar want a one-night grammar lesson or a long-term study plan?
We’re not sure. But guys, next time you find yourself talking with a gorgeous French woman who asks a lot of questions about sentence structure, don’t worry about it. C’est normal, chérie.
In unrelated news, linguistics degrees all over the world have experienced a sudden surge in enrolments.
*Survey conducted in July 2014 with 1000 respondents.