Until a couple of days ago, Brussels cop Jean-Marie was just an ordinary guy. Somewhere in his forties, on his daily beat in the streets of Brussels town.
That is, until someone filmed his conversation with a passer-by and put it on You Tube. Because... Jean-Marie speaks not only Flemish and French (which is expected when you work in Brussels), but also English, Spanish, Turkish, Arabic, Lingala, ...
In the video, Jean-Marie addresses a man of African origine. First he says in Lingala (African language, from Congo) it's a bit cold and he doesn't like the rain. Then he asks for the guy's name and introduces himself. In Arabic he continues he's been up the entire night and has been walking with his dog.
The man who put this video online also mentions that Jean-Marie's accent is very good and he talks fluently.
Jean-Marie himself says he learnt different languages from his colleagues with the Brussels police and he doesn't think it's anything special. 'Everyone appreciates being addressed in his or her own language,' he says. 'It's just being polite.'
Wish there were more Jean-Maries!