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French-language Scrabble champion can’t speak French

How does a New Zealander beat native French speakers in a French spelling game?

Nigel Richards competes at the French Scrabble Championship in Belgium.

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A non-French speaker won the French Scrabble Championship this past Monday in Belgium. The champion, Nigel Richards, beat a native-French speaker from Gabon to the audience’s surprise. The shocking part is that the champion didn’t know what any of the words he spelled meant.

So, how did he do this?

Apparently, his preparation began a whole eight weeks ago. At that time, he opened a French dictionary and got to work, reported NZ Herald.

Though his knowledge of French is limited, Richards has enjoyed a lot of success at Scrabble. The 48-year-old is currently ranked the best Scrabble player in the world. The three-time world champion is based in Malayasia.

Perhaps Richards will next flip through a Spanish dictionary.