Paris's most famous avenue was turned into an open-air classroom on Sunday, as almost 1,400 people took part into a record-breaking spelling exercise.
About 1,700 desks were laid out on the Champs-Élysées for an event billed as the "largest dictation in the world".
It consisted of three rounds. In each, a text was read out and contestants tried to transcribe it without error.
In the first, 1,397 people wrestled with an excerpt from a short story by 19th Century author Alphonse Daudet.
That session was recognised by Guinness World Records as the largest such competition ever, French media say.
French spelling is notoriously tricky and dictations have inspired dread in generations of pupils from Dunkerque to Perpignan.
However some 50,000 people applied for Sunday's "Grande Dictée des Champs" and about 5,000 people - many of them schoolchildren - took part.
The second and third rounds were based on a modern short story and a text about rugby respectively.
After the first, a 10-year-old described as a "star pupil" told AFP news agency: "It was impossible!"
His 42-year-old father Adrien Blind, who took the same test, said it had left him "in a state of stress and worry".
But 65-year-old Touria Zerhouni was more relaxed. "I only made two mistakes. I expected it to be much harder," she told AFP.