There are many good reasons to learn a new language. For instance, it can open up a world of new job opportunities, help you make foreign friends, it has many cognitive benefits and it’s also fun. However, the fun part ends when you encounter certain peculiarities of the new language that simply don’t make sense. One of the languages that makes its learners go ‘huh?’ once in a while is French. Some parts of this language, as YouTuber Matt Colbourne puts it, are ‘absolutely bonkers’. And believe it or not, one of the weirdest parts of the French language is the numbers.
22-year-old Matt, from Newfoundland, Canada, enjoys making funny videos and recently shared one about counting in French. “The inspiration [for the video] actually came from a conversation I was having with a bilingual friend of mine one night. We were discussing the numbers and kind of realized mid-discussion that it was like it deserved its own chapter in a math textbook. I started to just riff off a bunch of jokes, with an NYC accent funny enough, and after 10 minutes of laughing, we figured we might have something going with this,” he told Bored Panda.
“I got to tell you something about the French number system. How they count to a hundred it’s absolutely bonkers man,” Matt says in the video
Excited about this idea, Matt grabbed his friend, jumped into his car and went about town filming for 20 minutes. Thus, the hilarious viral video showing him pretending to be a cab driver from New York, and explaining how he learned the peculiarities of counting in French, was born.
Then he goes on to say that in French “When you get to 16 for some reason, they say damn the rest of it we’re gonna do some random stuff now”
The video quickly went viral for obvious reasons. Because who would have thought that French numeric system is so odd? Matt says that he doesn’t speak French but he knows how to count in the language. “I do not speak French. Well, I speak some French but am certainly not fluent. But I will say, I was definitely aware of how to count to 100 in French prior to the video,” he revealed.
“21 is ‘twenty and one’ why is there an ‘and’ I don’t need to say ‘and’ it’s just 21”
However, he was happy that his little bit of knowledge and a talent for making hilarious jokes blew up. “Most definitely, this is the first time I’ve gone viral. My most viewed video before this had just over 1000 views, I believe, so this one blowing up was a complete shock but it was super cool to watch it unfold,” Matt said.
“80 is four twenty again hilarious because 420 that’s like weed thing”
While happy about the success, Matt says he’s not planning to become a full-time youtube comedian. “The biggest thing for me going forward is that I want to be able to do something I enjoy. With that said, it was still very important for me (and my mom, lol) to finish my undergrad, so now that I’m in possession of a University degree, the next year or so will be spent figuring out what path is best for me and my future.”
“81 is ‘four twenty and one'”
“I’m certainly not treating this opportunity as a Plan A or a Plan B, its more of a “Plan Maybe”. If it works, and I get to pursue it further, awesome. But if not, I have a degree to fall back on, and can just as easily further my education, or get a job elsewhere,” Matt said.