Ce N’est Pas Un French Accent Coming From Kamala Harris

Take it from me, Gawker’s senior France correspondent

US Vice-President Kamala Harris arrives to give a press conference in Paris on November 12, 2021. (P...

A fake scandal is brewing vis-à-vis (that’s French for “face-to-face” or English for “in regard to”) Vice President Kamala Harris’s trip to France, where she is conducting vice presidential duties such as attending the opening ceremony of the Paris Peace Forum and commemorating Armistice Day. Fox News reported that Harris has been “panned” for using a “French accent” by critics who are exactly the kind of people who would be cited in a Fox News article.

“Is she using a FRENCH ACCENT?! I love this episode of Veep,” tweeted Josh Hawley’s press secretary Abigail Marone, commenting on a video of Harris pronouncing the word “the” in “the plan” like “THEE” in front of French scientists.

Here are some more tweets about it from people who believe that Harris is putting on a French accent:

And today, Bloomberg News reporter Jennifer Jacobs shared a clip of Harris speaking at a Paris press conference, once again pronouncing “the” with emphasis so that the “the” in “the topic” sounded more like “THEE topic,” which makes sense if you listen to how she’s saying it:

Far be it from me to exhibit stan behavior toward any politician, but I have to put a foot down on this speculation. As a person with some modest level of fluency in French — after four years of high school French, almost a year’s worth of Duolingo, and beaucoup d’expérience writing French très professionnellement — let me tell you: that is not French. Neither is it fake French, such as the kind I dabble in. It is not even a fake French accent. It’s just “the” pronounced with emphasis, which is something that native English speakers sometimes do depending on the context. Et c’est ça.