One of the biggest Hollywood stars to come out of Canada in recent years, Seth Rogen has established himself as a great comedic writer and actor. Does the Canadian superstar speak French?
There is no evidence of Seth Rogen speaking French. While learning a second language is encouraged in Rogen’s birthplace of Vancouver, British Columbia, it is only mandatory between Grades 5 and 8. This, coupled with the fact that Rogen has lived in the US since the age of 16, gives no reason to believe that Rogen knows a significant amount of French.
For more on Seth Rogen’s background in Canada, as well as some controversy caused by him in France, carry on reading.
Seth Rogen was born on 15 April 1982 in Vancouver, British Columbia. His American father worked for various non-profit organizations, while his mother was a social worker.
He was educated first at Talmud Torah Elementary School, a Jewish school, before moving on to Point Grey Secondary School, both in Vancouver.
The vast majority of British Columbia residents speak English as their first language, 70% according to a report in 2016. Interestingly, in the same survey, French was not the second most popular as it is in much of Canada.
In fact, French was only the seventh most widespread mother tongue in Canada, spoken by a little over 55,000 people, compared to the 3.1 million who spoke English. This represents approximately 1.23% of British Columbia. Punjabi, Cantonese, Mandarin, Tagalog (Filipino), and German were all more popular, a result of recent immigration to the province.
While students are encouraged to learn a second language in British Columbia, it’s only mandatory between Grades 5 and 8, and this can still be a range of languages other than French.
If Seth Rogen did choose to learn French while at high school, it’s possible that he only did it for a few years.
This relatively brief period of learning doesn’t attempt to give students anything approaching fluency, which would be near impossible in such a timeframe, but to provide them with the ability to comprehend basic French and the foundations to go on to learn the language more comprehensively if they wish to.
As Seth Rogen left Canada at the age of 16 and has lived in Los Angeles ever since, it’s probably safe to assume that, even if he did learn some basic French, he didn’t receive extensive education in it.
Whether or not Rogen speaks French, his work caused significant controversy in France through no fault of his own.
2016’s hit “Sausage Party”, written by Rogen and longtime friend and writing partner Evan Goldberg, sparked intense debate after the CNC (France’s film rating board) gave the film a 12, allowing children to see it in theaters.
Despite the movie’s colorful animated appearance, anybody who has seen more than a few minutes of the film knows that its content is on the raunchy side.
While the US rated the film R, requiring adult supervision for anyone under 17, and the UK rated it 15, meaning nobody below that age could see it, France’s rating meant it was open to anyone over the age of 12 could see it without supervision.
While there is an argument for freedom of expression in cinema, it’s easy to see why some might be upset at children being permitted entry to a film that features supermarket food engaging in an extended orgy.
The most vocal opponents were Catholic group La Manif Pour Tours, who gained some notoriety with their attacks on same-sex marriage.
France’s CNC traditionally rates violence more harshly than sexual content and the rating board did not react to the outrage over a cartoon food orgy.
Perhaps fortunately for Rogen, he probably wouldn’t have been able to understand the outcry anyway, as it seems he does not speak French.