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It’s not every day that the most famous street in France is shut down to play host to a record-breaking spelling contest.

Almost 1,400 people participated in the spelling exercise where they were expected to transcribe text that was read out loud. French spelling is known to be tricky, even for those who call it their mother tongue.

Writing down what someone reads out loud is even trickier.

There were three rounds, the first consisted of an excerpt from a short story by Alphonse Daudet, the 19th-century author.

The second round was based on a modern short story and the third round on a text about rugby.

Some 50,000 people applied for the Grande Dictee des Champs and in the end, about 5,000 people participated. Many of the participants were schoolchildren.

A 10-year-old boy who was labelled as a “star pupil” told the AFP news agency “it was impossible!”.

The BBC reports that his 42-year-old father Adrien Blind, who took the same test, said it had left him “in a state of stress and worry”.

The session was officially recognised as the biggest spelling contest in the world by the Guinness World Records.

Image credit: France 24

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