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  #1  
Old 07-12-2007, 02:33 PM
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Queen Sofia's Spanish

At the moment it is a hot topic to discuss how foreign spouses managed to learn the language of the country they are living in, eg Mary's danish or Maxima speaking dutch. I recall that Silvia's swedish is very good but she's an interpreter, what about Sofia?

Does anyone know when she started learning Spanish and how is she doing today? Not much difference to native speakers or strong accent?

Is Sofia basically seen as spanish or do people still think of her greek background? Would be interesting to know.
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Old 07-12-2007, 02:56 PM
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We don't hear the Queen speaking publicly very often. But when we do, she doesn't really have an accent IMO.

Obviously her speeches are written for her and the small clips we hear from her speaking to the press seem good to me, though she generally says the same thing as she's usually just visited a new grandchild for the first time (or something like that).
I read that at the beginning of their relationship, The Kings had to speak English with each other, and it was said by somebody here that at home they still converse in English. Does anybody know about that?
I'm not sure when she started to learn Spanish.

I've heard that she speaks other languages (German sticks in my mind) more fluently than Spanish and on this forum posters have commented that her German is good.
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Old 07-12-2007, 02:58 PM
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Great question! All I know is that she speaks it, I don't know how fluently or whether with an accent or not. I have heard her German is good, too, (she went to school in Germany, did she not?) but I don't know about her Spanish.
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Old 07-12-2007, 03:03 PM
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I do not know how the Queen learned Spanish, but her accent continues being nowadays very strong. She does not speak as a Spanish woman, still she has very much accent. In addition, she besides the Greek and the Spanish speaks other languages.

On if the people consider her to be a Greek or a Spanish, I believe that it is something that already is not had in story, it is not anything important. It put to have importance initially, in epoch of Franco and fundamentally for religious reasons.

In addition, the own King Juan Carlos was born in the exile in Rome, and his Spanish is not either so pure as it can be that of his children.
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Old 07-12-2007, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by ...sOfIa.... View Post
I read that at the beginning of their relationship, The Kings had to speak English with each other, and it was said by somebody here that at home they still converse in English. Does anybody know about that?
I'm not sure when she started to learn Spanish.
I don´t know if with the King, but always has been said that the Queen, at least when they were children, was speaking with her children in English
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Old 07-12-2007, 03:12 PM
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A few years there was a documentary from Rolf Seelmann-eggebert on german TV (he often is commentator for ARD on Royal Evetns) for which the had also interviewed Queen Sofia. About learning spanish she siad that she couldn't speak spanish when she moved to Spain after her wedding and learned it in the first 1-2 years after her wedding. She said it is the easiest Way to learn it if you life there.
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Old 07-12-2007, 05:32 PM
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Thank you for your responses
I heard Sofia speaking german on TV, she was not completely fluent - due to lack of practice - but what she said was without a strong accent. Maybe it's important at what age you start to learn a language, I think she went to school in Germany, so her spanish is not as good because she started to learn and speak much later.
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Old 07-12-2007, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Duke of Marmalade View Post
Thank you for your responses
I heard Sofia speaking german on TV, she was not completely fluent - due to lack of practice - but what she said was without a strong accent. Maybe it's important at what age you start to learn a language, I think she went to school in Germany, so her spanish is not as good because she started to learn and speak much later.
Her Spanish is good from what I heard on TV and can be understood perfectly, although with some accent. You are right, the younger you learn a language, the less accent you will likely have, but langauge is not just 'accent' alone. If her German was not completely fluent, then I would say her Spanish is better than her German. I heard she loves Spanish literature, a common interest shared with Letizia.
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Old 07-12-2007, 07:28 PM
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As I know Queen Sofia speak at least Spanish, english, french, german and greek.
I read that with the King they have the habit when they are in public and they don't want to be understand by the others - or people able to read on the lips- to speak english together or better french.

I don't know if know the Queen is always speaking english with her children, but I think that with her grandchildren she have to speak spanish.

I read to in an old interview of Pliar Urbano, the single journalist authorized for the Queen Sofia 's memories that in fact in family the Queen speak spanish or english how does it come, mainly with the King; with her sister and brother : greek or english also how does it come; when she is praising or making deep reflexions : english or german; when she is in bad humour: spanish, english, greek, german and she said whith a lot of humour : exactly how does it come in this case and in any sens!!!

She said to Pilar Urbano that she is polyglotte all days long.
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Old 07-12-2007, 07:30 PM
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When the Queen moved to Spain she didn't want to speak Spanish in public. At home they spoke English and they still speak. If they are having a private conversation they usually speak English (as Queen Elizabeth speaks French with Prince Philip). And the language also depends on the language they were speaking before, I mean, if they are having a conversation in English, they won't change the language when the subject changes.
But her Spanish isn't as lula said like the Spanish of a spanish woman. Even her English seems to have an accent, at least it was what it seems in a video where the Queen was congratulating Professor Muhammad Yunus.
Anyway, I hope I could help
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Old 07-12-2007, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by ...sOfIa.... View Post
I read that at the beginning of their relationship, The Kings had to speak English with each other, and it was said by somebody here that at home they still converse in English. Does anybody know about that?
I read that they spoke French to each other.
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Old 07-13-2007, 06:18 AM
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I think it's gets even harder when you, as in Sofia's case, are not "forced" to speak the new language all the time, because you speak in a third or fourth language with your spouse or children. At the end of the day you are only perfect in your native language(s) you learn in your childhood from other native speakers. IMO you should be as good as possible in the language of the country you are respesenting as people expect you to make an effort. Having basic or fluent knowledge in other languages in addition is even more impressive.

And I find talking in french to your spouse when you are King of Spain or HM QEII very regal & sophisticated. That's the old royal school
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Old 07-13-2007, 06:34 AM
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The Queen speaks very good Spanish, with just a slight accent, but I think that is normal with all the people who speak more than one language.

And in this case in particular, the Queen learned Spanish when she was an adult, so even though she mastered the language, the accent will always remain.

Her English is very good too, I guess she grew up speaking this language along with Greek. If we could only get the video of the Queen's speech in Singapore we could listen to her speaking the 5 languages she speaks: English, French, German, Greek and Spanish.
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Old 07-13-2007, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by zarzuela View Post
If we could only get the video of the Queen's speech in Singapore we could listen to her speaking the 5 languages she speaks: English, French, German, Greek and Spanish.
Here is the video, but it is sooo long and you have to listen to about 6 or 7 speeches before The Queen's!
They used to have a link for just her speech on the website of Antena3, but it expired.

ELPAIS.es - Video

Sorry about the spanish over the top of the speeches. Maybe somebody has a better video from this occasion?
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Old 07-13-2007, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by ...sOfIa.... View Post
Here is the video, but it is sooo long and you have to listen to about 6 or 7 speeches before The Queen's!
They used to have a link for just her speech on the website of Antena3, but it expired.

ELPAIS.es - Video

Sorry about the spanish over the top of the speeches. Maybe somebody has a better video from this occasion?
I've edited and put it on YouTube here:
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Old 07-13-2007, 03:10 PM
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Thanks very much Anna_R.
It was an extremely long video!
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Old 07-13-2007, 03:39 PM
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I think her Spanish is prefect!
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Old 07-14-2007, 09:18 AM
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Thank you so much for the videos Anna_R and Sofia! I'm amazed at how fantastic her English and Spanish are. Does she speak Russian fluently as well, or was that just for the speech? I was also amazed at how good the Infanta Pilar's English is.
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Old 07-16-2007, 01:28 PM
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Hello! I am Spanish and believe that the Spanish of queen Sofía is very fluid and perfect in turns, vocabulary… only conserves a little accent, very difficult to clear for which she learns an adult language already, and in addition speaks several more. The language that uses for the goodbye after the German is not Russian, but Greek. Greetings!
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Old 07-17-2007, 02:10 AM
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The language that uses for the goodbye after the German is not Russian, but Greek. Greetings!
Oh, thanks. I thought I had heard the translator say she was going to repeat it in Russian, but I guess I was wrong.
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