Unsuspected celebrity polyglots

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Le Baron
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Unsuspected celebrity polyglots

Postby Le Baron » Mon Apr 12, 2021 3:41 pm

Unsuspected for me that is. Others here might be more observant. I'm not big royalist (anti-royalist in fact), but I happened to see a video posted on the website of INA where the late Prince Philip was addressing a French gathering in pretty much flawless French. (https://www.ina.fr/contenus-editoriaux/ ... -francais/). Not only that, but making successful jokes in the language which is always difficult.
It piqued my interest so I popped over to youtube and found a few such videos. Plus another where he was speaking equally good German. (I'll link these below).

I'm not a big celebrity watcher, but now and again I get fed videos on you tube of well-known people tackling languages who aren't much spoken about by all those you-tubers who like making 'Wow...Reaction to Gwyneth Paltrow speaking Spanish!!' videos. A recent one was Grace Jones on a chat show speaking French and another of her doing Spanish and Italian. It's fairly well-known that Nana Mouskouri has working knowledge of quite a few languages, also Claudia Cardinale. When I was on holiday with my mother in Belgium in the 80s I remember seeing Sophia Loren speaking French for the first time (on TV!) and thought it strange at the time after only ever seeing her speak English in Hollywood films.

The ones of Prince Philip were completely unknown to me though. I've seen other members of the British royal family doing shaky attempts. It must be noted though that the Duke was raised in a multilingual household and initially went to school in Paris, so maybe it's somewhat less impressive. Though he retained a good accent. Does anyone know any others you accidentally came across?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKUHAM0Guu8&t=115s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_v_Zy9pP66E
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Re: Unsuspected celebrity polyglots

Postby Pikaia » Mon Apr 12, 2021 6:54 pm

Daniel Brühl: German, French, Spanish, Catalan, and English

His 2011 movie Eva is a good pick for Spanish language learners.
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Re: Unsuspected celebrity polyglots

Postby Cainntear » Mon Apr 12, 2021 7:04 pm

Pikaia wrote:Daniel Brühl: German, French, Spanish, Catalan, and English

His 2011 movie Eva is a good pick for Spanish language learners.

Don't forget Portuguese! (allegedly)

Although I don't know if any of this qualifies as "surprising" given that he was born in Barcelona to a Catalan mother, and his dad's a Brazilian-born German... ;)
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Re: Unsuspected celebrity polyglots

Postby einzelne » Mon Apr 12, 2021 8:13 pm

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Re: Unsuspected celebrity polyglots

Postby Le Baron » Mon Apr 12, 2021 8:39 pm

einzelne wrote:Viggo Mortensen


Did you find his skill unsuspected? I'd seen him in other films and a few interviews. He has a particularly intelligent manner anyway, so I was fairly unsurprised that he would also have language skills off-hand...(damn him! :lol: )
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Re: Unsuspected celebrity polyglots

Postby Deinonysus » Mon Apr 12, 2021 8:51 pm

Does Cleopatra count as a celebrity?

Ptolemaic pharaohs were crowned by the Egyptian high priest of Ptah at Memphis, but resided in the multicultural and largely Greek city of Alexandria, established by Alexander the Great of Macedon. They spoke Greek and governed Egypt as Hellenistic Greek monarchs, refusing to learn the native Egyptian language.

In contrast, Cleopatra could speak multiple languages by adulthood and was the first Ptolemaic ruler to learn the Egyptian language. Plutarch implies that she also spoke Ethiopian, the language of the "Troglodytes", Hebrew (or Aramaic), Arabic, the Syrian language (perhaps Syriac), Median, and Parthian, and she could apparently also speak Latin, although her Roman contemporaries would have preferred to speak with her in her native Koine Greek. Aside from Greek, Egyptian, and Latin, these languages reflected Cleopatra's desire to restore North African and West Asian territories that once belonged to the Ptolemaic Kingdom.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleopatra#Background
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Re: Unsuspected celebrity polyglots

Postby Le Baron » Mon Apr 12, 2021 8:56 pm

Today she would have her own YouTube channel.
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Re: Unsuspected celebrity polyglots

Postby Kraut » Mon Apr 12, 2021 8:58 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzbrztZFCFA
Sandra Bullok German, but this is not unsuspected. She speaks fluent and flawless German.
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Re: Unsuspected celebrity polyglots

Postby rdearman » Mon Apr 12, 2021 9:00 pm

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz wrote in several languages, primarily in Latin, French and German but also in English, Italian and Dutch. (Oh and he invented Calculus) :-)
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Re: Unsuspected celebrity polyglots

Postby Le Baron » Mon Apr 12, 2021 9:19 pm

In his German to English dictionary there must have been an error where 'steal' was translated as 'invent'.
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