Speed Reads

It's all French to me

This man just won the French Scrabble championship — and he doesn't speak a word of French

Parlez-vous français? New Zealand native Nigel Richards doesn't, but that didn't stop him from winning the French-language Scrabble world championship in Belgium on Monday.

While professional Scrabble players are clearly vocabulary wizards, Richards' feat is truly remarkable — he supposedly memorized the entire French dictionary in nine weeks before the competition.

"He doesn't speak French at all, he just learnt the words," Richards' friend Liz Fagerlund told The New Zealand Herald. "He won't know what they mean, wouldn't be able to carry out a conversation in French I wouldn't think."

In the competition's finale, Richards twice defeated a rival from French-speaking Gabon. The number one ranked player in the world, Richards has won tournaments in the U.S., Thailand, Malaysia — just about anywhere Scrabble is played.

Next time you get stuck with all vowels, be thankful you're playing in a language you actually speak.