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  #561  
Old 03-18-2017, 12:44 PM
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I think a big difference between the Brits and other royals are that the other royal families generally have people from various countries in their family. Willem-Alexander married a Spanish-speaking Argentinian, is Dutch, and has a German father. So of course he speaks several languages. Frederik is Danish, but his father is French, his wife is Australian, and he also speaks German.

Whereas you don't really get that with the Brits (though to be sort of fair, they speak English which is the second language of most of the royals in Europe, so they have a "step up"). They are very English. That being said, being royal, you'd really think some sort of Foreign language would have/should have been pushed, if only Welsh or Irish (or Scottish Gaelic, if you ask me ).
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  #562  
Old 03-18-2017, 12:55 PM
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Language teaching in the UK nowadays is abysmal thanks to constant tinkering by various governments of the educational curriculum. William and Kate would however have had access to the best on offer in their respective schools.

Accent isn't an indication of fluency although obviously if it's really bad it is incomprehensible.

If George and Charlotte are being brought up bilingual then good for William and Kate - at least they are attempting to ensure their children don't suffer from the same "lack" they do. Spanish is a good choice as well given the number of speakers worldwide.
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  #563  
Old 03-18-2017, 01:27 PM
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English seems to be a common language taught pretty much world wide as far as I can tell. Not sure why there is such negative view of foreign leaders (whether they be monarchs or presidents or PM's etc) if aren't bi or multi-lingual?

Yes it's charming and al, when a leader speaks X language, l but surely it's a lesser issue in today's world?


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  #564  
Old 03-18-2017, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Skippyboo View Post
The Queen speaks fluent French because she had a French tutor as a little girl. She was also talk dance. She was taught things that a high born upper class lady who would be expected to marry well and live a life entertaining. If the Queen was a male, she would have been shipped off to the military as a teenager like her father and grandfather were.
I don't see the two things as incompatible. All European crown princes (Frederik, Felipe, Willem-Alexander, Haakon, Philippe, etc.) had military training. Still, they also took the time to learn other languages. You can actually learn a second language as a child or teenager (the best time to learn actually) before you are old enough to serve in the military.
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  #565  
Old 03-18-2017, 02:28 PM
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While English is indeed the Franca Lingua of the world right now, I personally believe it's always a good idea to at least be proficient in at least a second language.

Spanish, Chinese, Hindi, Arabic or French being major world languages as well.

Partly because it's a good way to earn brownie points, whether you come to a country as a royal, politician or just a tourist. It show interest and respect for the country you visit.
But also because learning a second language isn't just about knowing the word for horse and beer in various languages, but just as much about learning about cultures. It's almost impossible to really learn another language, without also learning about the culture and history and to a large degree the mindset of the country.

But the BRF are different. In the sense that they have always kept a distance to the Continent. And they are not rewarded for speaking other languages in the eyes of the British public.
The continental royals, just like their subjects, have to learn or at least know about at least one more language, simply out of necessity.
Partly because not that many speak Dutch or Swedish, but simply because you rarely have to drive for more than a couple of hours before you find yourself in another country.
Continental royals on the other hand are frowned upon by the public, if they only speak one language
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  #566  
Old 03-18-2017, 02:41 PM
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I see that this thread is mostly focused on brittish royals, but I would like to give a great example of how it can be done.

Crown princess Victoria learned english in school. She's also spent time in the US (a year at Yale university). But she also spent a year in France in her late teens (if I remember correctly), and during her last visit to France there was an interpreter there for Daniel's sake. Victoria didn't need it. She also has a working knowledge of german, even if she doesn't speak it herself.

I think she really understands how important language skills are. That is reflected in their choice to hire a nanny from Australia. As far as I can understand, she and Estelle talked to each other in english.

Victoria isn't a perfect person. But I think she understands how important languages are, and she's already doing what she can to give her kids a head start in that department. That is an example that other could follow, royal or not.

As Muriel said, the importance of learning other languages is more or less obvious if your native language is, for example, Swedish. which has only 9 million or so native speakers and is not much spoken outside Sweden properly or Finland. Convincing a native speaker of English or, to some extent, even native speakers of French or Spanish (especially in parts of Latin America) that they should learn another language is, however, a much tougher task. Personally, I regret that people take a purely utilitarian approach when considering if they should or should not learn another language. Ideally, one should learn a foreign language simply for the sake of cultural enrichment or intellectual curiosity, but, in the real world, that is not what happens.

A different question is whether the State should make it compulsory to learn another language in school up to a certain age/grade, as it is normally compulsory to study Mathematics, Science or History for example in some school systems.
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  #567  
Old 03-18-2017, 06:17 PM
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After a critique I had here in the thread last night, and after reading the follow up discussion; I've changed my opinion a little in regards to William's limited French. I'm now of the opinion that:

Of course, it would be impossible for every royal to have a basic understanding of the language of the country they're visiting. But it's still worth a shot of simple key phrases; which is perhaps something that the Cambridges still remember from their education. I can imagine that they used them when they were in France as it's fairly easy to pick them up.

I still don't have a firm opinion on this now after reading the discussion because the different points have been argued well; so to put it more simply, half of me thinks that it's good to learn the key phrases whereas another half of me thinks that it's not a huge matter. Some other posters have most likely said what I want to say much better than how I would have.
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  #568  
Old 03-18-2017, 11:19 PM
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In Australia ..we have to teach a second language from prep to year 9 the school decides which one
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  #569  
Old 03-19-2017, 11:59 AM
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If George and Charlotte are being brought up bilingual then good for William and Kate - at least they are attempting to ensure their children don't suffer from the same "lack" they do. Spanish is a good choice as well given the number of speakers worldwide.
IMO they realize that their lack of fluency in a second language is a bit of a hindrance for them and they wanted to ensure that their children would be bilingual.

Currently at least four of the consorts (Maxima, Maria Theresa, Silvia, and of course Letizia) are native Spanish speakers. I believe that the AAA team from the NL was also raised with Spanish speaking nannies.
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  #570  
Old 03-19-2017, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by TLLK View Post
IMO they realize that their lack of fluency in a second language is a bit of a hindrance for them and they wanted to ensure that their children would be bilingual.

Currently at least four of the consorts (Maxima, Maria Theresa, Silvia, and of course Letizia) are native Spanish speakers. I believe that the AAA team from the NL was also raised with Spanish speaking nannies.
Silvia speaks Spanish, she is said to be fluent in six, but she is not a native Spanish speaker.

German is her mother tongue. True, she spent a good chunk of her childhood in Brazil but Brazilians speak Portuguese not Spanish. She was educated in a German school in Brazil but she is said to be fluent in both. Spanish, Swedish, English and sign language are the others.

Her children are fluent in English and Swedish, and Victoria at least to some level in French. I believe they also have some understanding of German.
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  #571  
Old 03-19-2017, 12:48 PM
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IMO they realize that their lack of fluency in a second language is a bit of a hindrance for them and they wanted to ensure that their children would be bilingual.

Currently at least four of the consorts (Maxima, Maria Theresa, Silvia, and of course Letizia) are native Spanish speakers. I believe that the AAA team from the NL was also raised with Spanish speaking nannies.
Silvia is is not a native Spanish speaker. Her native languages are German and Brazilian Portuguese.

BTW, Brazilians get extremely annoyed when people assume they speak Spanish.
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  #572  
Old 03-19-2017, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Countessmeout View Post
Silvia speaks Spanish, she is said to be fluent in six, but she is not a native Spanish speaker.

German is her mother tongue. True, she spent a good chunk of her childhood in Brazil but Brazilians speak Portuguese not Spanish. She was educated in a German school in Brazil but she is said to be fluent in both. Spanish, Swedish, English and sign language are the others.

Her children are fluent in English and Swedish, and Victoria at least to some level in French. I believe they also have some understanding of German.
Silvia speaks German and Portuguese natively. She spoke Spanish, French, and English before marrying Carl Gustaf and learning Swedish. She did learn Swedish Sign Language but because she doesn't use it often, has lost her fluency.

Her children speak English, Swedish and German fluently- Silvia some time ago said that Victoria's German was the best, but I would bet that Madeleine uses her German more than Victoria these days (as her in-laws speak German and she has said she and Chris speak German when they are in public and don't want to be overheard). Victoria did learn French but her level of proficiency may be dwindling due to not using it these days.
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  #573  
Old 03-19-2017, 02:25 PM
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George and Charlotte learning Spanish may just be a happy consequence from Nanny Maria. If they were deliberately trying to have them learn a foreign language would it be French instead of Spanish. There would be more uses of French for a British Royal than Spanish. You have Canada, a closer neighbor in France, parts of Switzerland to speak French in.
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  #574  
Old 03-19-2017, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Skippyboo View Post
George and Charlotte learning Spanish may just be a happy consequence from Nanny Maria. If they were deliberately trying to have them learn a foreign language would it be French instead of Spanish. There would be more uses of French for a British Royal than Spanish. You have Canada, a closer neighbor in France, parts of Switzerland to speak French in.
Maybe but some people find Spanish easier than French and there are many more Spanish speakers in the world. Possibly just a happy coincidence with their Spanish nanny but French isn't the "go to" second language that it used to be in the UK.
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  #575  
Old 03-19-2017, 03:25 PM
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Nanny Maria is Norland College trained. She's a proper English nanny. I highly doubt she uses Spanish in the workplace and her workplace is looking after George and Charlotte when their parents are working.

Maria may teach them the odd word here and there but George and Charlotte are with Catherine much more than their nanny.
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  #576  
Old 03-19-2017, 03:29 PM
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nobody provided source for this information
it's only gossips
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  #577  
Old 03-19-2017, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Rudolph View Post
Nanny Maria is Norland College trained. She's a proper English nanny. I highly doubt she uses Spanish in the workplace and her workplace is looking after George and Charlotte when their parents are working.

Maria may teach them the odd word here and there but George and Charlotte are with Catherine much more than their nanny.
Seems rather pointless having a nanny if the children are with you most of the time.

She may be English trained but she's a Spanish nanny.
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  #578  
Old 03-19-2017, 03:35 PM
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Maria is a full time nanny. They spend a great deal of time with her. And yes, you tend to pick up language habits from the adults you are around a lot. I am sorry, but just because Catherine doesn't do full time duties, doesn't mean Maria just babysits when she works. Their house keeper also has babysitting as part of the job description.

Maria will speak what ever language they want her to. They may very well encourage her to teach the kids some Spanish. Victoria and Daniel chose English speaking nannies for that reason.

People who have the money to be choosy pick nannies usually with very little accent, for the very reason. If a nanny speaks English but with a heavy foreign accent, it will reflect in the kids language.
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  #579  
Old 03-19-2017, 03:45 PM
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Silvia is is not a native Spanish speaker. Her native languages are German and Brazilian Portuguese.

BTW, Brazilians get extremely annoyed when people assume they speak Spanish.
The worst part is that I know this fact but allergy meds are putting my brain to sleep. I hate it when this happens.
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  #580  
Old 03-19-2017, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Countessmeout View Post
Maria is a full time nanny. They spend a great deal of time with her. And yes, you tend to pick up language habits from the adults you are around a lot. I am sorry, but just because Catherine doesn't do full time duties, doesn't mean Maria just babysits when she works. Their house keeper also has babysitting as part of the job description.
.
I know that - I was questioning the suggestion that the children don't spend enough time with her to pick up any Spanish from Ms Borrallo.

Who knows? She may speak to them in English - seems a wasted opportunity to me if she does so exclusively. Time will tell...
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