So, what is the role of language in the Presidency? Should US Presidents only speak in English? In a debate Mr. While Mr. Trump is correct in his assessment that English is the primary language spoken in the United States, multilingualism has been a mainstay in the American Presidency since the foundation of the country.
The White House Historical Association. Cover Image Credit: History Channel. Very interesting article. Governesses from France and Germany taught him their respective languages, as did his Swiss governess. His oldest son, Donald Trump Jr. At Orlando, Florida.
Asslicking lesbians free. US Presidents | John Adams
He was born in Kinderhook, New Yorka primarily Dutch community, spoke Dutch as his first language, and continued to Mistress cameo it at home. Herbert Allan. The Boxer Rebellion finally came to an end a year later in September of The Hoovers arrived in China in April and lived through the siege of Tienjin. Asked in Radio Who was the Wife and president spoke chinese that first spoke on the radio? The first president to appear on television was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Vice-President Biden merely mis-spoke today. Bush possibly also as he was a special envoy to China for two years. Freedom Betrayed English translation of De re metallica. We know he was a wonderful scholar. Memorial sites U. Hidden categories: Articles containing potentially dated statements from All articles containing potentially dated statements All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from February Articles containing German-language text CS1: Julian—Gregorian uncertainty All articles with dead external links Articles with dead external links from October All Rights Reserved.
Many Americans like the idea of learning a second language.
- Herbert Hoover and his wife both learned to speak Mandarin Chinese when they worked in China and reportedly spoke in that language when they did not want white house staff to know what they were talking about,.
- Being bilingual nowadays always seem like a huge surprise.
- Marrying her geologist and mining engineer husband in , she traveled widely with him, including to Shanghai , China, and became a cultivated scholar and linguist.
- Of the 44 [a] men who have served as presidents of the United States , at least half have displayed proficiency in speaking or writing a language other than English.
Many Americans like the idea of learning a second language. But fewer and fewer Americans are actually learning to speak multiple languages. And even in the Oval Office , bilingual presidents have become less and less common. He learned three other languages. The White House Historical Association. Language Connections reports that John Adams — the second president of the United States and the first to live in the White House — learned three languages from a young age.
To prepare him to attend Harvard University, his family ensured that learned both Latin and French. And in a letter he sent to Thomas Jefferson, Adams lamented that even then, few Americans learned those languages. Next : This president annoyed John Adams with all of his Greek quotations.
He actually used his other languages. Monticello reports that Thomas Jefferson learned multiple languages — and actually used them. And when it came to reading, Jefferson also attained proficiency in Greek and Spanish. Plus, Memoria Press reports that Jefferson used so many Greek quotes in his letters to John Adams — who liked Latin better than Greek — that Adams even complained about it. Monticello also adds that Jefferson owned dictionaries, vocabularies, and grammars in a number of other languages — including Arabic, Gaelic, and Welsh — but seems to have only dabbled in those languages.
He learned Latin and Greek thanks to studying the classics. Madison became so proficient with both languages that he often made corrections to Latin texts by scholars and philosophers.
Rosetta Stone reports that Madison was also well-versed in Hebrew, and actually studied the language at the College of New Jersey now called Princeton University. He spent time abroad in France. Rosetta Stone reports that James Monroe studied French in his youth.
As a child, he accompanied his father on diplomatic assignments, studying French and Dutch. When he was just 14 years old, he went on a diplomatic mission to Russia and served as a French translator.
Adams also read Latin and Greek classics in their original languages. And he learned German while serving as the U. He learned Latin thanks to his education in the classics. William Henry Harrison, like many of his contemporaries, achieved proficiency in Latin as part of his classical education. His study of Latin may have helped him when he went on to enroll at the University of Pennsylvania to study medicine.
He studied classical languages. You can add John Tyler to the list of presidents who were not just bilingual, but studied multiple classical languages during their youth.
Next : This president quickly caught up even though he was late to learn another language. He was an older student, but he graduated with honors. James K. Polk got a later start on learning multiple languages than some other presidents. But he quickly made up for it. But he rose to the top of his class nonetheless, and went on to further his education in Latin, Greek, philosophy, logic, literature, and geography.
Polk then attended the University of North Carolina, where he graduated with special honors in classics and mathematics. He also learned Latin and Greek in his youth. James Buchanan also numbers among the presidents who learned Latin and Greek in their youth.
Buchanan received a formal education beginning at an early age. He later attended Dickinson College, also in Pennsylvania. Next : This president specialized in ancient language at prep school. He was another president who received a classical education.
You can also count Rutherford B. Hayes among the many presidents who received a classical education. Hayes went to local schools in Ohio, and then went on to study at a preparatory school, where he actually specialized in ancient Greek and Latin. He graduated from Kenyon College and went on to study law at Harvard. Next : This president used his language skills to develop a strange party trick. He could write in Latin with one hand and Greek with the other. What is unusual? Supposedly, if asked a question, he could write the answer in Latin with one hand and in Greek with the other.
Next : This president could carry on conversations in classical languages. He was proficient but possibly not fluent. Stepes reports that Chester A. Arthur also numbers among the presidents who learned Latin and Greek as part of their formal education.
Arthur may not have been fully fluent in either language. Next : This president could speak another language, but never mastered the grammar.
He was fluent in French. Next : This president learned multiple languages despite his poor eyesight and possible dyslexia. He had weak eyesight and possible dyslexia. The Miller Center reports that Woodrow Wilson had weak eyesight and possible dyslexia, which both delayed his learning to read.
Stepes reports that Wilson later learned to speak German. Next : This president would speak a foreign language with his wife to prevent eavesdropping. He worked as a mining engineer in China. He and his wife even continued to speak the language during their time in the White House. Next : This president learned multiple languages, but never perfected his accent. He has been called the last true multilingual president. Language Connections characterizes Franklin D.
Roosevelt as the last truly multilingual president of the United States. Roosevelt grew up speaking both German and French, spending long periods of time in Europe to learn the language. However, he never perfected his accent, as native French and German speakers could recognize his New England inflections when he gave speeches.
Next : This president can speak another language relatively well if you overlook his grammar. He studied Spanish. Business Insider reports that though he never achieved perfect grammar, Jimmy Carter can speak Spanish pretty fluently.
And he continued to practice the language when he went on Christian mission trips later in life. Even as president, Carter made speeches in Spanish on various trips abroad. He once characterized Spain as his favorite vacation spot, and used his language skills when he traveled there with his family.
He studied German in college. Mental Floss reports that Bill Clinton had to study a foreign language at Georgetown University when he attended in the mids. That knowledge came in handy later, when Clinton delivered a speech at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin in Next : This president learned a little bit of a second language.
He picked up Spanish while living in Texas. Though George W. Bush is far from bilingual, he does deserve a little bit of credit for picking up some Spanish during his youth in Texas. Bush even used that basic knowledge in some of his speeches over the years. Stepes notes that Bush became the first president to deliver weekly radio addresses in both English and Spanish. He lived in Indonesia as a child.
But when he lived in Indonesia with his mother and stepfather from the ages of 6 to 10, he did pick up some of the language. And he famously criticized a fellow Republican presidential hopeful, Jeb Bush, for showing off his fluency in Spanish. His oldest son, Donald Trump Jr. Plus, his daughter, Ivanka, can speak French. And Barron, the son of Donald and Melania, is reportedly bilingual and fluent in both English and Slovenian. And How Former Presidents Compare.
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook! John Adams He learned three other languages.
However, he never claimed proficiency in the language. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. He had borrowed a Spanish grammar and a copy of Don Quixote from a friend and read them on the voyage. Cover of Time April 21, Fredericksburg, Virginia : University of Mary Washington. Vice-President Biden merely mis-spoke today. She played a critical role in designing and overseeing the construction of a rustic presidential retreat at Rapidan Camp in Madison County , Virginia.
Wife and president spoke chinese. Navigation menu
James Madison began his studies of Latin at the age of twelve  and had mastered Greek and Latin by the time he entered the College of New Jersey, later Princeton University. He produced many translations of Latin orations of Grotius , Pufendorf , and Vattel.
While in college, Madison learned to speak and read Hebrew. James Monroe adopted many French customs while a diplomat in Paris , including learning fluent French. The entire Monroe family knew the language, and often spoke it with one another at home. John Quincy Adams went to school in both France and the Netherlands, and spoke fluent French and conversational Dutch.
In addition to the two languages he spoke fluently, he also studied Italian, but he admitted to making little progress in it since he had no one with whom to practice speaking and hearing the language, as well as Russian, but never achieved fluency. Martin Van Buren was the only American president who did not speak English as his first language.
He was born in Kinderhook, New York , a primarily Dutch community, spoke Dutch as his first language, and continued to speak it at home. He obtained a small understanding of Latin while studying at Kinderhook Academy and solidified his understanding of English there. While there, he also learned a small amount of French. John Tyler excelled at school, where he learned both Latin and Greek. Although James K. Polk had no background in foreign languages upon entering college, he proved a quick learner.
He proved very proficient in classical languages, and received honors in both Greek and Latin on his degree. James Buchanan studied a traditional classical curriculum, which included Latin and Greek, at the private Old Stone Academy before transferring to Dickinson College. He excelled in both subjects. Rutherford B. He initially struggled with the languages, but soon became proficient in them.
He also briefly studied French there. Garfield knew and taught both Latin and Greek, and he was the first president to campaign in two languages English and German. Stories emerged to the effect that Garfield would entertain his friends by having them ask him questions, and then writing the answer in Latin with one hand while simultaneously writing the answer in Greek with the other.
However, specifics of these stories are not documented. Chester A. Arthur was known to be comfortable enough in Latin and Greek to converse with other men who knew the languages. A foreign correspondent noted that although Roosevelt spoke clearly and quickly, he had a German accent while speaking in French. John Hay , secretary of state under Roosevelt, commented that Roosevelt spoke odd, grammatically incorrect French, but was never difficult to understand.
Though he could read and understand the language thoroughly, Roosevelt struggled to speak German. When Roosevelt attempted to speak with a native German, he had to apologize after botching the attempt. Roosevelt understood some of the Dutch language and taught songs in Dutch to his children and grandchildren, as is documented in a letter in English that he wrote to the painter Nelly Bodenheim in Amsterdam.
Woodrow Wilson learned German as part of earning his Ph. However, he never claimed proficiency in the language. While he did read German sources when they were available, he often complained about the amount of time and effort it took him. Franklin Delano Roosevelt spoke both German and French. He was raised speaking both, as his early education consisted of governesses from Europe preparing him for boarding school in his teens.
In particular, he had a German governess and a French governess who taught him their respective languages. A Swiss governess, Jeanne Sandoz, furthered his studies in both languages,  particularly stressing French. Roosevelt gave a bilingual speech in English and French during a visit to Quebec City.
Jimmy Carter has a functional command of Spanish, but has never been grammatically perfect. He could speak fairly fluently, but joked about his sometimes flawed understanding of the language while discoursing with native speakers.
While a freshman at Georgetown University , Bill Clinton was required to choose a foreign language to study, and chose German because he was "impressed by the clarity and precision of the language". George W. Bush speaks some Spanish and has delivered speeches in the language.
From age six to ten , Barack Obama lived in Jakarta , Indonesia and attended local Indonesian-language schools: as a result he was able to speak Indonesian fluently as a child. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. By the conventional numbering of U. Retrieved UMW Magazine. Fredericksburg, Virginia : University of Mary Washington. Archived from the original on 27 May Retrieved 28 April Adams National Historic Park. Washington, D. Retrieved 25 July Retrieved 21 July Retrieved 17 September We know he was a wonderful scholar.
Any truth to that long-held rumor? I believe it, but I'm not sure it's true. Shortly after his death, Garfield -- After Garfield's death, one of his sons tried to track that legend down because he had heard it, but he had never seen it happen. He wrote to lots and lots of people, relatives, friends, family.
None of them supported it. It's true that Garfield was ambidextrous, but he just wasn't that ambidextrous. Naval War College Review. Retrieved 22 March Dijkstra, the Netherlands.
The New York Times. World Association for International Studies. Retrieved 13 January The Hoovers arrived in China in April and lived through the siege of Tienjin. Being an engineer, Mr. Hoover and his detail were responsibie for maintaining the battleworks; Mrs.
Hoover worked as a nurse. Although both Hoovers knew how to fire a gun, there is no evidence that they ever shot at the boxers. They left China in August ". Memoirs, vol. New York: Macmillan. Language Log. Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania.
We never fired a bullet. We never went to war ' ". The Guardian. UK: Guardian News and Media. Executive Office of the President of the United States. Retrieved 24 March Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved 27 July Adams, John Quincy Charles Francis Adams, Sr. Select Biographies Reprint Series. Philadelphia : J. Baker, Jean James Buchanan. New York City : Macmillan Publishers. Behrman, Carol James K.
When Herbert Hoover graduated from Stanford in June , he and Lou had decided to delay wedding plans while she continued her education and he pursued his engineering career in Australia. In , the year Lou graduated from Stanford, Hoover cabled a marriage proposal, which she promptly accepted by return wire.
Both Herbert and Lou were 24 years old when they married on February 10, , at the home of the bride's parents in Monterey, California. Although raised an Episcopalian , Miss Henry decided to become a Quaker. They lived in China from April until August Hoover was present with her husband during the Boxer Rebellion. Hoover studied Mandarin Chinese while living in China. In the White House, at times, she would speak to her husband in it to foil eavesdroppers.
Hoover was also well versed in Latin ; she collaborated with her husband in translating Agricola's De Re Metallica , a 16th-century encyclopedia of mining and metallurgy. The Hoover translation was published in , and remains in print today as the standard English translation. She was also involved with the American Women's War Relief Fund , which provided ambulances, funded two hospitals and provided economic opportunities for women during WWI.
Hoover distinguished herself by becoming the first First Lady to broadcast on a regular and nationwide basis. Although she did not have her own radio program, she participated as a guest speaker on a number of occasions between and , often advocating for volunteerism, or discussing the work of the Girl Scouts.
Radio critics praised her for having an excellent radio voice and for speaking with confidence. She played a critical role in designing and overseeing the construction of a rustic presidential retreat at Rapidan Camp in Madison County , Virginia. It was a precursor of the current presidential retreat, Camp David. She was found dead in her bedroom by her husband, who came to kiss her good night. She was originally buried in Palo Alto, California. Her husband was devastated by her death and never considered remarrying.
Harding and Calvin Coolidge. She served as president again after leaving the White House, from to Lou Henry was an avidly athletic young woman, and by her senior year at the university she was a member of the Basket Ball Committee, Vice President of the Women's Athletic Association and an active member of the Archery Club. It is designated a National Historic Landmark. Lou Henry Hoover Memorial Hall built in at Whittier College , where she had been a trustee until her death, is also named for her.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Lou Henry Hoover. Herbert Hoover m. Herbert Allan. Scouting portal. National First Ladies' Library. Retrieved January 20, World Association for International Studies. November 21, Retrieved January 13, The Hoovers arrived in China in April and lived through the siege of Tienjin. Being an engineer, Mr. Hoover and his detail were responsibie for maintaining the battleworks; Mrs.
Hoover worked as a nurse. Although both Hoovers knew how to fire a gun, there is no evidence that they ever shot at the boxers. They left China in August Archived from the original on March 9, Retrieved April 26, American Women in World War I. January 9, Archived from the original on September 27, Herbert Hoover: A Life. Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey. Palo Alto Service Unit.
List of multilingual presidents of the United States - Wikipedia
Here are 11 commanders-in-chief who could speak another language and two honorable mentions. Before he became our second president, John Adams was sent to Paris twice for extended periods to negotiate with France.
While he was serving there, he learned to speak French fluently. Thomas Jefferson was fluent in Spanish and could speak some French. John Quincy Adams wrote in his diary that Jefferson told him he had learned Spanish in 19 days while crossing the Atlantic, with the help of a copy of Don Quixote.
Madison also studied Hebrew while attending Princeton University. Prior to becoming the fifth U. Monroe and his family spoke French fluently. While his father, the aforementioned John Adams, was serving in Paris, John Quincy Adams accompanied him and attended schools in Europe. He quickly became fluent in French, Dutch, and German. Dutch was his first language, and he learned English as his second in school.
Teddy Roosevelt could read in French, German, Italian, and Latin, and kept his library stocked with books in all of those languages. Together they translated a 16th-century document from Latin to English over the course of several years. FDR learned French and German from a young age. Governesses from France and Germany taught him their respective languages, as did his Swiss governess. FDR attended school there for a while, where he continued to improve his language skills. Though his grammar was far from perfect, Jimmy Carter was fairly proficient in the Spanish language.
Carter continued to practice the language on Christian mission trips later in life, and also as president when he made speeches in Spanish on various country visits. Carter said Spain was his favorite vacation spot , and he practiced his Spanish while there with his family. Bill Clinton studied German during his college career at Georgetown University.
He became proficient in the language, and spoke a little German in a speech at the Brandenburg Gate in Although it seems like the general trend of language proficiency among American presidents has declined over the years, we would be remiss not to give honorable mentions to two of our 21st-century leaders:. George W.
Bush had some basic knowledge of Spanish from his many years living in Texas, and he even sprinkled it into a few of his speeches. Barack Obama lived in Indonesia with his mother and stepfather from age six to ten and attended school there. He developed a basic understanding of the Indonesian language and spoke a little bit in this speech. Search icon A magnifying glass. It indicates, "Click to perform a search".
Close icon Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. It indicates a way to close an interaction, or dismiss a notification. Dylan Lyons , Babbel. John Adams Thomas Jefferson James Madison James Monroe John Quincy Adams Martin Van Buren Theodore Roosevelt Herbert Hoover Franklin D. Roosevelt Jimmy Carter Bill Clinton