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  #141  
Old 05-06-2014, 04:02 AM
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Originally Posted by fortimo View Post
There was shown a documentary about WA and Maxima on ZDF, and there was said, she does speak 4 languages. They didn't mention, what languages she speaks, but I think there are spanish, english, french and dutch.
I think Queen Máxima speaks some German. Her husband's family and many of their mutual friends (Von Amsberg, Von dem Bussche-Haddenhausen, Von Lippe, Von der Recke, Von Oeynhausen, Von Sierstorpff-Cramm, Von Bismarck, Zu Waldburg-Zeil-Hohenems, Zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein, the Mossbruggers from Gasthof Post in Lech, etc.) are all German-speaking. In the meantime the Queen will have learned a substantial basic German. No doubt about that.
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  #142  
Old 05-06-2014, 04:25 AM
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Maxima is not fluent in german. When she recently came to Baden-Baden is was said that she understands a lot (WA is fluent) and speaks a few words but that's it. Nevertheless, she must be very talented when it comes to learning languages. Dutch and German are different languages of course but if you speak dutch, its quite easy to get to understand german with a bit of practice. Writing is a different matter though.
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  #143  
Old 05-06-2014, 06:53 AM
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Máxima's Voice, Accent and Languages

Duke of Marmalade is right! Máxima does not speak German. She may understand some German but when it comes to speaking she only knows the absolute basics like Hello and Good Bye in German. Dutch is different from German and as a German native-speaker I can tell you that I don't understand a thing when M and WA speak Dutch. I think German is taught as a foreign language in Dutch schools but even WA who is fluent in German and was raised by a German father makes grammatical mistakes when he speaks German. 😄
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  #144  
Old 05-06-2014, 03:51 PM
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I think all Dutchmen make grammatical mistakes in German because they simply use it as a third language, after English, and have too less daily practice to speak it without errors. In old days, the Dutchies watched ARD, ZDF, WDR and NDR but now with dozens Dutch-speaking channels, the knowledge of German has faded away.
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  #145  
Old 06-06-2014, 03:49 PM
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I've seen a video a couple of weeks ago when WAX were visiting Germany, the reporter asked (in German) both if they had brought presents for the girls. WA answered in fluent German, while Max answered in English, meaning she had no problem to understand the question or the following conversation but she didnt even try to speak German. My impression is that she understands well but can't speak what is very common when you are in touch with a language (in her case through WA) but not in an environment to speak (either the partner is native and speaks as main language or you live in the country).
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  #146  
Old 06-07-2014, 10:58 AM
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Correct, it is the same with me. I can understand Spanish but I find it hard to speak or write it.
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  #147  
Old 07-10-2017, 03:07 PM
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I'm surprised to find out that Maxima speaks French, presumably fluently:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=...&v=UBESMKbt4V0

I also read somewhere that she speaks Italian.
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  #148  
Old 06-05-2018, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Kit View Post
Duke of Marmalade is right! Máxima does not speak German. She may understand some German but when it comes to speaking she only knows the absolute basics like Hello and Good Bye in German. Dutch is different from German and as a German native-speaker I can tell you that I don't understand a thing when M and WA speak Dutch. I think German is taught as a foreign language in Dutch schools but even WA who is fluent in German and was raised by a German father makes grammatical mistakes when he speaks German. 😄

The grammar (mostly morphology actually) of modern Dutch is much simpler than that of standard German, so it is not surprising that Dutch people make grammatical mistakes when they speak German. On the point though of German native speakers not "understanding a thing" when they hear Dutch, I think it depends on where in Germany they come from. The pronunciation of Dutch is quite different from German pronunciation, but I assume that someone from northern Germany with some exposure to Low German should be able to understand it. Am I wrong ?
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  #149  
Old 06-05-2018, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by IloveCP View Post
I'm surprised to find out that Maxima speaks French, presumably fluently:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=...&v=UBESMKbt4V0

I also read somewhere that she speaks Italian.



I don't know how fluent she is in Italian, but I would take all those assumptions with caution.



All major Romance languages (i.e. the languages which evolved directly from spoken Latin), are more or less somewhat mutually intelligible. A Spanish or Portuguese speaker has a limited ability to understand Italian, and vice-versa, even without having learned the other language. French is somewhat more "different" : in terms of vocabulary, it is actually more similar to Italian than to Spanish/Portuguese, but it has undergone many phonological changes that make it not so easy to understand without any prior knowledge. However, a Spanish speaker who formally learns some French at school can easily progress to a reasonably good command of the language, much faster actually than an English speaker for example.



Compared to Spanish speakers, Portuguese speakers have an additional advantage when learning French in the sense that they can pick up the difficult nasal vowels much easier (even though the Portuguese nasal vowels are actually phonetically distrinct from the French ones). What surprises me the most though about Máxima is that, both when she is speaking in English or in French, I don't hear that characteristic "Spanish accent" which we hear for example even from King Felipe VI or Queen Letizia. Since Spanish is the Romance language with the smallest inventory of vowel sounds, it is really hard for Spanish speakers to lose that accent and the fact that Máxima can comfortably produce sounds that are not native to her mother language is quite impressive !
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  #150  
Old 06-05-2018, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Mbruno View Post
The pronunciation of Dutch is quite different from German pronunciation, but I assume that someone from northern Germany with some exposure to Low German should be able to understand it. Am I wrong ?
Well it is more similar than for instance German to Finnish or another language-family, but i think it's a stretch to say that only the pronounciation is different and "some" exposure is enough to understand it. I'd say with some exposure a german might understand some isolated dutch words, but not complete sentences or conversations.
But a german who lives in the NL might learn dutch easier than someone from the other side of the globe.
In reality, dutch people tend to like to switch to a "foreign" language quite happily when speaking to a non-dutch person, which gives the other person little experience to learn dutch (it is a remark regularly heard; dutch particularly use english (with a dutch accent ) quite quickly)

for people who live quite near the border between both countries, it's easier to use their local dialect, as that translates much easier to the dialect of the neighbours on the other side; but ofcourse these dialects are usually really local
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  #151  
Old 06-05-2018, 05:04 PM
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Very impressed by her knowledge of French !
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