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  #681  
Old 04-04-2021, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Moonmaiden23 View Post
William might know a few phrases but he most definitely does not speak French.
Both William and Kate speak GCSE-level school French, like I do and like most other British people of our generation do . I'm quite capable of ordering a meal, asking directions or buying a railway ticket, but I'd struggle with a long conversation.

Diana attended a finishing school in a Francophone area of Switzerland. One of the original ideas of Swiss finishing schools was to enable upper-class British girls to perfect their French in areas which weren't full of Catholics and revolutionaries, like Paris (this was the 19th century mindset!!), but whether or not she actually learnt any French there, I don't know!
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  #682  
Old 04-04-2021, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Alison H View Post
Both William and Kate speak GCSE-level school French, like I do and like most other British people of our generation do . I'm quite capable of ordering a meal, asking directions or buying a railway ticket, but I'd struggle with a long conversation.

Diana attended a finishing school in a Francophone area of Switzerland. One of the original ideas of Swiss finishing schools was to enable upper-class British girls to perfect their French in areas which weren't full of Catholics and revolutionaries, like Paris (this was the 19th century mindset!!), but whether or not she actually learnt any French there, I don't know!
I dont think William is fluent in French.. but I dont think Diana learned much in that school, as she only stayed about half a term or a term at most and I think that the language was one issue that made her feel unhappy and homesick
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  #683  
Old 04-04-2021, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ashelen View Post
Does Letizia Speaks English?
Yes.

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  #684  
Old 04-04-2021, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Tirilschatz View Post
If I remember well and I think I do, he held a speech in fluent german some years ago. (Might be 20 years by now...) It was for the WWF, but I cant find any video proof although I have been looking for it for some time.
I have the sneaking suspicion that given all the grief Philip got for being a foreigner when he first married Elizabeth he has gone out of his way to appear VERY English, especially early in the marriage, and that's why it's pretty much impossible to find any video of him speaking anything other than English.

I believe Prince Albert also never spoke anything but English in public for a similar reason. Though in private the family spoke a great deal of German.
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  #685  
Old 04-04-2021, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by ashelen View Post
Does Letizia speak English?

Yes, she does. I think she was once a correspondent of the Spanish public TV in the US. She has a slight accent, but not as heavy as most Spaniards when they speak English.
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  #686  
Old 04-04-2021, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Kellydofc View Post
I have the sneaking suspicion that given all the grief Philip got for being a foreigner when he first married Elizabeth he has gone out of his way to appear VERY English, especially early in the marriage, and that's why it's pretty much impossible to find any video of him speaking anything other than English.

I believe Prince Albert also never spoke anything but English in public for a similar reason. Though in private the family spoke a great deal of German.
There are probably no videos because he didn't do that much speech making in German or French....but he was fluent enough to do such speeches. and Philip DID spent most of his life form childhood in the UK nad made it his home.. so he was to all intents and purposes English....He gave up his Greek nationality to get on in the British Navy which was his career....
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  #687  
Old 04-04-2021, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Denville View Post
yes as ii've siad, he can problaby speak fluent French and German, good enough to make conversation and speeches...
Perhaps we should try and turn things around. Does Prince Philip has any accents when speaking English? Any residual German or French accents in there?
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  #688  
Old 04-04-2021, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by SLV View Post
Perhaps we should try and turn things around. Does Prince Philip has any accents when speaking English? Any residual German or French accents in there?

I don't think so, but I am not qualified to judge.

I guess the question (to British posters) should be: does he have an English accent like the Queen's (old-fashioned RP)?

I am pretty sure he speaks German since his family is overwhelmingly German. I don't think he has spoken French in many years considering that he left France when he was about 7 and was then raised in England and, briefly, in Germany. He may have learned French at home or at school, but it should be his third language at best.
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  #689  
Old 04-04-2021, 04:34 PM
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Havent heard Philip speak that much but I think he sounds upper class English.. I dont think there's any trace of accent
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  #690  
Old 04-04-2021, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by SLV View Post
Perhaps we should try and turn things around. Does Prince Philip has any accents when speaking English? Any residual German or French accents in there?
No. He speaks RP (extremely upper-class, old-fashioned) British English.
Sherlock Holmes might be able to tell that it's not his native language, but I doubt anyone else would.

Actually, according to his bio "Young Prince Philip", either his mother Alice or someone else thought he was developing an American accent from the kindergarten he was going to in Paris! :lol: I wouldn't be surprised. (That does suggest he was speaking English on a regular basis from before he was about 7 or so.)

And further in the book it mentions that when the diarist Chips Channon came across him as a young adult he was impressed and said "he speaks only English", but I take that more as he only used and sounded English despite his background, rather than really being monolingual.

It's not that anyone's seriously putting forth the notion Philip can't speak anything else, and yes, xenophobia probably has something to do with it, but he's been the Queen's consort for a staggeringly long time and there's a strange lack of him actually doing it, in this modern media age.

Edit: And fwiw Philip himself has said he self-identified as Danish growing up (probably for convenience's sake), but I would be incredibly surprised if he could speak more than a smattering of that.
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  #691  
Old 04-04-2021, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Prinsara View Post
No. He speaks RP (extremely upper-class, old-fashioned) British English.
Sherlock Holmes might be able to tell that it's not his native language, but I doubt anyone else would.

Actually, according to his bio "Young Prince Philip", either his mother Alice or someone else thought he was developing an American accent from the kindergarten he was going to in Paris! I wouldn't be surprised. (That does suggest he was speaking English on a regular basis from before he was about 7 or so.)

And further in the book it mentions that when the diarist Chips Channon came across him as a young adult he was impressed and said "he speaks only English", but I take that more as he only used and sounded English despite his background, rather than really being monolingual.

It's not that anyone's seriously putting forth the notion Philip can't speak anything else, and yes, xenophobia probably has something to do with it, but he's been the Queen's consort for a staggeringly long time and there's a strange lack of him actually doing it, in this modern media age.

Edit: And fwiw Philip himself has said he self-identified as Danish growing up (probably for convenience's sake), but I would be incredibly surprised if he could speak more than a smattering of that.
Definitely off topic but GOODNESS what an attractive and charismatic man!
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  #692  
Old 04-04-2021, 08:40 PM
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Prince William spoke French.
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  #693  
Old 04-04-2021, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by CyrilVladisla View Post
Prince William spoke French.
One sentence in a speech, the end of which is unintelligible, does not mean you "speak" a language on a usable basis.
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  #694  
Old 04-05-2021, 02:12 AM
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Yes, he certainly rambled off at the last word. Can't make any sense of that bit.
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  #695  
Old 04-05-2021, 02:50 AM
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I think he said «pour votre accueil chaleureux*» but really failed at pronouncing Accueil correctly.
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  #696  
Old 04-05-2021, 04:14 AM
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My father worked as a journalist for Tribune Madagascar in the nineties and was able to ask questions to Prince Philip about WWF when he visited Madagascar. He asked him questions in french and he told me that Prince Philip was able to answer in French without any accent.
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  #697  
Old 04-05-2021, 08:08 AM
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Diana and language skills

I read a lot of magazines in my youth. And Princess Diana was a common topic. So her life was often mentioned in these types of articles. And I agree that her unhappiness at school was not about language issues if you can believe all that silly stuff written. She almost on purpose flunked all her O levels. Which would actually take effort to achieve. I think she was acting out somehow. And after her divorce I remember someone asking her if she would go to University and do some studies. And Diana said something to the effect that she wasn't interested at all. Not I am too old or some other reasoning. Almost are you crazy I would never do that it means nothing to me. So my impression of Diana she had great ability to feel people and for people to feel her somehow. And I mention the youthful magazine reading as I am no expert and my research sources are terrible. From what I read she had little interest in any studies at all. And never did. Almost totally uncurious. She was a feeling person. So needless to say I think it can be said that Diana did not speak another language. Interesting to me how our lives shape our language abilities one way or another.
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  #698  
Old 04-05-2021, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by titiromi View Post
My father worked as a journalist for Tribune Madagascar in the nineties and was able to ask questions to Prince Philip about WWF when he visited Madagascar. He asked him questions in french and he told me that Prince Philip was able to answer in French without any accent.
That is hardly surprising as he spent a number of years of his childhood living in Paris - from about 1 - 8. He started school in Paris.
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  #699  
Old 04-05-2021, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Tweetybird View Post
I read a lot of magazines in my youth. And Princess Diana was a common topic. So her life was often mentioned in these types of articles. And I agree that her unhappiness at school was not about language issues if you can believe all that silly stuff written. She almost on purpose flunked all her O levels. Which would actually take effort to achieve. I think she was acting out somehow. And after her divorce I remember someone asking her if she would go to University and do some studies. And Diana said something to the effect that she wasn't interested at all. Not I am too old or some other reasoning. Almost are you crazy I would never do that it means nothing to me. So my impression of Diana she had great ability to feel people and for people to feel her somehow. And I mention the youthful magazine reading as I am no expert and my research sources are terrible. From what I read she had little interest in any studies at all. And never did. Almost totally uncurious. She was a feeling person. So needless to say I think it can be said that Diana did not speak another language. Interesting to me how our lives shape our language abilities one way or another.
Dont quite see that. How did Diana's language abilities or lack of them shape her life? She didn't have much interest in studying at school but I doubt if she failed exams on purpose.. She wasn't good at languages and that was one reason she was unhappy in Switzerland, She couldn't speak French, she didn't want to be there and she was homesiclk...
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  #700  
Old 04-05-2021, 01:35 PM
Gentry
 
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mother language ability passes to children

Diana lack of an interest in language ability or world travel during language development ages would show that both her children have zero language ability. Excuse me. William and Harry have little language ability. ZERO.
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