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  #621  
Old 08-22-2015, 02:46 PM
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As a Canadian citizen it doesn't bother me. Although officially 'bilingual' most Canadians don't speak french. Americans don't seem to find it odd their presidents only speak english.

This is a story that sums up William's visit to the far east. I think he is more than suitable to be King.

Duke of Cambridge: Visit to China - March 1-4, 2015

Comment 134. 'How Prince William Triumphed in the Far East'
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  #622  
Old 08-22-2015, 02:53 PM
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Interesting. Coming monday Prince William's Dutch "colleague" Princess Catharina-Amalia will go to secondary school, to the Sorghvliet Gymnasium in The Hague. In today's Algemeen Dagblad a former pupil of that school told: "Linda van de Beek, teacher in German, still commutes from Utrecht to The Hague, and that for 30 years now. Henk Petrie, teacher in History, learned us how to play rugby. Mariana Ringnalda is still teaching French. With singing chansons like La ballade des gens heureux from Gérard Lénorman or the hitsong Ella elle l'a from France Gall, she tried to bring us the love for the language of Molière. Then there is the teacher Latin who loved it to itialanize names: "Davide". Why he is still working there? "To bring pupils in contact with Homerus, Vergilius or Cicero is the most beautiful thing there is!"

After reading this and the fact that Prince William went to Eton, how is it possible that he can not speak and read French???? Dit this German gentleman in that article in The Telegraph had a point? To see William, hmmmm..... Link about disappointing British private schools.
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  #623  
Old 08-22-2015, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Honeybees View Post
PW allegedly attended tea every week with his Grandmother when he was at Eton to assist him in his understanding of his forthcoming role. Her Majesty was not intended to be Monarch and indeed it came as a shock when her father did become King.
Yes, but she was only 10 years old when her father became king, wasn't she ? I mean, she had plenty of time to prepare for the role thereafter.

When I tell my British friends that I'm surprised Queen Elizabeth was "home-schooled" and never went to university, they say that was common for aristocratic women at that time. However, take e.g. Princess Juliana of the Netherlands, who was actually 17 years or so older than Queen Elizabeth. According to Wikipedia:

Quote:
On 30 April 1927, Princess Juliana celebrated her eighteenth birthday. Under the constitution, she had officially come of age and was entitled to assume the royal prerogative, if necessary. Two days later her mother installed her in the "Raad van State" ("Council of State").
In the same year, the Princess enrolled as a student at the University of Leiden. In her first years at university, she attended lectures in sociology, jurisprudence, economics, history of religion, parliamentary history, and constitutional law. In the course of her studies she also attended lectures on the cultures of Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles, international affairs, international law, history, and European law. She graduated from the university in 1930 with a bachelor's degree in international law.[3]

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  #624  
Old 08-22-2015, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Duc_et_Pair View Post
Interesting. Coming monday Prince William's Dutch "colleague" Princess Catharina-Amalia will go to secondary school, to the Sorghvliet Gymnasium in The Hague. In today's Algemeen Dagblad a former pupil of that school told: "Linda van de Beek, teacher in German, still commutes from Utrecht to The Hague, and that for 30 years now. Henk Petrie, teacher in History, learned us how to play rugby. Mariana Ringnalda is still teaching French. With singing chansons like La ballade des gens heureux from Gérard Lénorman or the hitsong Ella elle l'a from France Gall, she tried to bring us the love for the language of Molière. Then there is the teacher Latin who loved it to itialanize names: "Davide". Why he is still working there? "To bring pupils in contact with Homerus, Vergilius or Cicero is the most beautiful thing there is!"

After reading this and the fact that Prince William went to Eton, how is it possible that he can not speak and read French???? Dit this German gentleman in that article in The Telegraph had a point? To see William, hmmmm..... Link about disappointing British private schools.
I mean... He took french in school. I took 6 years of spanish in school. Only a few years later now, I can barely present myself. If you don't use the language and only studies it for tests that is usually what happens unless you have a big talent for learning languages.
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  #625  
Old 08-22-2015, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Duc_et_Pair View Post
Interesting. Coming monday Prince William's Dutch "colleague" Princess Catharina-Amalia will go to secondary school, to the Sorghvliet Gymnasium in The Hague. In today's Algemeen Dagblad a former pupil of that school told: "Linda van de Beek, teacher in German, still commutes from Utrecht to The Hague, and that for 30 years now. Henk Petrie, teacher in History, learned us how to play rugby. Mariana Ringnalda is still teaching French. With singing chansons like La ballade des gens heureux from Gérard Lénorman or the hitsong Ella elle l'a from France Gall, she tried to bring us the love for the language of Molière. Then there is the teacher Latin who loved it to itialanize names: "Davide". Why he is still working there? "To bring pupils in contact with Homerus, Vergilius or Cicero is the most beautiful thing there is!"

After reading this and the fact that Prince William went to Eton, how is it possible that he can not speak and read French???? Dit this German gentleman in that article in The Telegraph had a point? To see William, hmmmm..... Link about disappointing British private schools.
British education is actually very good, but it is very specialized. In years 12 and 13 (the last two pre-university school years), students only take three or four subjects to prepare for their A-Level exams and, although some university courses require certain specific subjects, there is no compulsory subject a priori. William, for example, didn't take any foreign language for his A-Levels, unlike his father who, I believe, took French.

Even in earlier school years, e.g. between years 9 and 11, the breadth of subjects that students take in English schools is not so big. Some of the brightest students may take up to 9 or 10 subjects at what is called GCSE level (end of year 11), but that is not the case for "average" students.

The few subjects which students actually take in England are studied in depth though. A-Level Maths/Further Maths for example covers material that , in many countries, is only taught in the first year of a bachelor's degree.
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  #626  
Old 08-22-2015, 03:12 PM
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If the president of the United States can mange with 'just' English than so can an English Monarch.

English is the language of the Western World. We have the Dukes of Marlborough and Wellington to thank for that.
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  #627  
Old 08-22-2015, 03:13 PM
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To be honest and I don't want to dismiss the guy, I hold no grudge against him and wish him the best, I am not too impressed so far. He has the tendence to mumble and swallow his words in, which seems a bit remarkable. Should a future King not speak clear and articulate? And then that he is not able to read some words in French, which was the lingua franca at all royal courts and which is spoken in one of his biggest Realms...

It is nice he learned how to fly a helicopter but that the King can express himself in French when he is in Québec or in one of the many francophone countries would not be too pauvre either. Recently I have seen footage on German television with Prince Charles speaking almost accentless German. At least this future King speaks the language of Europe's most important country and a major trade partner to the UK. No translator needed when he meets Frau Merkel...
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  #628  
Old 08-22-2015, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by hernameispekka View Post
I mean... He took french in school. I took 6 years of spanish in school. Only a few years later now, I can barely present myself. If you don't use the language and only studies it for tests that is usually what happens unless you have a big talent for learning languages.
That's exactly what resulted from several years of French in school for me too.

One thing about Will and foreign languages in his role as a monarch, I can imagine Will making the effort to at least try and present something in the home language (no matter what it is) but also having the aplomb to relate to the people enough that should it not be perfectly spoken, it will at least be endearing. He's got that kind of charisma with people. I would think that the ability and gift of being able to relate to whomever he meets is a far greater advantage than the ability to speak languages or hold a Master's degree in various subjects or found a cure for cancer. A King serves his people and unless you can relate to the people, the King becomes an untouchable and irrelevant to the people.
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  #629  
Old 08-22-2015, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by hernameispekka View Post
I mean... He took french in school. I took 6 years of spanish in school. Only a few years later now, I can barely present myself. If you don't use the language and only studies it for tests that is usually what happens unless you have a big talent for learning languages.
Yes, it's very, very easy to forget a language if you aren't exposed to it for a while. When I graduated from university, I was essentially fluent in Spanish. However, once I graduated, I never needed to use it, and it was remarkable how quickly I lost the language skills that I had spent years acquiring! I took it upon myself to re-learn what I'd forgotten, though, and fortunately I realized that much of the knowledge was still there, it just needed using! I've had similar issues with my French-speaking abilities. I'm generally quite good at pronunciation, but with French, I need to be around it for a little while and listen to it to get my my pronunciation sorted out. If I had to read a speech in French right now, it would come out sounding a mess.

It would be nice if William could speak French but, IMO, doesn't affect his "suitability" for the position. If it were a real issue, I'm quite certain that someone would be making sure his French skills were still up to snuff.
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  #630  
Old 08-22-2015, 03:30 PM
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The comparable royal to Prince William who unmeditatedly pops in my mind is Edward VIII. Both William and Edward are/were popular with the people and are/were good at key aspects of royal work, but it seems like they don't like the job as much as it likes them.
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  #631  
Old 08-22-2015, 03:33 PM
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. I'm generally quite good at pronunciation, but with French, I need to be around it for a little while and listen to it to get my my pronunciation sorted out. If I had to read a speech in French right now, it would come out sounding a mess.

It would be nice if William could speak French but, IMO, doesn't affect his "suitability" for the position. If it were a real issue, I'm quite certain that someone would be making sure his French skills were still up to snuff.

I agree that French has a tough phonology. However, although most native English speakers don't realize that, so does English, as English actually has a large inventory of vowels, many of which are completely unpredictable from the spelling of the word. Nevertheless, many non-native speakers manage to speak nearly flawless English.

I guess the problem is not that native English-speaking people are not "naturally" good at foreign languages, but rather that they don't bother to learn a foreign language (because they think they won't need it anyway), or, when they do learn one formally, they never get to practice it after they leave school.
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  #632  
Old 08-22-2015, 03:33 PM
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Here in Canada, one province is bilingual. Where I live I don't hear a single word of french all day long. William will be a fine King of Canada.

If its so critical to world politics more American presidents would speak foreign languages.
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  #633  
Old 08-22-2015, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Duc_et_Pair View Post
To be honest and I don't want to dismiss the guy, I hold no grudge against him and wish him the best, I am not too impressed so far. He has the tendence to mumble and swallow his words in, which seems a bit remarkable. Should a future King not speak clear and articulate? And then that he is not able to read some words in French, which was the lingua franca at all royal courts and which is spoken in one of his biggest Realms...

It is nice he learned how to fly a helicopter but that the King can express himself in French when he is in Québec or in one of the many francophone countries would not be too pauvre either. Recently I have seen footage on German television with Prince Charles speaking almost accentless German. At least this future King speaks the language of Europe's most important country and a major trade partner to the UK. No translator needed when he meets Frau Merkel...
Well, I agree that William is a bit mubmly. He's more mumbly in interviews than speeches though. My king can be heard well and aticulate but generally sound rather "stupid". I'd rather have someone like William who sounds passionate but don't have perfect speaking manners. And he's evolving in that area as well, so he will continue to get better. A thing people have a problem with is actually that we are more used to american english nowdays so I had trouble understanding any of the british royals at first because their speaking manner is so different.
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  #634  
Old 08-22-2015, 03:37 PM
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The comparable royal that unmeditatedly pops in my mind is Edward VIII. Both William and Edward are/were popular with the people and are/were good at key aspects of royal work, but it seems like they don't like the job as much as it likes them.
I'd be more afraid if he WANTED to be king. No-one in their right mind would want to be, so if he wanted it really much I would be afraid for him and thinking he had delusiouns of grandeur. As William said, it's not a question of him wanting, but he does not NOT want it. It just is. Someone aliked it to getting the question "Do you want to be female?". You could answer with some pro's and con's but you can't really answer the question because you don't know any different. Him being destined to be king is probably something that just IS. He probably had times in his life (especially his teens) where he questioned his destiny, what was expected of him etc. That's called growing up. You are SUPPOSED to question those things as a way to step into adulthood. I think William seems content.
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  #635  
Old 08-22-2015, 03:40 PM
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I agree that French has a tough phonology. However, although most native English speakers don't realize that, so does English, as English actually has a large inventory of vowels, many of which are completely unpredictable from the spelling of the word. Nevertheless, many non-native speakers manage to speak near flawless English.

I guess the problem is not that native English-speaking people are not "naturally" good at foreign languages, but rather that they don't bother to learn a foreign language (because they think they won't need it anyway), or, when they do learn one formally, they never get to practice it after they leave school.
Certainly English isn't necessarily easy, but the reason that so many people speak it, as well as the fact that a lot of native English-language speakers don't speak a foreign language, is really quite a practical one: English is the lingua franca. It's spoken all over the world, and it's useful, if not necessary, for many people to speak it. Native English-speakers, on the other hand, get a bit spoiled by this. We don't generally have to speak foreign languages at home, and even if we travel, many of the people we encounter speak English. It's often not an issue of ability, but of practicality. I mean, my French pronunciation gets rusty because I basically never hear French being spoken. Post-university, I've had to put a lot of effort in just to try to maintain a decent amount of my foreign language abilities (and I'm someone for whom languages come quite easy).
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  #636  
Old 08-22-2015, 03:41 PM
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Well, I agree that William is a bit mubmly. He's more mumbly in interviews than speeches though. My king can be heard well and aticulate but generally sound rather "stupid". I'd rather have someone like William who sounds passionate but don't have perfect speaking manners. And he's evolving in that area as well, so he will continue to get better. A thing people have a problem with is actually that we are more used to american english nowdays so I had trouble understanding any of the british royals at first because their speaking manner is so different.
He looks a little bit shy to me and perhaps lacking in self-confidence. I also agree with what an earlier poster wrote about him not being very enthusiastic about becoming king. I think that has a lot to do with his parents' failed marriage and what happened afterwards to his mother. He probably won't become king though for quite some time, so there's plenty of time for him to get used to it.
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  #637  
Old 08-22-2015, 04:01 PM
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He looks a little bit shy to me and perhaps lacking in self-confidence. I also agree with what an earlier poster wrote about him not being very enthusiastic about becoming king. I think that has a lot to do with his parents' failed marriage and what happened afterwards to his mother. He probably won't become king though for quite some time, so there's plenty of time for him to get used to it.
I agree that there was a time when he probably had some serious doubt about wanting that role, but I think that's rather healthy. If he in no time in his life had at least partly wanted out he would not have thought very hard about his future. This gives him a much better base and a kind of "distance" to the job that can be helpful. I think he has changed alot since getting married and I think Kate has been a BIG help in getting him to be a more content and happy person, and I really think he relishes in having a family. So as long as nothing big happens to his family (threats, media etc) I think he will continue to be more and more okay with his futurre role.
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  #638  
Old 08-22-2015, 04:29 PM
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I'd be more afraid if he WANTED to be king. No-one in their right mind would want to be, so if he wanted it really much I would be afraid for him and thinking he had delusiouns of grandeur. As William said, it's not a question of him wanting, but he does not NOT want it. It just is. Someone aliked it to getting the question "Do you want to be female?". You could answer with some pro's and con's but you can't really answer the question because you don't know any different. Him being destined to be king is probably something that just IS. He probably had times in his life (especially his teens) where he questioned his destiny, what was expected of him etc. That's called growing up. You are SUPPOSED to question those things as a way to step into adulthood. I think William seems content.
By this same argument then we should be afraid of anyone who runs for high political office and accuse them of having delusions of grandeur. Also even if someone did not have a say in their gender, cultural group or social strata, that does not mean they can't move beyond acceptance to embracing the hand that was dealt by fate.

I actually did not mention him "wanting" to be king, I said that William is good at key aspects of royal work but to me he doesn't seem to like the job as much as it likes him
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  #639  
Old 08-22-2015, 04:35 PM
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By this same argument then we should be afraid of anyone who runs for high political office and accuse them of having delusions of grandeur. Also even if someone did not have a say in their gender, cultural group or social strata, that does not mean that can't move beyond acceptance to embracing the hand that was dealt by fate.

I actually did not mention him "wanting" to be king, I said that William is good at key aspects of royal work but to me he doesn't seem to like the job as much as it likes him.
Well.. In a way, yes. A person who goes into politics wanting to get the top job is not a good politician in my mind. The good ones are the ones that are engaged about a cause or a party and therefore "Stumbled" into politics or saw that as the best way to make a difference. Not the top job per se.
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  #640  
Old 08-22-2015, 04:42 PM
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"In a monarchy, succession to the throne is a matter not of choice but of duty." - Vernon Bogdanor

Does he 'want' to be King. Who knows but he will be king because its his duty to his country and people and William has always been dutiful.
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