French Scrabble Champion can't speak French

August 4, 2015 - 5:56pm
That is right, the most recent winner of the French Scrabble Championships can't speak any French, but he could spell most any French word.  Nigel Richards, a New Zealander, decided that after winning several championships in English to up his Scrabble game by competing in a French tournament.  Now on the surface this might seem amazing, but competitive Scrabble playing doesn't depend on you knowing the language or the definitions of words, just their proper spelling.  And so putting his word memorization skills to work, Nigel memorized thousands of French words and their proper spelling in order to compete. (fun fact, the French scrabble dictionary has over 381,000 words, English has only 187,000)  He also amazed people with being able to successfully challenge words without knowing the definition, just the spelling.  Head on over the The Game Aisle to read about this new champion and get the link to the full NPR article.