Speaking French all day

Whilst racing is a very large part of what I do, it’s not the only thing. Many drivers work outside of the racing for the car manufactures, launching new cars, PR events and precision driving for films or adverts.

Rolls RoyceI was recently working for Rolls Royce on an event where customers were invited to the Goodwood estate, home of Rolls Royce, to experience the cars, driving around the gorgeous Sussex country side in an elegant and effortless manner, in cars that sometimes reach well over the £500,000 pound mark!

The guests are invited by the dealerships located over the UK and Europe, many are successful business owners and most speak very good English, however on these events we do like to show off just what the car is capable of. This often means going far beyond what most people experience in their driving lifetime as the activity is very dynamic and the concentration levels of our driving guests are pushed to their limits!

I think it was the third or fourth day of the latest event when we had guests from France and Belgium, I must admit I had been looking forward to putting my Rosetta Stone French course into practise during relaxed conversation with guests outside of any activities. But what I didn’t really expect was to spend almost the entire day speaking French.

It worked out this way after I started talking with the guests in French, but for some of the on track driving activities where I needed to go into some detail I had to use English as I’m not quite there yet with my course (half way through). But as I mentioned earlier, guests concentration levels are very high and it was when a guest was finding the exercise particularly taxing that he asked if I could instruct in French. To begin with it was a little patchy, however with some assistance from the driver on the words I hadn’t learnt yet we got through the activity.

Afterwards it was quite apparent that word had spread with most of the remaining guests asking me to speak to them throughout in French, suddenly it was my concentration levels that were through the roof. At the end of it all I did feel really quite proud of myself, even though I was mentally exhausted!


Chris Dymond is one of the UK's most exciting racing talents. Having successfully graduated from Karting at the end of 2005 after several years racing at the World and European championships. He is learning French to successfully talk with his colleagues and friends when competing in France and around the world. www.ChrisDymond.co.uk

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