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rod99
06-25-2009, 08:41 AM
if you look at the top 30+ players in the world, i'd say nadal's english is the worst, except for maybe davydenko. for someone at the top of the game who has been traveling the world for years, i'm wondering why that is the case. all of the other spanish players speak very good english. maybe it's b/c he grew up in mallorca and wasn't exposed to the big city lifestyle of barcelona or madrid. however, i'm very surprised that he doesn't speak better english by now.

and btw, i'm by no means a nadal hater, i've just always been curious about this. i think if he spoke better english, he would gain a lot more fans, as they'd be able to relate to him and better understand his thoughts.

gj011
06-25-2009, 08:43 AM
Is your Spanish better than his English?

NamRanger
06-25-2009, 08:43 AM
He never spoke English at all until 2005 when he broke onto the scene. So I would assume he's actually got very good English for the amount of time he's been learning it.

TheMusicLover
06-25-2009, 08:43 AM
Not everyone is a linguistics wizzard...
And him living in Mallorca wouldn't be much of a factor... do you know how many English (and German) people visit that island each year?

tahiti
06-25-2009, 08:45 AM
if you look at the top 30+ players in the world, i'd say nadal's english is the worst, except for maybe davydenko. for someone at the top of the game who has been traveling the world for years, i'm wondering why that is the case. all of the other spanish players speak very good english. maybe it's b/c he grew up in mallorca and wasn't exposed to the big city lifestyle of barcelona or madrid. however, i'm very surprised that he doesn't speak better english by now.

and btw, i'm by no means a nadal hater, i've just always been curious about this. i think if he spoke better english, he would gain a lot more fans, as they'd be able to relate to him and better understand his thoughts.

I guess the Spanish are very much like the English in languages. As both of them are large world language they don't see the need to speak other lingos.

In order the top 5 most spoken languages of the world.

Mandarin / China, Malaysia, Taiwan
English / USA, UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand
Hindi / North and Central India
Spanish / The Americas, Spain
Arabic / Middle East, Arabia, North Africa
Russian / Russia, Central AsiaTravelling on tour with a Spanish team, means he doesn't need to converse in English except with the media. Do any English tennis players speak other languages?

RealityPolice
06-25-2009, 08:46 AM
Some would say that his broken English is part of his charm.

In any event, it's likely that he falls back to Spanish whenever possible; adults learn languages differently than children (interference from L1 is more pronounced in adults than in children; see "Critical period for language development"), and if Nadal doesn't use his English for anything but press conferences, then he's not likely to improve it that much.

/linguist

rafan
06-25-2009, 08:49 AM
Is your Spanish better than his English?

Exactly my feelings - why should english be the ultimate language after all

swedechris
06-25-2009, 08:52 AM
How good is Roddicks or Blakes French or Spanish ??

Fed handles a few languages quite well but i dont know of others that are as good..

rod99
06-25-2009, 08:52 AM
you're missing my point. this has nothing to do with my spanish skills. other than coria and davydenko, i don't recall any top player with poorer english skills. english is the universal language of tennis (the score is called out in english at every tournament except roland garros) and he is asked english speaking questions after every one of his matches. blake and roddick are never asked media related questions in spanish so there is no reason for them to learn the language.

if only say half of foreign players spoke english well then i'd understand, but when virtually every single player speaks english better than nadal (including all of spanish players), it's somewhat surprising.

weallwegot
06-25-2009, 08:53 AM
Learning another language is a tough, especially English.

rod99
06-25-2009, 08:54 AM
Exactly my feelings - why should english be the ultimate language after all

regardless of whether or not it should be, it is.

rod99
06-25-2009, 08:55 AM
Learning another language is a tough, especially English.

yes it is, but why does every single player i've seen interviewed speak better english than nadal?

RealityPolice
06-25-2009, 08:55 AM
you're missing my point. this has nothing to do with my spanish skills. other than coria and davydenko, i don't recall any top player with poorer english skills. english is the universal language of tennis (the score is called out in english at every tournament except roland garros) and he is asked english speaking questions after every one of his matches. if only say half of foreign players spoke english well then i'd understand, but when virtually every single player speaks english better than nadal (including all of spanish players), it's somewhat surprising.

He's surrounded by Spanish speakers, though, and doesn't need to use English in situations beyond answering tennis questions. That's no doubt a large part in limiting his active vocabulary. If he doesn't use what he knows, he won't gain any greater "fluency" with it.

galactico
06-25-2009, 08:57 AM
because he's spannish

tahiti
06-25-2009, 08:57 AM
you're missing my point. this has nothing to do with my spanish skills. other than coria and davydenko, i don't recall any top player with poorer english skills. english is the universal language of tennis (the score is called out in english at every tournament except roland garros) and he is asked english speaking questions after every one of his matches. if only say half of foreign players spoke english well then i'd understand, but when virtually every single player speaks english better than nadal (including all of spanish players), it's somewhat surprising.

But the questions he answers have only generally one topic, tennis. How can you expand your vocab & language skills if you only know jargon around one subject? Pardon me, but they call the score in German at some tournaments. Which Spanish players speak better English? I haven't heard them. They all struggle and for the few times they get far enough to be interviewed they probably know their text verbatim from the text book."Yes I played well, he didn't have his day...I'm happy for my improvement....yes I want to go far in the tournament."

Brned
06-25-2009, 08:58 AM
Learning another language is a tough, especially English.

actually learning english is quite easy....

gj011
06-25-2009, 08:58 AM
you're missing my point. this has nothing to do with my spanish skills. other than coria and davydenko, i don't recall any top player with poorer english skills. english is the universal language of tennis (the score is called out in english at every tournament except roland garros) and he is asked english speaking questions after every one of his matches. blake and roddick are never asked media related questions in spanish so there is no reason for them to learn the language.

if only say half of foreign players spoke english well then i'd understand, but when virtually every single player speaks english better than nadal (including all of spanish players), it's somewhat surprising.

This is not quite true. On many tournaments they call scores in native language. For example in Halle they called scores in German.

My point was, if you speak only one language you can't call out other people for being at your level.
Nadal's English is good enough. He can understand the score being announced, talk with judges and speak on press conferences. What more do you want?

JeMar
06-25-2009, 08:59 AM
Is your Spanish better than his English?

My Spanish is much better than his English. Can I call him out on it then?

Not that I would, though. That'd be pretty lame.

theduh
06-25-2009, 09:01 AM
Is your Spanish better than his English?

Exactly my feelings - why should english be the ultimate language after all

Missing the entire point. What the OP is trying to say is that since he is a top player and does a lot of traveling, why is he not devoting a little of his time trying to learn the language? I mean almost all of the interviews are done in english (tennis is an international sport), so learning to speak the universal language would greatly (I'm not saying he is not great) improve his interviews.

JMHO so please no flaming.

tahiti
06-25-2009, 09:02 AM
yes it is, but why does every single player i've seen interviewed speak better english than nadal?

Maybe he's not interested. The language is tennis. Why should someone want to fluent in English? The world is far larger than English territories. For Nadal, it's not as if it will advance his career. He has his millions already :) Besides when you speak more languages than English it's a blessing. Every one speaks English and can understand you anywhere. It's almost common.

rod99
06-25-2009, 09:02 AM
But the questions he answers have only generally one topic, tennis. How can you expand your vocab & language skills if you only know jargon around one subject? Pardon me, but they call the score in German at some tournaments. Which Spanish players speak better English? I haven't heard them. They all struggle and for the few times they get far enough to be interviewed they probably know their text verbatim from the text book."Yes I played well, he didn't have his day...I'm happy for my improvement....yes I want to go far in the tournament."

they call the score in the local language in every country but they follow it up with the score in english at every tournament except roland garros.

spanish players who speak better english than nadal (off the top of my head): they might not be fluent but they speak it fairly well.
- moya
- ferrero
- costa (retired but spoke very well)
- bruguera
- verdasco
- lopez
- ferrer (it's not that good but is better than nadal's)
- robredo
- corretja

theduh
06-25-2009, 09:03 AM
Learning another language is a tough, especially English.

Really? Statistics please?

rod99
06-25-2009, 09:05 AM
Missing the entire point. What the OP is trying to say is that since he is a top player and does a lot of traveling, why is he not devoting a little of his time trying to learn the language? I mean almost all of the interviews are done in english (tennis is an international sport), so learning to speak the universal language would greatly (I'm not saying he is not great) improve his interviews.

JMHO so please no flaming.

that's exactly what i'm saying. if nadal wants to have more fans than i would have thought that he'd have improved it by now. if he doesn't care then fine, but i have a feeling he does.

RealityPolice
06-25-2009, 09:06 AM
Missing the entire point. What the OP is trying to say is that since he is a top player and does a lot of traveling, why is he not devoting a little of his time trying to learn the language?

Who's to say that he isn't, though?

I mean almost all of the interviews are done in english (tennis is an international sport), so learning to speak the universal language would greatly (I'm not saying he is not great) improve his interviews.


Perhaps that isn't a goal of his. He has enough to get by in interviews, and perhaps he doesn't feel the need to do more than that. Toni speaks Spanish; I don't know about the rest of his entourage. If he can speak Spanish with his entourage, and can mumble some stock phrases in interviews, then maybe that's good enough for him.

Giggs The Red Devil
06-25-2009, 09:07 AM
Because it’s hard enough to keep coming up with new excuses in one language, let alone two.

rommil
06-25-2009, 09:07 AM
Don't sweat it. A lot of native English speakers mangle the language.

NickC
06-25-2009, 09:07 AM
Is your Spanish better than his English?

My Spanish is significantly better than his English. Can I comment?

RealityPolice
06-25-2009, 09:10 AM
they call the score in the local language in every country but they follow it up with the score in english at every tournament except roland garros.

spanish players who speak better english than nadal (off the top of my head): they might not be fluent but they speak it fairly well.
- moya
- ferrero
- costa (retired but spoke very well)
- bruguera
- verdasco
- lopez
- ferrer (it's not that good but is better than nadal's)
- robredo
- corretja

I don't know much about the coaches and such these players had surrounding them, but I'd suspect that many of them had coaches/trainers who weren't native Spanish speakers, necessitating the need to speak a common language and providing a lot of practice in doing so. (Moya dated an Italian, for one, and Ferrero runs an academy, which would probably give him the need to know conversational English).

I seem to recall Bruguera's English being rather low-level, though.

tudwell
06-25-2009, 09:11 AM
Learning a foreign language takes a lot of time, a lot of practice. Nadal doesn't have time to work on his English. He's busy with tennis.

The people on tour who speak really good English probably learned it in school as children and are probably around it a lot more than Nadal.

theduh
06-25-2009, 09:11 AM
I personally feel that if you're a top player especially if you're the number 1 tennis player in the world it is a requirement that you speak the universal language. How can you be the ambassador of the sport if you can't even communicate effectively.

Commando Tennis Shorts
06-25-2009, 09:13 AM
This has turned into a thread about whether or not he *should* learn better English language skills.

I think it was created to raise the question of *why* his English skills aren't better, which has nothing to do with turning the question back on native English speakers and the OP.

This is what I hate about the world. If you don't say everything *just right*, you're suddenly some kind of bigot.

No one was criticizing Nadal for not speaking better English, just wondering why he doesn't.

tahiti
06-25-2009, 09:14 AM
they call the score in the local language in every country but they follow it up with the score in english at every tournament except roland garros.

spanish players who speak better english than nadal (off the top of my head): they might not be fluent but they speak it fairly well.
- moya
- ferrero
- costa (retired but spoke very well)
- bruguera
- verdasco
- lopez
- ferrer (it's not that good but is better than nadal's)
- robredo
- corretja

Ok, thanks for the line up. How often are they in interviews though?
Also how many interviews have you watched. e.g. on you tube there are 100's . I 've seen Nadal make subtle jokes in English which are really funny. I've never struggled to understand him and I think that's the point.

As long as he's understood why should he aim for a full CEF B2. He's passively a B2 but probably active B1 with a few B2 competencies. According the Common European Framework that is. Federer might be a C1 (native speaker is C2) but there are so many "ya knawww (knows) it's rather irritating. Nadal's English has charm and is good enough in my opinion. He is also probably not atl all intersted in one day becoming a tennis commentator in the English world...he's a Spanish guy...true to his country alone.:)

rod99
06-25-2009, 09:15 AM
Learning a foreign language takes a lot of time, a lot of practice. Nadal doesn't have time to work on his English. He's busy with tennis.

The people on tour who speak really good English probably learned it in school as children and are probably around it a lot more than Nadal.

i don't think it should be a requirement for pro players to learn english, i just think that it would make it easier on them if they did. as someone noted earlier, plenty of english speaking tourists visit mallorca so it's surprising that nadal didn't pick up on more of it. personally, i wouldn't like doing interviews in a language that i don't speak very well and would certainly do my best to improve on it so it's not an uncomfortable experience.

your comment about learning it in school can't be true unless nadal's schooling is the only one that didn't teach english at a young age (b/c all of the other players speak it pretty well).

charliefedererer
06-25-2009, 09:15 AM
I think he speaks incredibly good English, especially since he trained in Majorca and not a tennis academy where he would have been exposed to more players/coaches with different languages with whom may have used English as a "neutral" language to communicate.
And he returns to Majorca to train, live and enjoy the simpler pleasures in life like fishing and being with his family. (I know this last part is saddly now more difficult with his parents divorcing.)

theduh
06-25-2009, 09:16 AM
Who's to say that he isn't, though?



Perhaps that isn't a goal of his. He has enough to get by in interviews, and perhaps he doesn't feel the need to do more than that. Toni speaks Spanish; I don't know about the rest of his entourage. If he can speak Spanish with his entourage, and can mumble some stock phrases in interviews, then maybe that's good enough for him.

Fair enough, but as I pointed out if you're one of the top players let alone the number 1. That said I do feel that as the number 1 ambassador of the sport he should communicate effectively using his native tongue and English.

tahiti
06-25-2009, 09:17 AM
I personally feel that if you're a top player especially if you're the number 1 tennis player in the world it is a requirement that you speak the universal language. How can you be the ambassador of the sport if you can't even communicate effectively.

If we are all to truely speak the universal language, we should be speaking Chinese because it's the biggest in the universe. Which is why UK schools have already brought in basic Chinese to school.

Nadal does speak "English" and has done hundreds of interviews, even managing Hardtalk on BBC plus Cnn sports news broadcasts. So what exactly is the problem with his English?

theduh
06-25-2009, 09:18 AM
that's exactly what i'm saying. if nadal wants to have more fans than i would have thought that he'd have improved it by now. if he doesn't care then fine, but i have a feeling he does.

The way you speak doesn't get you more fans, its the way you play, this is still tennis. But yeah the rest I agree.

rod99
06-25-2009, 09:18 AM
Ok, thanks for the line up. How often are they in interviews though?
Also how many interviews have you watched. e.g. on you tube there are 100's . I 've seen Nadal make subtle jokes in English which are really funny. I've never struggled to understand him and I think that's the point.

As long as he's understood why should he aim for a full CEF B2. He's passively a B2 but probably active B1 with a few B2 competencies. According the Common European Framework that is. Federer might be a C1 (native speaker is C2) but there are so many "ya knawww (knows) it's rather irritating. Nadal's English has charm and is good enough in my opinion. He is also probably not atl all intersted in one day becoming a tennis commentator in the English world...he's a Spanish guy...true to his country alone.:)

i'm seen all of those guys interviewed numerous times, or seen tennis related programs (No Strings on the tennis challe) where they are conversing well in english.

i have no problem with nadal or his tennis, it's just interesting that the #1 player in the world is the worst english speaker in the top 30+ players.

amx13
06-25-2009, 09:21 AM
Lack of practice, thats all. Ill bet if his coach, or anybody else close to him, would speak in english to him, he would be speaking very well by now. But since he only uses it for interviews and such, its very hard to improve at it.

theduh
06-25-2009, 09:23 AM
If we are all to truely speak the universal language, we should be speaking Chinese because it's the biggest in the universe. Which is why UK schools have already brought in basic Chinese to school.

Nadal does speak "English" and has done hundreds of interviews, even managing Hardtalk on BBC plus Cnn sports news broadcasts. So what exactly is the problem with his English?

I know Nadal speaks English as I pointed out on my previous post. My only concern is that, whenever he does interviews it tends to be almost identical to his past\old interviews which for me makes him look dull during press conference\interviews.

AAAA
06-25-2009, 09:27 AM
.... as someone noted earlier, plenty of english speaking tourists visit mallorca so it's surprising that nadal didn't pick up on more of it. ....

The person should also have said

The english speaking tourists who go to places like Mallorca and Gran Caneria do so mainly to lie on the beach tanning themselves, drink beer and have a good time socialising with other tourists in tourist areas which are usually a distance from the natives. The natives just go about living their lives separate from the tourists in most cases.

tahiti
06-25-2009, 09:28 AM
I know Nadal speaks English as I pointed out on my previous post. My only concern is that, whenever he does interviews it tends to be almost identical to his past\old interviews which for me makes him look dull during press conference\interviews.

When yo think of how many interviews he's done it's perhaps not surprising. Anyone who is continually interviewed says the same over and over, coz the questions are the same over and over. I mean there are just so many ways to describe a tennis match, victory/defeat good or bad day/your physical condition and your hopes for the tournament. Fed's interviews have also been as many as his English may be better, but it doesn't make them any more interesting don't you think?

lightning.lu10
06-25-2009, 09:32 AM
Learning another language is a tough, especially English.

English is actually one of the easiest languages to learn.

swedechris
06-25-2009, 09:35 AM
My Spanish is significantly better than his English. Can I comment?

Maybe.. first though , how is your tennis? :)

theduh
06-25-2009, 09:35 AM
When yo think of how many interviews he's done it's perhaps not surprising. Anyone who is continually interviewed says the same over and over, coz the questions are the same over and over. I mean there are just so many ways to describe a tennis match, victory/defeat good or bad day/your physical condition and your hopes for the tournament. Fed's interviews have also been as many as his English may be better, but it doesn't make them any more interesting don't you think?

Agree 100%. What about interviews outside tennis? Like ATP events, charities, etc. would you think that having a good command of the english language will help promote the game even more?

rafan
06-25-2009, 09:36 AM
regardless of whether or not it should be, it is.

Well what about China and Russia and most of Europe, South America and lots of english speaking countries whereby the language is meant to be english but the grammar is so incongruos that it is nearly impossible to detect where the speaker originates from. I mean could you understand what an English Geordie is saying - because I can't and I am english

rod99
06-25-2009, 09:36 AM
Agree 100%. What about interviews outside tennis? Like ATP events, charities, etc. would you think that having a good command of the english language will help promote the game even more?

bingo.....

RealityPolice
06-25-2009, 09:36 AM
Saying that "such-and-such language is easy/hard to learn" is a fallacy, one that ignores many factors:

Age of learner
Ability of learner
Degree of "grammatical difference" between languages
Level of achievement
Etc.

theduh
06-25-2009, 09:45 AM
Well what about China and Russia and most of Europe, South America and lots of english speaking countries whereby the language is meant to be english but the grammar is so incongruos that it is nearly impossible to detect where the speaker originates from. I mean could you understand what an English Geordie is saying - because I can't and I am english

It's probably english but the accent is so heavy that you can't make a word out of it correct? I'm sure that there is someone out there who can understand them, it doesn't mean that if you don't understand someone,it's the same for everyone.

rafan
06-25-2009, 09:54 AM
It's probably english but the accent is so heavy that you can't make a word out of it correct? I'm sure that there is someone out there who can understand them, it doesn't mean that if you don't understand someone,it's the same for everyone.

With so many different dialects and variations on the english language how can it qualify to be the ultimate language spoken? If english is considered the ultimate language, then it has to be understood by everyone

tahiti
06-25-2009, 09:54 AM
The person should also have said

The english speaking tourists who go to places like Mallorca and Gran Caneria do so mainly to lie on the beach tanning themselves, drink beer and have a good time socialising with other tourists in tourist areas which are usually a distance from the natives. The natives just go about living their lives separate from the tourists in most cases.

thanks for saving me the time to write this :)

rod99
06-25-2009, 09:55 AM
With so many different dialects and variations on the english language how can it qualify to be the ultimate language spoken? If english is considered the ultimate language, then it has to be understood by everyone

huh? nobody is talking about the overall universal language. however nobody is going to argue that that english is the universal language of tennis.

FedFan_2009
06-25-2009, 09:57 AM
Give him time, in 3-4 years he'll get up to David Ferrer's level of Engrish.

rafan
06-25-2009, 09:58 AM
huh? nobody is talking about the overall universal language. however nobody is going to argue that that english is the universal language of tennis.

Why therefore do the FO umpires give all the scores in French?

rod99
06-25-2009, 10:00 AM
Why therefore do the FO umpires give all the scores in French?

that is the only tournament in the world where the score is not announced in english (along with the score in the local language). in this case, "universal" doesn't necessarily means EVERY spoken word is in english, but the most common language among the players/media is english.

THUNDERVOLLEY
06-25-2009, 10:00 AM
Is your Spanish better than his English?

Typically irrelevant question.

ESP#1
06-25-2009, 10:00 AM
This thread is pretty lame. How many American or british players speak a foreign language? Courier is the only one I know. I have yet to find a thread criticizing Pete Sampras spanish, or what about Roddick he's sponsored by French companies, how is his french? Agassi is married to Steffi, how well does he speak german? Murray trained in spain as a young teen, compare his spanish with the safin siblings who did the same.

rafan
06-25-2009, 10:01 AM
The person should also have said

The english speaking tourists who go to places like Mallorca and Gran Caneria do so mainly to lie on the beach tanning themselves, drink beer and have a good time socialising with other tourists in tourist areas which are usually a distance from the natives. The natives just go about living their lives separate from the tourists in most cases.

There are english people who go and live/retire in Spain and cannot be bothered to learn the language. Some of the english they could pass on to the navtives (like Nadal) would not exactly pass any exams. Thanks for your post

rod99
06-25-2009, 10:05 AM
This thread is pretty lame. How many American or british players speak a foreign language? Courier is the only one I know. I have yet to find a thread criticizing Pete Sampras spanish, or what about Roddick he's sponsored by French companies, how is his french? Agassi is married to Steffi, how well does he speak german? Murray trained in spain as a young teen, compare his spanish with the safin siblings who did the same.

yet again, french and spanish are not the "universal" languages of tennis. if they were then the same question should be asked about them. a portion of every press conference is in english, most all charities and media/sponsor commitments are conducted in english, etc etc.

theduh
06-25-2009, 10:06 AM
With so many different dialects and variations on the english language how can it qualify to be the ultimate language spoken? If english is considered the ultimate language, then it has to be understood by everyone

Where and when did I say that English is the ultimate language? I said that English is the universal language, you may asked why?

1. It is widely used to do business and I think it's the only language being used when companies (from different countries) decide to do business.
2. Travelers (English speaking or non-english speaking nation) speaks english when communicating with the locals.

Some of the things that I can think off on top of my head.

EDIT:

Even these boards used English as way of communication.

Dutch-Guy
06-25-2009, 10:08 AM
if you look at the top 30+ players in the world, i'd say nadal's english is the worst, except for maybe davydenko. for someone at the top of the game who has been traveling the world for years, i'm wondering why that is the case. all of the other spanish players speak very good english. maybe it's b/c he grew up in mallorca and wasn't exposed to the big city lifestyle of barcelona or madrid. however, i'm very surprised that he doesn't speak better english by now.

and btw, i'm by no means a nadal hater, i've just always been curious about this. i think if he spoke better english, he would gain a lot more fans, as they'd be able to relate to him and better understand his thoughts.

I'm a huge Nadal suppoter and i've always wondered the same thing.The guy turned pro in 2001 but 8 years later his english is still poor.Maybe because he only uses English for anything but press conferences.

AAAA
06-25-2009, 10:08 AM
There are english people who go and live/retire in Spain and cannot be bothered to learn the language. Some of the english they could pass on to the navtives (like Nadal) would not exactly pass any exams. Thanks for your post

Some make the effort and become very fluent, and yeah others don't bother at all.

Forehand Forever
06-25-2009, 10:10 AM
Last time I checked it wasn't a requirement to learn English.

rod99
06-25-2009, 10:13 AM
Last time I checked it wasn't a requirement to learn English.

for the 13th time, nobody said it was. it's just curious that he is #1 in the world and hasn't become better at it when it's the common language on the tour.

theduh
06-25-2009, 10:16 AM
Last time I checked it wasn't a requirement to learn English.

We know. Try to read the entire thread before commenting. Thanks.

TheMusicLover
06-25-2009, 10:18 AM
The person should also have said

The english speaking tourists who go to places like Mallorca and Gran Caneria do so mainly to lie on the beach tanning themselves, drink beer and have a good time socialising with other tourists in tourist areas which are usually a distance from the natives. The natives just go about living their lives separate from the tourists in most cases.

Come on there. 90% of those natives make their money out of tourism over there, and speak at least a little bit of English to facilitate the cash flow.

DownTheLine
06-25-2009, 10:18 AM
He never spoke English at all until 2005 when he broke onto the scene. So I would assume he's actually got very good English for the amount of time he's been learning it.

4 years? No it's not that good.

iriraz
06-25-2009, 10:18 AM
For someone who travels all over the world it would be beneficiary to improve his english .Sometimes going to school can pay off.In my case it took me 4 years to learn german,english fluently and some french.Btw i`m romanian.

RealityPolice
06-25-2009, 10:18 AM
The WTA had English proficiency as a requirement during the 90s. Don't know if they changed that since then.

IIRC, the LPGA is now requiring it, too.

Crayola Oblongata
06-25-2009, 10:19 AM
I think his English is fine. I learnt French for 7 years, spanish for 4, and I'm terrible at both. How long has he been learning English?
Furthermore, we had to learn Welsh from the start of primary school (3/4 years old) until we are 16. I'd say 90% of us can't string a sentence in the language together.

So after saying all this, I think its fair to say that I'm not that good at languages. Maybe Rafas the same?

Andres
06-25-2009, 10:20 AM
Is your Spanish better than his English?
I know MINE is :D

AAAA
06-25-2009, 10:23 AM
Come on there. 90% of those natives make their money out of tourism over there, and speak at least a little bit of English to facilitate the cash flow.

And Nadal is part of that 90%?

8PAQ
06-25-2009, 10:24 AM
He never spoke English at all until 2005 when he broke onto the scene. So I would assume he's actually got very good English for the amount of time he's been learning it.

No it is not.

RealityPolice
06-25-2009, 10:24 AM
4 years? No it's not that good.

Maybe it would be better to know how much time he spent on it during that four years.

As others have said, perhaps he simply isn't proficient at language learning. For all we know, he could be a math genius. :)

EtePras
06-25-2009, 10:35 AM
Yet more proof that Nadal is one dimensional.

ESP#1
06-25-2009, 10:35 AM
yet again, french and spanish are not the "universal" languages of tennis. if they were then the same question should be asked about them. a portion of every press conference is in english, most all charities and media/sponsor commitments are conducted in english, etc etc.

Maybe he isnt concerned with what the universal language is,

my point is this, how can you criticize when you cant speak a foriegn language yourself? Pretty audacious don't you think?

I've lived in this country for 15 years and I am yet to find an american who speaks spanish as well as nadal speaks english.

Dutch-Guy
06-25-2009, 10:37 AM
Yet more proof that Nadal is one dimensional.

How good is your Spanish seniora?

maximo
06-25-2009, 10:39 AM
Why does the world revolve around the sun?

Why can't humans fly like birds?

How can we go back in time?

Soo many questions left unanswered...

malakas
06-25-2009, 10:40 AM
Most spaniards speak english far far worse than Nadal.

rod99
06-25-2009, 10:42 AM
Maybe he isnt concerned with what the universal language is,

my point is this, how can you criticize when you cant speak a foriegn language yourself? Pretty audacious don't you think?

I've lived in this country for 15 years and I am yet to find an american who speaks spanish as well as nadal speaks english.

again, you're comparing apples to oranges. if i'm the top tennis player in the world and the universal language of tennis is spanish then i'm sure as heck going to try my best to become fluent in it.

in the US, it's nowhere near as necessary to learn a foreign language b/c it's not as necessary due to geography.

tahiti
06-25-2009, 10:48 AM
Agree 100%. What about interviews outside tennis? Like ATP events, charities, etc. would you think that having a good command of the english language will help promote the game even more?

Firstly, Rafa has millions of fans and the base covers probably every nationality on this planet. Roger was here first so naturally he already had a huge fan base. Speaking better English would what? Get Rafa more fans in America, UK, Australia? I hardly feel that's a priority for any tennis player.

Secondly, speak better English to be "an ambassador" I disagree. In the end, actions speak louder than words, especially in today's world of media mass manipulation. Fed's crying and racquet smash are far more of a subliminal advertising than anything he's ever said. Just as Rafa's vamos and fist pump are.

Charities & Events. Rafa did a charity event in our country with wheelchair players. He's been in hospitals, plays with kids, has his foundation in Spain what other charity event should he do with his lack of time and already overloaded schedule? If he gave up tennis and wanted to participate in these outside of Spain then sure, he would probably take the time to gain better command of English.

ATP Events? Like the Dubai opening party or a council conference call? The latter isn't a promotion. The former is a social chit chat where one doesn't need command of a language. As for general promotion there are also 9 other top ten players.

Sampras and Federer dominated the game for ages, an American and a Swiss (who needs to speak extra languages due to country size) so maybe we're used to having someone "English" promote the game. If we go back to Borg and Lendl, did they speak a lot of English, were they heavily involved in the publicity of it all?

I don't see tennis as an English game at all. If it were only English players then yes. That many tennis millionaires have houses in the States where it's warmer than their home country, it's obvious they would be exposed to the language daily & thus gain better command. Nadal has a warm country he won't do that, although I heard something about the Caribbean on this board.

So what about speaking better English for ATP events to promote the game? Personally, I think Rafa has done so much for the publicity of tennis in the last few years he doesn't need to do more. Look at the lovely condolence speech he gave to Roger when he won the AO. On the spot, no preparation and it was very heartfelt sympathy to his greatest rival.

People who improve their English do so, because they need to. If you can get by just fine for what you need, and there are other important goals to reach, then improving language skills would not be a priority. I would love to add Spanish to my language skills, but I don't, because I don't need it. I can get by being bilingual in 2, and moderate in one other.

ESP#1
06-25-2009, 10:49 AM
again, you're comparing apples to oranges. if i'm the top tennis player in the world and the universal language of tennis is spanish then i'm sure as heck going to try my best to become fluent in it.

in the US, it's nowhere near as necessary to learn a foreign language b/c it's not as necessary due to geography.

How necessary is it for Nadal to speak better english? Is he going to lose his ranking points?

rod99
06-25-2009, 10:56 AM
How necessary is it for Nadal to speak better english? Is he going to lose his ranking points?

it's not all about the tennis. when you're #1, it's a responsibility to promote the game. being able to fluently speak the most common language of the tour certainly helps to do that.

tahiti
06-25-2009, 10:58 AM
again, you're comparing apples to oranges. if i'm the top tennis player in the world and the universal language of tennis is spanish then i'm sure as heck going to try my best to become fluent in it.

in the US, it's nowhere near as necessary to learn a foreign language b/c it's not as necessary due to geography.

why don't you wait until you become no. 1 in the world and find yourself having to choose between have a professional tennis life, a personal life and see whether becoming fluent in another language is that important.

Your geography explanation is very much the same as Nadals. He is Spanish, doesn't listen to English music, he listens to Spanish music, he talks to his family, friends and girlfriend in Spanish, his tennis team are tennis and on a tennis court he doesn't need to talk. He needs to play tennis. He's fluent enough for interviews. It's the reporters who need to change. I've heard them throwing idiomatic expressions and metaphors at Rafa, plus vocabulary which only a bilingual person would understand.
Plus the other day when Rafa wanted to say "recooperate" which is very similar in Spanish, the translator just gave him the word "recover" so even the translator didn't know the word recooperate! Hows that?

RealityPolice
06-25-2009, 11:00 AM
Plus the other day when Rafa wanted to say "recooperate" which is very similar in Spanish, the translator just gave him the word "recover" so even the translator didn't know the word recooperate! Hows that?

Kimiko Date used to correct her translator in press conferences all the time. :lol:

tahiti
06-25-2009, 11:03 AM
it's not all about the tennis. when you're #1, it's a responsibility to promote the game. being able to fluently speak the most common language of the tour certainly helps to do that.

so in your opinion, where is Nadal not promoting the game, or messing up the promotion with bad English? Tell us, what events would you like him to do and what must je talk about there? Because if he can manage a CNN news interview and BBC hardtalk, I'd say he's doing ok. He is fluent. He's not brilliant, but he doesn't need to be.

rod99
06-25-2009, 11:05 AM
so in your opinion, where is Nadal not promoting the game, or messing up the promotion which bad English? Tell us, what events would you like him to do and what must talk about there? Because if he can manage a CNN news interview and BBC hardtalk, I'd say he's doing ok. He is fluent. He's not brilliant, but he doesn't need to be.

i'm not saying he's not trying to promote the game but it's much easier when you're more fluent in the language. look at the top 30-50 players in the world. every one of them speak better english (maybe not davydenko) than nadal. yes, he does interviews but has a limited number of responses in his vocabulary. this makes it more difficult for someone to relate to him and understand what he is feeling.

Tennis_Maestro
06-25-2009, 11:06 AM
Why are we talking about Nadal? He isn't playing this Wimbledon.

tahiti
06-25-2009, 11:08 AM
Kimiko Date used to correct her translator in press conferences all the time. :lol:

haha...yes the Japanese and Chinese are very particular about grammar and like finesse in their language skills.

theduh
06-25-2009, 11:10 AM
I think you missed me saying this...

The way you speak doesn't get you more fans, its the way you play, this is still tennis. But yeah the rest I agree.

Firstly, Rafa has millions of fans and the base covers probably every nationality on this planet. Roger was here first so naturally he already had a huge fan base. Speaking better English would what? Get Rafa more fans in America, UK, Australia? I hardly feel that's a priority for any tennis player.

Secondly, speak better English to be "an ambassador" I disagree. In the end, actions speak louder than words, especially in today's world of media mass manipulation. Fed's crying and racquet smash are far more of a subliminal advertising than anything he's ever said. Just as Rafa's vamos and fist pump are.

Charities & Events. Rafa did a charity event in our country with wheelchair players. He's been in hospitals, plays with kids, has his foundation in Spain what other charity event should he do with his lack of time and already overloaded schedule? If he gave up tennis and wanted to participate in these outside of Spain then sure, he would probably take the time to gain better command of English.

ATP Events? Like the Dubai opening party or a council conference call? The latter isn't a promotion. The former is a social chit chat where one doesn't need command of a language. As for general promotion there are also 9 other top ten players.

Sampras and Federer dominated the game for ages, an American and a Swiss (who needs to speak extra languages due to country size) so maybe we're used to having someone "English" promote the game. If we go back to Borg and Lendl, did they speak a lot of English, were they heavily involved in the publicity of it all?

I don't see tennis as an English game at all. If it were only English players then yes. That many tennis millionaires have houses in the States where it's warmer than their home country, it's obvious they would be exposed to the language daily & thus gain better command. Nadal has a warm country he won't do that, although I heard something about the Caribbean on this board.

So what about speaking better English for ATP events to promote the game? Personally, I think Rafa has done so much for the publicity of tennis in the last few years he doesn't need to do more. Look at the lovely condolence speech he gave to Roger when he won the AO. On the spot, no preparation and it was very heartfelt sympathy to his greatest rival.

People who improve their English do so, because they need to. If you can get by just fine for what you need, and there are other important goals to reach, then improving language skills would not be a priority. I would love to add Spanish to my language skills, but I don't, because I don't need it. I can get by being bilingual in 2, and moderate in one other.

Yes I agree that you can promote tennis inside the court but how can you promote tennis out of the tennis court? Is it through publicity, promotions, live appearances, etc? I know Rafa can hold his own during award ceremony (perfect example stated above) but during press conference and ambush interviews he tends to say the same thing over and over some times even without variations which tends to put me off and interpret the interview as again dull and very automatic.

I still think that Nadal needs to improve his english skills. His interviews using his native tongue is very insightful but his english interviews are a bit boring if you'd ask me.

babbette
06-25-2009, 11:11 AM
because when he's not talking about forehand and backhands he's in Mallorca golfing or fishing. Though I did read recently somewhere, don't remember where that he now has and English tutor.

But he really doesn't have many English speaking friends, if any. The only times he has to talk in English is during tournaments about tennis so full English is unlikely to progress that way isn't it?

tahiti
06-25-2009, 11:13 AM
i'm not saying he's not trying to promote the game but it's much easier when you're more fluent in the language. look at the top 30-50 players in the world. every one of them speak better english (maybe not davydenko) than nadal. yes, he does interviews but has a limited number of responses in his vocabulary. this makes it more difficult for someone to relate to him and understand what he is feeling.

Perhaps that's true. Maybe he's a private person and doesn't want people to know what he's feeling. I can't say the other players speak better than him because I've never noticed it. If you feel so strongly about it you should set up a manual of responses and send it to him via his site. I'm sure he'd appreciate it :) If he responds saying yes, he'd like to improve his English skills, recommend me ok? :)

tennisdad65
06-25-2009, 11:13 AM
i think if he spoke better english, he would gain a lot more fans, as they'd be able to relate to him and better understand his thoughts.

yeah, and if Roddick spoke better spanish, he would have more fans in Mexico & Spain than he has in the US :)

tahiti
06-25-2009, 11:16 AM
I think you missed me saying this....

sorry yes... I don't know how to multi-quote so it looks like I directed that at you...it was the other comments. The Fan thing.

theduh
06-25-2009, 11:16 AM
why don't you wait until you become no. 1 in the world and find yourself having to choose between have a professional tennis life, a personal life and see whether becoming fluent in another language is that important.

Your geography explanation is very much the same as Nadals. He is Spanish, doesn't listen to English music, he listens to Spanish music, he talks to his family, friends and girlfriend in Spanish, his tennis team are tennis and on a tennis court he doesn't need to talk. He needs to play tennis. He's fluent enough for interviews. It's the reporters who need to change. I've heard them throwing idiomatic expressions and metaphors at Rafa, plus vocabulary which only a bilingual person would understand.
Plus the other day when Rafa wanted to say "recooperate" which is very similar in Spanish, the translator just gave him the word "recover" so even the translator didn't know the word recooperate! Hows that?

Its not the reporters responsibility to change. It's Nadal's responsibility to adapt as world #1. He's in the spotlight more than ever so learning to speak the language is important but not as important as tennis.

ESP#1
06-25-2009, 11:17 AM
it's not all about the tennis. when you're #1, it's a responsibility to promote the game. being able to fluently speak the most common language of the tour certainly helps to do that.

Maybe all pros should learn mandarin, considering it is the fastest growing market for tennis, and all other sports also

tahiti
06-25-2009, 11:17 AM
yeah, and if Roddick spoke better spanish, he would have more fans in Mexico & Spain than he has in the US :)

Roddick speaking Spanish :) haha that'll be the day.
Or the BBC speaking some Russian for the WTA. Haha, they wouldn't be able to say "thank you" in Russian!

egn
06-25-2009, 11:18 AM
well lets see umm it is not his native language..why hold him fault? He actually can speak it and learned it.

rod99
06-25-2009, 11:18 AM
yeah, and if Roddick spoke better spanish, he would have more fans in Mexico & Spain than he has in the US :)

i feel like a broken record. for example, say a dutch fan was watching a press conference. the foreign player being interviewed doesn't speak dutch but does speak english. b/c english is the 2nd language in the netherlands, the fan is able to understand the player. the same doesn't work in spanish. many fewer fans (in a non spanish or english speaking country) speak spanish compared to english so it would make sense that english is the language that would be most helpful for a foreign player to learn.

babbette
06-25-2009, 11:18 AM
This is close to the best English he's spoken. Well, I think. It was Hamburg 2008; which confuses me because now he seems to speak worst. :lol:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_t-MN2SG0w&feature=channel_page

maximo
06-25-2009, 11:21 AM
Im more interested in when he started learning English.

tahiti
06-25-2009, 11:23 AM
Its not the reporters responsibility to change. It's Nadal's responsibility to adapt as world #1. He's in the spotlight more than ever so learning to speak the language is important but that as important as tennis.

Well why is it that every reporter who speaks another language other than English, is able to ask questions in English, their non native tongue, yet a native speaker English reporter can't break down his OWN mother tongue to accomodate a non-native speaker who is naturally not acquainted with subtle plays on words or idioms?

Noveson
06-25-2009, 11:24 AM
I personally feel that if you're a top player especially if you're the number 1 tennis player in the world it is a requirement that you speak the universal language. How can you be the ambassador of the sport if you can't even communicate effectively.
Hah where did you get this from?
Where and when did I say that English is the ultimate language? I said that English is the universal language, you may asked why?

1. It is widely used to do business and I think it's the only language being used when companies (from different countries) decide to do business.
2. Travelers (English speaking or non-english speaking nation) speaks english when communicating with the locals.

Some of the things that I can think off on top of my head.

EDIT:

Even these boards used English as way of communication.

Dear god where are you pulling this crap from? Are you just making it up? Tennis Warehouse is based in the US:roll:.

Its not the reporters responsibility to change. It's Nadal's responsibility to adapt as world #1. He's in the spotlight more than ever so learning to speak the language is important but that as important as tennis.

He has been speaking english for 4 years. That's nothing at all. He lives in Spain, practices in spain, has a spanish speaking couch, and probably only uses english when he has to. He learned quite fast.

tahiti
06-25-2009, 11:24 AM
This is close to the best English he's spoken. Well, I think. It was Hamburg 2008; which confuses me because now he seems to speak worst. :lol:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_t-MN2SG0w&feature=channel_page

Maybe he's tired? When I'm tired my foreign tongue abilities diminishes :)
Words just elude me ...

rod99
06-25-2009, 11:25 AM
Well why is it that every reporter who speaks another language other than English, is able to ask questions in English, their non native tongue, yet a native speaker English reporter can't break down his OWN mother tongue to accomodate a non-native speaker who is naturally not acquainted with subtle plays on words or idioms?

b/c, yet again, english is the universal language of the ATP tour, as well as the universal language of 2 speakers that don't speak a common language. right or wrong, it's just the way it is.

theduh
06-25-2009, 11:27 AM
Hah where did you get this from?


Dear god where are you pulling this crap from? Are you just making it up? Tennis Warehouse is based in the US.



He has been speaking english for 4 years. That's nothing at all. He lives in Spain, practices in spain, has a spanish speaking couch, and probably only uses english when he has to. He learned quite fast.

********* much? If you can't give a reasonable explanation why Nadal need not to improve his english skills then I suggest that you shut your pie hole.

tahiti
06-25-2009, 11:28 AM
Maybe all pros should learn mandarin, considering it is the fastest growing market for tennis, and all other sports also

Good point. it's also the emerging economy & in the future we will probably all have to be able to speak some Mandarin....Then the English speaking world will have something to think about :) Something tells me they will not fair well.....

tahiti
06-25-2009, 11:29 AM
b/c, yet again, english is the universal language of the ATP tour, as well as the universal language of 2 speakers that don't speak a common language. right or wrong, it's just the way it is.

So that means English native speakers don't have to make an effort ? Meaning: Native speaker reporters can just speak at their own speed using their own expressions, idioms and vocabulary of a native speaker without giving a "****" who the listener is ? Interesting mentality.....

EtePras
06-25-2009, 11:31 AM
How good is your Spanish seniora?

Not only do I speak many more languages than Nadal does, it has nothing to do with how one dimensional he is.

theduh
06-25-2009, 11:31 AM
Well why is it that every reporter who speaks another language other than English, is able to ask questions in English, their non native tongue, yet a native speaker English reporter can't break down his OWN mother tongue to accomodate a non-native speaker who is naturally not acquainted with subtle plays on words or idioms?

We are in a day and age wherein communication is key. If you can't communicate effectively (I know that Nadal can do this but he really needs to improve it) you'll be left behind by others who are excelling. I know that language is not Nadal's bread and butter but if you're an international figure I guess you need to play the part as well.

babbette
06-25-2009, 11:35 AM
.....................................:)

tahiti
06-25-2009, 11:35 AM
********* much? If you can't give a reasonable explanation why Nadal need not to improve his english skills then I suggest that you shut your pie hole.

Let me improve your skills THEDUH.

*********, is not found in the dictionary. English is with a capital E. You do not say "need not to" but need not. Your further comment is quite derogatory to the English language itself. Need some lessons?:)

My double "r" removed :)

feetofclay
06-25-2009, 11:37 AM
Speaking as an English person I find Nadal's English language skills perfectly adequate and improving. I would hate to hear him lose his Spanish accent. Who was it, amongst all the English speakers assembled at the Australian Open award ceremony that was able to eloquently offer words of comfort and compassion to Federer? I feel sure that if you allowed your bias against Nadal, to wane you would hear an articulate young man, who does not litter his conversation with the frequent use of phrases such as 'you know' and 'I mean you know', when he can't think of an appropriate word.

maximo
06-25-2009, 11:38 AM
Let me improve your skills THEDUH.

*********, is not found in the dictionary. English is with a capital E. You do not say "need not to" but need not. Your further comment is quite derrogatory to the English language itself. Need some lessons?:)

LOL, this is too funny!

A double whammy.

kOaMaster
06-25-2009, 11:39 AM
the answer is easy: if you play tennis, you don't need it.
I guess that some other people take care for all the english stuff and the only time he's speaking english is in some interviews, press conferences and thats it.

plus he quitted school early, that certainly did not help with the english and he probably isn't that talented. concentrated his talent more in the sports and there he does pretty well ;)

Learning another language is a tough, especially English.

right.... especially the start is very hard in english. no idea why that language spread all over the world...

RealityPolice
06-25-2009, 11:44 AM
Your further comment is quite derrogatory to the English language itself. Need some lessons?:)

Oh, the irony. :)

tahiti
06-25-2009, 11:45 AM
We are in a day and age wherein communication is key. If you can't communicate effectively (I know that Nadal can do this but he really needs to improve it) you'll be left behind by others who are excelling. I know that language is not Nadal's bread and butter but if you're an international figure I guess you need to play the part as well.

To say or even think that Nadal will be left behind by others who are excelling is too exaggerated. Nadal has excelled above millions of people in this world. And he got there by speaking his level of English which has greatly improved over the last 4 years. You can't expect him to be an Andy Murray or Roddick.

The Dalai Lama visited our country recently and I watched the hour press conference. He had a translator to help answer questions. The Dalai Lama's English was also broken and sparse. He of course spoke in areas of relevance to him. His English level hasn't diminished his global presence in any way at all!! How more well known can you be than him? Does he have influence in the international world? Without a doubt.

RealityPolice
06-25-2009, 11:45 AM
right.... especially the start is very hard in english. no idea why that language spread all over the world...

Because Englishmen did, for one. :) And, later, British and American television and movies.

theduh
06-25-2009, 11:48 AM
Sorry professor! I didn't know that you're a grammar and spelling police.

FYI I know that English is spelled with a capital "E" hence all of my previous post are spelled with the capital "E".

theduh
06-25-2009, 11:49 AM
Oh, the irony. :)

I know! LOL! So much for the lessons huh?

rafan
06-25-2009, 11:50 AM
Most spaniards speak english far far worse than Nadal.

Many english speak english far far worse than Nadal

tahiti
06-25-2009, 11:52 AM
Speaking as an English person I find Nadal's English language skills perfectly adequate and improving. I would hate to hear him lose his Spanish accent. Who was it, amongst all the English speakers assembled at the Australian Open award ceremony that was able to eloquently offer words of comfort and compassion to Federer? I feel sure that if you allowed your bias against Nadal, to wane you would hear an articulate young man, who does not litter his conversation with the frequent use of phrases such as 'you know' and 'I mean you know', when he can't think of an appropriate word.

Beautifully put. Hear hear! lets add "and you know like....like....like...."

rafan
06-25-2009, 11:54 AM
Beautifully put. Hear hear! lets add "and you know like....like....like...."

Yes I second that.

icedevil0289
06-25-2009, 11:54 AM
Many english speak english far far worse than Nadal

lol, that's certainly true.

VivalaVida
06-25-2009, 11:56 AM
Nadal's english is not good at all. Djokovic speaks far better english then him and he is from Serbia. Maybe Djokovic is smarter than Nadal..

theduh
06-25-2009, 11:57 AM
We are in a day and age wherein communication is key. If you can't communicate effectively (I know that Nadal can do this but he really needs to improve it) you'll be left behind by others who are excelling. I know that language is not Nadal's bread and butter but if you're an international figure I guess you need to play the part as well.

To say or even think that Nadal will be left behind by others who are excelling is too exaggerated. Nadal has excelled above millions of people in this world. And he got there by speaking his level of English which has greatly improved over the last 4 years. You can't expect him to be an Andy Murray or Roddick.

The Dalai Lama visited our country recently and I watched the hour press conference. He had a translator to help answer questions. The Dalai Lama's English was also broken and sparse. He of course spoke in areas of relevance to him. His English level hasn't diminished his global presence in any way at all!! How more well known can you be than him? Does he have influence in the international world? Without a doubt.

Comprehension fail or selective reading?

You can't compare Nadal to the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama is an international figure as well but he doesn't travel that much and doesn't interact with the media as much as Nadal. So your comparison is flawed.

theduh
06-25-2009, 12:01 PM
Speaking as an English person I find Nadal's English language skills perfectly adequate and improving. I would hate to hear him lose his Spanish accent. Who was it, amongst all the English speakers assembled at the Australian Open award ceremony that was able to eloquently offer words of comfort and compassion to Federer? I feel sure that if you allowed your bias against Nadal, to wane you would hear an articulate young man, who does not litter his conversation with the frequent use of phrases such as 'you know' and 'I mean you know', when he can't think of an appropriate word.

Agree 100% Improving it is.

tahiti
06-25-2009, 12:02 PM
Comprehension fail or selective reading?

You can't compare Nadal to the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama is an international figure as well but he doesn't travel that much and doesn't interact with the media as much as Nadal. So your comparison is flawed.

Very funny. :)Here is the Dalai Lama's schedule. I'd say he travels and has more to do with the media than Nadal. Take a look if you dare.

http://www.dalailama.com/page.60.htm

malakas
06-25-2009, 12:05 PM
Many english speak english far far worse than Nadal

really?I have been to England many times and didn't see it.But I have been in touristic Spain and saw that.

rafan
06-25-2009, 12:11 PM
really?I have been to England many times and didn't see it.But I have been in touristic Spain and saw that.

Well maybe you should have travelled around a bit more - I still find it hard to understand some english and I have been here all my life.

malakas
06-25-2009, 12:16 PM
Well maybe you should have travelled around a bit more - I still find it hard to understand some english and I have been here all my life.

I know you live in England that's why I asked.:p But really,and no offence because I am sure they will admit it themselves,the spaniards speak perhaps the worst english in europe.

RealityPolice
06-25-2009, 12:17 PM
Nadal's english is not good at all. Djokovic speaks far better english then him and he is from Serbia. Maybe Djokovic is smarter than Nadal..

Language competence and multilingualism have little to do with overall intelligence.

RealityPolice
06-25-2009, 12:18 PM
Beautifully put. Hear hear! lets add "and you know like....like....like...."

Actually, it could be argued that the use of English placeholders such as "like" and "you know" indicates a high level of competence in an ESL speaker.

rafan
06-25-2009, 12:21 PM
I know you live in England that's why I asked.:p But really,and no offence because I am sure they will admit it themselves,the spaniards speak perhaps the worst english in europe.

I cannot really comment on that because I don't have statistics. My only thought is that they do not pick up whole sentences from the visiting english - rather a sort of fractured english. When you consider the different dialects they have to accommodate from visitors ( and millions go to Majorca alone) it must be very difficult

Eviscerator
06-25-2009, 12:22 PM
if you look at the top 30+ players in the world, i'd say nadal's english is the worst, except for maybe davydenko. for someone at the top of the game who has been traveling the world for years, i'm wondering why that is the case. all of the other spanish players speak very good english.

You need to give the guy a break. He is young, and English is not his native tongue. Sure he would make more endorsement money if he spoke English better, but he does well enough to get by. I suspect his English will improve with age, so be patient.

malakas
06-25-2009, 12:24 PM
I cannot really comment on that because I don't have statistics. My only thought is that they do not pick up whole sentences from the visiting english - rather a sort of fractured english. When you consider the different dialects they have to accommodate from visitors ( and millions go to Majorca alone) it must be very difficult

No.The problem is schools.I have discussed this with spanish uni students.Also the will to learn languages.And most of them dont' speak many different dialects just one.

tahiti
06-25-2009, 12:26 PM
Actually, it could be argued that the use of English placeholders such as "like" and "you know" indicates a high level of competence in an ESL speaker.

Only maybe because they've picked it up from native speakers and think it's normal. But it's generally a lack of vocabulary or laziness in wanting to use vocabulary to express. When it spans every or every second sentence in native speakers, it's extremely annoying, boring and redundant. Like a stuck record. I honestly loathe it....sorry :) It's an excuse for "being fluent."

tahiti
06-25-2009, 12:32 PM
If you move from Madrid to Barcelona your Spanish is not adequate anymore and it has to be Catalan. I believe Nadal speaks Catalan and Spanish and although similar they are different. The French are not that different when it comes to wanting to learn languages and Italians are probably the worst compared to Eastern Europeans and Russians.

feetofclay
06-25-2009, 12:35 PM
really?I have been to England many times and didn't see it.But I have been in touristic Spain and saw that.

I live in England and I can assure you ,even though it shames me to say it, Nadal's command of English is superior to many who were born and bred in England. I also add that I often find it difficult to understand 'American English'.

theduh
06-25-2009, 12:36 PM
Very funny. :)Here is the Dalai Lama's schedule. I'd say he travels and has more to do with the media than Nadal. Take a look if you dare.

http://www.dalailama.com/page.60.htm

Ok you got me with the schedule and applaud your research just to prove me wrong. Sorry but I have to disagree with the bolded part. You can't convince me that the Dalai Lama has more media coverage than Nadal.

tahiti
06-25-2009, 12:41 PM
Ok you got me with the schedule and applaud your research just to prove me wrong. Sorry but I have to disagree with the bolded part. You can't convince me that the Dalai Lama has more media coverage than Nadal.

Something tells me you don't really know much about the Dalai Lama.
No applaud with the research necessary. A two word search and 3 clicks.
Thanks to Google :)

malakas
06-25-2009, 12:42 PM
If you move from Madrid to Barcelona your Spanish is not adequate anymore and it has to be Catalan. I believe Nadal speaks Catalan and Spanish and although similar they are different. The French are not that different when it comes to wanting to learn languages and Italians are probably the worst compared to Eastern Europeans and Russians.

I have been to Madrid and Barcelona and in Barca everybody knows both spanish and catalan.So yes if you know spanish it is adequate to communicate with everybody.Oh yes lol!Italians!!!French as sauvinist they may be they are much much better than Italians and Spaniards in speaking english..The worse imo,is Spaniards and a close second Italians.But interestingly enough,even you cannot communicate with them for the love of God,they are the ppl who most go out of their way to help you and try to understand you.(except of Greeks ofcourse!xD)

malakas
06-25-2009, 12:45 PM
I live in England and I can assure you ,even though it shames me to say it, Nadal's command of English is superior to many who were born and bred in England. I also add that I often find it difficult to understand 'American English'.

you mean people speaking dialects??like cockney i.e? I really have not witnessed it.

feetofclay
06-25-2009, 12:46 PM
If you move from Madrid to Barcelona your Spanish is not adequate anymore and it has to be Catalan. I believe Nadal speaks Catalan and Spanish and although similar they are different. The French are not that different when it comes to wanting to learn languages and Italians are probably the worst compared to Eastern Europeans and Russians.

Yes he does speak Spanish and Catalan. He also speaks Mallorquin which is the language that you hear on the streets of Mallorca. Mallorquin, a version af Catalan, which itself shares features with both French and Spanish but sounds nothing like either and is emphatically a language, not a dialect.

FedFan_2009
06-25-2009, 12:51 PM
So Nadal already speaks 3 languages, get off his case! Maybe Federer should learn Catalan?!

feetofclay
06-25-2009, 12:51 PM
you mean people speaking dialects??like cockney i.e? I really have not witnessed it.

No I don't mean people speaking dialects, that's perfectly acceptable and something to be fostered. I mean people who just do not understand English grammar. People who are just not able to correctly speak their mother tongue.

tahiti
06-25-2009, 12:51 PM
I have been to Madrid and Barcelona and in Barca everybody knows both spanish and catalan.So yes if you know spanish it is adequate to communicate with everybody.Oh yes lol!Italians!!!French as sauvinist they may be they are much much better than Italians and Spaniards in speaking english..The worse imo,is Spaniards and a close second Italians.But interestingly enough,even you cannot communicate with them for the love of God,they are the ppl who most go out of their way to help you and try to understand you.(except of Greeks ofcourse!xD)

Agreed. Southern Europeans are passionate, wear their hearts on their sleeve and seem to understand that "joie de vivre" :)

theduh
06-25-2009, 12:52 PM
Something tells me you don't really know much about the Dalai Lama.
No applaud with the research necessary. A two word search and 3 clicks.
Thanks to Google :)

Yes I don't know much about the Dalai Lama which kinda tells me that you don't know much of him either. With that I think we're even.

feetofclay
06-25-2009, 12:52 PM
So Nadal already speaks 3 languages, get off his case! Maybe Federer should learn Catalan?!

I make it 4 because he also speaks English.

malakas
06-25-2009, 12:56 PM
No I don't mean people speaking dialects, that's perfectly acceptable and something to be fostered. I mean people who just do not understand English grammar. People who are just not able to correctly speak their mother tongue.

oh you mean grammar.lol well that is the same in every country trust me.:rolleyes:Don't judge by foreign posters here,because most of us have studied english for years in schools with proper grammar and all.

tahiti
06-25-2009, 12:57 PM
Yes he does speak Spanish and Catalan. He also speaks Mallorquin which is the language that you hear on the streets of Mallorca. Mallorquin, a version af Catalan, which itself shares features with both French and Spanish but sounds nothing like either and is emphatically a language, not a dialect.

I wonder what it sounds like, I've never heard Mallorquin. I'm off to Seville soon and Andalucia....I should be brushing up my Spanish limited phrase bank instead of sitting here being online :) Oh well I'll do it in the plane :)

LetFirstServe
06-25-2009, 01:02 PM
I remember when Federer was his age, his english was not much better. I noticed he got a little better every year.

theduh
06-25-2009, 01:07 PM
No I don't mean people speaking dialects, that's perfectly acceptable and something to be fostered. I mean people who just do not understand English grammar. People who are just not able to correctly speak their mother tongue.

We're not in school or taking up English 101, so to punish someone because he lacks proper English grammar is just not acceptable.

feetofclay
06-25-2009, 02:25 PM
oh you mean grammar.lol well that is the same in every country trust me.:rolleyes:Don't judge by foreign posters here,because most of us have studied english for years in schools with proper grammar and all.

I'm not judging posters here. I'm talking about people who live in England, whose mother tongue is English and who find it difficult to hold a conversation in their own language.

feetofclay
06-25-2009, 02:31 PM
We're not in school or taking up English 101, so to punish someone because he lacks proper English grammar is just not acceptable.

A person born in England whose mother tongue is English should be able to hold a conversation in the language of his own country and believe me, many find it difficult. Some rudimentary grasp of grammar is necessary if the language is to be spoken correctly. I am not talking about people on this board. I am commenting on some people that I meet in my day to day life.

Lefty78
06-25-2009, 02:36 PM
My 2 cents:

Among my travels, I lived in Andalucia (region in S. Spain) for a year. My personal experience is that, for the most part, the people there don't want to learn other languages. It's very provincial, so to speak, and very different from many other parts of Europe where people speak multiple tongues. To be fair about the situation, however, one must consider that this mentality is very similar to that of the average American.

AmericanTemplar
06-25-2009, 02:41 PM
I lived in Spain when I was younger & I met very few, if any, Spaniards who spoke English well. Spanish is a phonetic language with a very limited number of sounds, so I think that their ears aren't as well trained as speakers of some other languages to pick up on the nuanced variety of sounds that makes up the English language.

AmericanTemplar
06-25-2009, 02:42 PM
My 2 cents:

Among my travels, I lived in Andalucia (region in S. Spain) for a year. My personal experience is that, for the most part, the people there don't want to learn other languages. It's very provincial, so to speak, and very different from many other parts of Europe where people speak multiple tongues. To be fair about the situation, however, one must consider that this mentality is very similar to that of the average American.

This is also true. Where in Andalucia did you live? I lived in Granada.

CCNM
06-25-2009, 03:13 PM
At least he tries to speak in English. I'll give him credit for that.

nCode747
06-25-2009, 03:30 PM
Because he spends more time playing tennis then learning english.

Winners or Errors
06-25-2009, 04:26 PM
if you look at the top 30+ players in the world, i'd say nadal's english is the worst, except for maybe davydenko. for someone at the top of the game who has been traveling the world for years, i'm wondering why that is the case. all of the other spanish players speak very good english. maybe it's b/c he grew up in mallorca and wasn't exposed to the big city lifestyle of barcelona or madrid. however, i'm very surprised that he doesn't speak better english by now.

and btw, i'm by no means a nadal hater, i've just always been curious about this. i think if he spoke better english, he would gain a lot more fans, as they'd be able to relate to him and better understand his thoughts.

Why is my Spanish non-existent?
Why is my German (which I speak) so poor?

I know he's a world class athlete, but seriously, is it a requirement to master English? He plays tennis for a living. He's not a translator. The only thing it may hurt is his marketability, and it doesn't seem to have done so...

Antonio Puente
06-25-2009, 06:27 PM
For someone who has presumably spoken English his entire life, I actually think Federer's English is terrible. He has severe problems with propriety. He's constantly saying things he did not intend to say and it's because his English skills are not finely tuned.

Noveson
06-25-2009, 06:28 PM
********* much? If you can't give a reasonable explanation why Nadal need not to improve his english skills then I suggest that you shut your pie hole.

Hah you can't reply to anything I just said? Look at my other posts I troll for neither play. He doesn't need to improve. I'm sure he will. I just gave you reasons why his english isn't great, and reasons why your reasons were stupid.

Golden Retriever
06-25-2009, 06:36 PM
Everybody speaks English nowadays, so speaking English is no big deal anymore. I hate it when my mom tells me "The microwave oven is broken, you know English, now go fix it."

Antonio Puente
06-25-2009, 06:37 PM
Well maybe you should have travelled around a bit more - I still find it hard to understand some english and I have been here all my life.

Rafa's easier to understand than many provincial and low class Brits. In fact, many Spaniards speak English better than provincial Brits, Crocodile Dundee Australian types or hillbilly Americans.

rod99
06-25-2009, 07:09 PM
I lived in Spain when I was younger & I met very few, if any, Spaniards who spoke English well. Spanish is a phonetic language with a very limited number of sounds, so I think that their ears aren't as well trained as speakers of some other languages to pick up on the nuanced variety of sounds that makes up the English language.

i would understand that if that was the case with many of the other spanish players. however everyone of them (that i've heard interviewed) speaks english better than rafa.

Cross Court
06-25-2009, 07:17 PM
He knows like 3 other languages, give him a break. And besides, it's not that bad, he's just not made for it. It's getting better anyway.

Fandango
06-25-2009, 07:18 PM
The answer is quite simple. So he won't have to go throught those tedious press conferences. The press people are like,"man, this guy sucks, lets go interview federer cuz i can barely understand what this cat is sayin

bolo
06-25-2009, 07:27 PM
they call the score in the local language in every country but they follow it up with the score in english at every tournament except roland garros.

spanish players who speak better english than nadal (off the top of my head): they might not be fluent but they speak it fairly well.
- moya
- ferrero
- costa (retired but spoke very well)
- bruguera
- verdasco
- lopez
- ferrer (it's not that good but is better than nadal's)
- robredo
- corretja

Most of them are older than nadal, some of them are a lot older.

Guru
06-25-2009, 07:31 PM
Nothing wrong with his English
i can understand him just fine.

bolo
06-25-2009, 07:42 PM
Come to think of it nadal must be at the lower end of the age distribution for top 30 players.

pmerk34
06-25-2009, 07:47 PM
Exactly my feelings - why should english be the ultimate language after all

How many languages do you want on this thread?

pmerk34
06-25-2009, 07:49 PM
My 2 cents:

Among my travels, I lived in Andalucia (region in S. Spain) for a year. My personal experience is that, for the most part, the people there don't want to learn other languages. It's very provincial, so to speak, and very different from many other parts of Europe where people speak multiple tongues. To be fair about the situation, however, one must consider that this mentality is very similar to that of the average American.

And of course you would be an above avg American?

pmerk34
06-25-2009, 07:51 PM
I personally feel that if you're a top player especially if you're the number 1 tennis player in the world it is a requirement that you speak the universal language. How can you be the ambassador of the sport if you can't even communicate effectively.

I bet Lendl worked his butt off to learn English.

CHOcobo
06-25-2009, 09:16 PM
yes it is, but why does every single player i've seen interviewed speak better english than nadal?

because he doesn't speak english more than those others that know english better than he does. someone mention he just started speaking english back in 2005. he probably doesn't have much friends to speak with. im pretty sure coach tony doesn't speak english with him while they train. my point is, the more you speak it the better you get at it, and age does matter. the younger you are the easier it is for you to learn/speak it.

i came to america when i was 8 and now (24) most of my friends can't tell if i have an accent or not. when i tried to learn how to speak japanese at age 23, it was damn hard to pronounce those words. took me a long time to say it right and consistently.

rafan
06-25-2009, 09:28 PM
No.The problem is schools.I have discussed this with spanish uni students.Also the will to learn languages.And most of them dont' speak many different dialects just one.

I think i was refering to the different dialects we have in this country. For instance I find it difficult to understand both the people from Newcastle and also some Glaswegans at times so it must be hard for any foreigners to understand also. The average hotel waiter, say in Majorca for instance, must be very confused at times to say the least, so it is no wonder that they give up

rafan
06-25-2009, 09:32 PM
i would understand that if that was the case with many of the other spanish players. however everyone of them (that i've heard interviewed) speaks english better than rafa.

Well done Rafa: "A still tongue makes a wise head" - he's no fool. Rafa can make himself understood very well when he has to!

gocard
06-25-2009, 09:37 PM
I don't think Nadal's English is that bad, I mean I can understand pretty much everything he says. Maybe grammatically it isn't that great, but he gets his point across. It's not like he's being paid to speak perfect English.

Actually I think he expresses himself pretty well, in a very philosophical and mature manner, especially after the FO loss to Soderling. If only I could be so eloquent in Spanish!

rafan
06-25-2009, 10:21 PM
How many languages do you want on this thread?

Well I can understand your point but sometimes I think we don't make enough effort to embrace another language and I think we miss an awful lot

kOaMaster
06-25-2009, 11:07 PM
And of course you would be an above avg American?

he was outside the us for a year, that makes him already >>> average :-P

TheNatural
06-25-2009, 11:33 PM
if you look at the top 30+ players in the world, i'd say nadal's english is the worst, except for maybe davydenko. for someone at the top of the game who has been traveling the world for years, i'm wondering why that is the case. all of the other spanish players speak very good english. maybe it's b/c he grew up in mallorca and wasn't exposed to the big city lifestyle of barcelona or madrid. however, i'm very surprised that he doesn't speak better english by now.

and btw, i'm by no means a nadal hater, i've just always been curious about this. i think if he spoke better english, he would gain a lot more fans, as they'd be able to relate to him and better understand his thoughts.

If you listen to the Americans in the interviews they only use another 5-10% of Vocabulary compared to Nadal,its just that their pronunciation is standard.You'd be surprised at how few extra words they use that Nadal couldn't also use. He expresses himself much better and more naturally than many native English speakers.

I think more important than getting English perfectly right is that he speaks in a natural way that allows his thoughts to flow naturally like they do in Spanish.I agree that his broken English is part of the charm and he speaks more naturally this way as it allows his thoughts to flow more freely. If he was concerned about getting everything perfectly right like many English learners, he'd have to speak slower and more carefully and as a result it would wreck the whole easy natural thought process and flow.

But you do miss out on some extra thoughts and insight and parts of his personality if you're unable to understand his Spanish interviews.

feetofclay
06-26-2009, 12:06 AM
If you listen to the Americans in the interviews they only use another 5-10% of Vocabulary compared to Nadal,its just that their pronunciation is standard.You'd be surprised at how few extra words they use that Nadal couldn't also use. He expresses himself much better and more naturally than many native English speakers.

I think more important than getting English perfectly right is that he speaks in a natural way that allows his thoughts to flow naturally like they do in Spanish.I agree that his broken English is part of the charm and he speaks more naturally this way as it allows his thoughts to flow more freely. If he was concerned about getting everything perfectly right like many English learners, he'd have to speak slower and more carefully and as a result it would wreck the whole easy natural thought process and flow.

But you do miss out on some extra thoughts and insight and parts of his personality if you're unable to understand his Spanish interviews.



Well said. Journalist Abigail Lorge recentlt commented in an article that Nadal is impressive in his native tongue, thoughtful, serious , articulate.

sh@de
06-26-2009, 01:22 AM
To OP:

Someone on tour has to have the worst English. It just happens to be Nadal. Would you be opening such a thread if the person who had the worst English were, say Gulbis?

rod99
06-26-2009, 02:29 AM
To OP:

Someone on tour has to have the worst English. It just happens to be Nadal. Would you be opening such a thread if the person who had the worst English were, say Gulbis?

no, b/c gulbis isn't #1 in the world.

latinking
06-26-2009, 05:51 AM
Considering Nadal is Spanish and from a island. Also he hasn't been speaking English very long, I think he has very good english.

theduh
06-26-2009, 06:04 AM
Hah you can't reply to anything I just said? Look at my other posts I troll for neither play. He doesn't need to improve. I'm sure he will. I just gave you reasons why his english isn't great, and reasons why your reasons were stupid.

Okay if you think that it is necessary for me to answer your previous post I will humor you.

And I gave you reasons why he needs to improve his English. Again I'm not saying that his English is so terrible that I would rather [/QUOTE]watch paint dry. He can hold his own during awarding ceremonies and the thing that he said to Roger during the AO finals is one of his best speech I've ever heard, but his interviews are a bit boring.

Hah where did you get this from?

For once try reading educational materials http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_language#Twentieth_century

Dear god where are you pulling this crap from? Are you just making it up? Tennis Warehouse is based in the US:roll:.

I'm pulling this crap? again read the same material http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_language#Twentieth_century tell me how a German company and a Japanese company do business? What they have a translator to translate everything? That would be silly if you'd ask me.

He has been speaking english for 4 years. That's nothing at all. He lives in Spain, practices in spain, has a spanish speaking couch, and probably only uses english when he has to. He learned quite fast.

4 Years is a lot of time to practice and improve your language skills. I guess Nadal is not prioritizing that as I stated on my previous post because that's not his bread and butter.

CanadianChic
06-26-2009, 06:16 AM
all of the other spanish players speak very good english.

Not even close. There is no rule that states he has to learn the language. It's obvious he tries hard to communicate and I have no problem understanding him (unlike more than a few English born English speakers on this forum).

rod99
06-26-2009, 07:09 AM
Not even close. There is no rule that states he has to learn the language. It's obvious he tries hard to communicate and I have no problem understanding him (unlike more than a few English born English speakers on this forum).

what's not even close? are you denying that the list of spanish players i posted speaks better english than nadal? if you are then you are wrong.

CanadianChic
06-26-2009, 08:57 AM
what's not even close? are you denying that the list of spanish players i posted speaks better english than nadal? if you are then you are wrong.

English is your first language correct? As for the debate, I can't be bothered. Work on yourself before you criticize others.

Boriz
07-13-2009, 08:33 PM
I was going to leave this thread alone, but the assumptions behind it are wrong on so many counts that I had to de-lurk. I'm not even a Rafa fanatic- admire his tennis but not a big fan per se- yet I'm appalled at this nit-picking of his English skills, since they're totally irrelevant to his tennis. The WTF is international and tennis is an international sport, and requiring foreign players to speak fluent English is the height of arrogant imposition- it would disadvantage players like Nadal, the Russians and others by requiring them to sacrifice precious practice time on the court, to learn what is (for them) a foreign language instead. Thereby imparting an entirely unearned advantage on e.g. American players by giving them more relative practice time, compared to foreign players, since they would presumably be free of the need to learn a foreign language to that standard. Maybe this would have made sense back when Americans (or Australians) were so dominating the field, but it's arrogant now when it's European players at the top.

English is the universal language, you may asked why?

1. It is widely used to do business and I think it's the only language being used when companies (from different countries) decide to do business.

WRONG! I used to think this myself, and this myopia is costing American business billions of dollars! I was a monolingual English-speaker well into my 20s, and while I'd certainly love to make a living on the courts, given that I'd probably be somewhere around #300,000 in the world (if even that), I had to make a living in tech/engineering with an international focus, doing a lot of work with solar panels and other environmental-related fields.

Guess what our main international language is? It's German! My employer required rapid acquisition of the language when I was starting out, and anyone who failed to make sufficient progress in their abilities (especially written/technical German), was promptly fired- which happened even to several Ivy-League grads. (Now they just require German up-front.) Why? Because the Germans are far and away the main leaders and pioneers in this field. The best solar and wind-tech, the best efficient architecture, it all comes out of Germany and neighboring nations where German is the main tech language. Those without German skills are at a TREMENDOUS disadvantage, because they are able to access only a tiny fraction of the most valuable innovation, and in general at a costly delay- so the people who know German have early access to the best new tech, which translates into literally billions of dollars in advantage for such a high-profit field. I've been to conferences in many countries, and there's no single language for them, but German predominates above the rest. Several conferences in Russia and Eastern Europe, but even in South America, SE Asia- all in German. Even the Chinese companies are getting fluent in it, since the new Chinese homes in the growing cities need to be efficient, and German is the key language for them.

Speaking of Chinese, if any language is universal, THAT is what's becoming something like that lingua franca. By far the world's biggest market, not only the biggest language in terms of speakers alone, but an educated market to boot with a high level of innovation. While our companies don't require Chinese yet, they're increasingly encouraging Chinese skills (with pay boosts and other incentives), and although Chinese isn't at the level of German in international importance for this field, it's a value for all kinds of businesses.

Heck, even outside of int'l business- just within the good ol' USA- the companies ARE requiring Spanish. I had a contract in Arizona two years back, and conversational Spanish on the job was an absolute requirement. My colleagues in California, Florida- same thing. For historical reasons that even I'm not too well-versed in- and stretching all the way back to that USA-Mexico war- it's a treaty/statutory law requirement that public officials and coordinators in those and a couple other states be fluent in Spanish, as the original public medium used there. (Spanish was the first official language in the region, preceding English by centuries and in continuous since then, now fast increasing.) So as a result, those of us supervising the contractors and the foremen must be conversant in Spanish, for a project totally within the USA. People working in much of Louisiana or parts of northern New England need French (yes, French is official there).

As you can see, English is in no way a (let alone "the") universal language- it depends on what you do. Even within the United States other languages can be just as or more important. Overall, the "big triad" of those international languages is German, Chinese and Spanish, and for someone who wants career advancement and an international customer base, one or several of these is essential. If you don't speak any of them, you will NOT get hired. Increasingly so in this difficult economy-- remember, a lot of this economic mess we're in is a result of US national debt (whereas the Chinese and also the Germans put a bigger emphasis on high-solvency economies), and when our debt is this high, we don't get to dictate the cultural terms to the rest of the world.


2. Travelers (English speaking or non-english speaking nation) speaks english when communicating with the locals.

You probably believe this since you've been only to the main tourist spots, and you may just not have been aware of transactions in the other languages. Once again German is critically important for international travel, and not just in Europe and Russia- hoteliers and tour operators in South America, SE Asia (esp much of Thailand and Vietnam), even regions of North America and Australia are strongly encouraged to learn the language, due to the high travel tendency of German tourists. (Some of my best conversational German practice came with an Australian hotel operator who was not a native speaker.) Japanese and (increasingly) Chinese are also in frequent use. Even French still has some importance here, far less than before but it's still a big language in North America, the Caribbean, India (southern India), SE Asia and the Indian Ocean. On occasions when I've been in Brazil or around the Japanese islands, I've even been to hotels where nobody speaks English- they have a big language of major economic importance in those places.

Again, it's all about that Big 3 Triad- German, Chinese and of course Spanish. The first two especially since they're high-tech and high-solvency, but Spanish is one of the most international languages too.

Obviously, it's good for tennis players to speak as many languages as they can, and it's nice for Nadal to know some English, but then, it'd be nice for American tennis players to speak some French and German themselves. There is Roland Garros after all, and with the proliferation of the German tournaments and the prominence of tennis players from Germany and the Swiss-German cantons (including Roger Federer himself, from Basel) that's a good language to know too.

This thing goes both ways, and we can't be making such impositions for something so international. Carolyn Bivens tried to do this for women's golf in the LPGA- apparently in a bid to disadvantage the Korean golfers who have been so dominant, since the English imposition would force the Korean women off the links and burden them with a requirement that American golfers wouldn't have in comparsion- but Bivens was practically run out of town, and the LPGA's proposal dropped. She's essentially ruined her career with that dumb move and others like it, and sorry to say, quite justifiably. There's no place for this kind of provincial attitude in international sports, flat-out. Nadal's English level is fine IMHO and I admire him for making the effort that he does, and I'd rather he devote himself to further mastering his already brilliant playing abilities than focusing so much on a language that he really doesn't need. That's why we have interpreters, and Nadal rightfully uses them.

OddJack
07-13-2009, 09:19 PM
Because he's one dimensional.

severus
07-13-2009, 10:30 PM
Because he's one dimensional.

Haha but seriously it's weird that of all players on tour Nadal has the worst english.

roysid
07-14-2009, 01:02 AM
He knows enough english to express himself. What else is required.

Native english speakers are less now.t

Dilettante
07-14-2009, 01:25 AM
Here’s my point of view on the question:

Joseph Conrad, author or “Heart of darkness” (the novel that inspired “Apocalypse now”) is considered a milestone in English literature. He became English citizen, was in the English navy and he lived in England for many years. He was Polish. He could write in great literary English (with hard work, though) but his spoken English was “awful”, nearly unintelligible, even after all his years in England. He spoke a perfect French, though. How’s that? A guy who lived in England most of his life and was a well respected English language writer, spoke awful English but perfect French? That’s why he was educated to learn French -as a second language- in his early years. But he began learning English as a young adult and he could never speak it well. People like H.G. Wells and Virgina Woolf, who were his admirers, met him and told that his spoken English was “ugly” and “broken”. Conrad himself said that he used to think his writings in French first, and then, he translated mentally each phrase to English to write it.

In Spain, people is not acoustically educated to English. American and English movies and shows are dubbed (even when many Spaniards criticize that, but it’s a fairly old custom). Sure there are a lot of tourists, mainly English, German and French. But there’s little communication between them and Spaniards. Italian tourists are more communicative, but they learn some Spanish, which is VERY similar to Italian. They can even say stuff in Italian and many times you can understand them because there are so many similar words and sentences. But an Italian will NEVER use English to speak to a Spaniard.

So most people in Spain don’t speak good English; many don’t speak English at all. You do fairly well in Spain knowing only Spanish, so not many people here feel the need of learning English (or any other language) properly. The dubbed movies have a lot to do with it, too, as I said before. I try to watch as many subtitled movies and shows as I can; some Spaniards do it, many other don’t (or don’t care about that).

So you have Nadal: a very familiar guy (which is common in Spain), who has a close circle of relative and friends where he speaks Spanish and Majorcan. His girlfriend she’s a Majorcan too. As many Spaniards, he didn’t watch many subtitled English speaking movies or shows. He even didn’t go to a tennis academy to meet foreign players and begin with his English. Living in Spain, he didn’t need to move anywhere else to train and become good at tennis. He became a wealthy pro, but he was wealthy before, so he didn’t change his ways. He doesn’t go to Hollywood parties and he doesn’t hang around with Antonio Banderas or Penelope Cruz or Enrique freakin’ Iglesias or someone like that. He goes back to Majorca to hang out with his old friends and go fishing.

He only speaks English on tour, especially on press conferences. I guess that’s not practice enough to become a fluent English speaker. I guess he doesn’t like to study English in his own time, he prefers playing videogames with other Spanish and Argentine pros or whatever. He doesn’t go after Ivanovics like Verdasco (I would, but that’s me.. I guess Nadal is not that kind of guy). He’s not into a tennis academy business and PR stuff like Ferrero. He’s not a mundane guy like Moya or Corretja. He has not to learn English to speak to coach, trainers, etc as most pros from many countries have to. His coach is his uncle. And there’s not any kind of tennis first class trainer/doctor you won’t find in Spain in case Nadal wants to speak fluently to them.

Press conferences are the only reason in the world for Nadal to learn English and he don’t even like conferences that much. I think he wants to win and be great in tennis but doesn’t care about fame. More fame = more money, but he’s not wealth ambitious and he comes from a wealthy family already, he never felt the need of make social progress before. His other uncle was a big sports star in Spain too. He knows that stuff since being a kid. And his hobbies are not thaaaat expensive. Maybe not exactly cheap when talking about golf, but geez, living in Majorca anyone could go fishing if he really wants to and everyone you know has got a PlayStation, right?

Being the kind of guy he is and having the kind of family/friends and the mentality he has, I’m not surprised he’s bad at English. It’s not I’m trying to defend him, I’m just giving you my POV. I admit I understand him: I didn’t came from a wealthy family at all, but never had the need of speaking English and I try to learn it just because I like it. But I can do perfectly fine without English here in Spain. If a was a pro, I would suck as much as him in English press conferences. I practice my English just because I enjoy it. He doesn’t.

All of this should give you the picture I hope.

Cesc Fabregas
07-14-2009, 01:34 AM
Hereís my point of view on the question:

Joseph Conrad, author or ďHart of darknessĒ (the novel that inspired ďApocalypse nowĒ) is considered a milestone in English literature. He became English citizen, was in the English navy and he lived in England for many years. He was Polish. He could write in great literary English (with hard work, though) but his spoken English was ďawfulĒ, nearly unintelligible, even after all his years in England. He spoke a perfect French, though. Howís that? A guy who lived in England most of his life and was a well respected English language writer, spoke awful English but perfect French? Thatís why he was educated to learn French -as a second language- in his early years. But he began learning English as a young adult and he could never speak it well. People like H.G. Wells and Virgina Woolf, who were his admirers, met him and told that his spoken English was ďuglyĒ and ďbrokenĒ. Conrad himself said that he used to think his writings in French first, and then, he translated mentally each phrase to English to write it.

In Spain, people is not acoustically educated to English. American and English movies and shows are dubbed (even when many Spaniards criticize that, but itís a fairly old custom). Sure there are a lot of tourists, mainly English, German and French. But thereís little communication between then a Spaniards. Italian tourists are more communicative, but they learn some Spanish, which is VERY similar to Spanish. They can even say stuff in Italian and many times you can understand them because there are so many similar words and sentences. But an Italian will NEVER use English to spoke to a Spaniard.

So most people in Spain donít speak good English; many donít speak English at all. You do fairly well in Spain knowing only Spanish, so not many people here feel the need of learning English (or any other language) properly. The dubbed movies have a lot to do with it, too, as I said before. I try to watch as many subtitled movies and shows as I can; some Spaniards do it, many other donít (or donít care about that).

So you have Nadal: a very familiar guy (which is common in Spain), who has a close circle of relative and friends where he speaks Spanish and Majorcan. His girlfriend sheís a Majorcan too. As many Spaniards, he didnít watch many subtitled English speaking movies or shows. He even didnít go to a tennis academy to meet foreign players and begin with his English. Living in Spain, he didnít need to move anywhere else to train and become good at tennis. He became a wealthy pro, but he was wealthy before, so he didnít change his ways. He doesnít go to Hollywood parties and he doesnít hang around with Antonio Banderas or Penelope Cruz or Enrique freakiní Iglesias or someone like that. He goes back to Majorca to hang out with his old friends and go fishing.

He only speaks English on tour, especially on press conferences. I guess thatís not practice enough to become a fluent English speaker. I guess he doesnít like to study English in his own time, he prefers playing videogames with other Spanish and Argentine pros or whatever. He doesnít go after Ivanovics like Verdasco (I would, but thatís me.. I guess Nadal is not that kind of guy). Heís not into a tennis academy business and PR stuff like Ferrero. Heís not a mundane guy like Moya or Corretja. He has not to learn English to speak to coach, trainers, etc as most pros from many countries have to. His coach is his uncle. And thereís not any kind of tennis first class trainer/doctor you wonít find in Spain in case Nadal wants to speak fluently to them.

Press conferences are the only reason in the world for Nadal to learn English and he donít even like conferences that much. I think he wants to win and be great in tennis but doesnít care about fame. More fame = more money, but heís not wealth ambitious and he comes from a wealthy family already, he never felt the need of make social progress before. His other uncle was a big sports star in Spain too. He knows that stuff since being a kid. And his hobbies are not thaaaat expensive. Maybe not exactly cheap when talking about golf, but geez, living in Majorca anyone could go fishing if he really wants to and everyone you know has got a PlayStation, right?

Being the kind of guy he is and having the kind of family/friends and the mentality he has, Iím not surprised heís bad at English. Itís not Iím trying to defend him, Iím just giving you my POV. I admit I understand him: I didnít came from a wealthy family at all, but never had the need of speaking English and I try to learn it just because I like it. But I can do perfectly fine without English here in Spain. If a was a pro, I would suck as much as him in English press conferences. I practice my English just because I enjoy it. He doesnít.

All of this should give you the picture I hope.

Brilliant post!!!

thetheorist
07-14-2009, 01:35 AM
some people in this thread are so defensive. i think the point is that it's weird that such a top player would have a relatively less good english even compared to his lower-ranked compatriots. so these "just focus on his tennis" "he doesn't need to master english" is just being preachy and dodging the point. anyway doesn't he have a publicist and image manager to help in this? don't get me wrong, i don't think it's necessary for him to improve his english, though it'll be good if he does.

meanwhile, others like theduh are too offensive, nitpicking here and there and taking such a small matter too seriously, hiding behind this english-speaking issue just to bash rafa.

thetheorist
07-14-2009, 01:43 AM
great post Dilettante :)

thread over guys. move along, move along.

~ZoSo~
07-14-2009, 03:45 AM
this subject of nadals poor english is often thrown up to emphasise fed's supposed superior intelligence given his proficiancy in ... 4 languages is it?

while fed may be highly intelligent, imo the fact that he speaks 4 languages does nothing to prove this.

it seems likely to me that most people who grew up in the same areas as fed would have just the same language skills.

not to be a troll - he may be hugely intelligent - i just dont buy the languages theory as an indicator

King_Grass
07-14-2009, 04:10 AM
if you look at the top 30+ players in the world, i'd say nadal's english is the worst, except for maybe davydenko. for someone at the top of the game who has been traveling the world for years, i'm wondering why that is the case. all of the other spanish players speak very good english. maybe it's b/c he grew up in mallorca and wasn't exposed to the big city lifestyle of barcelona or madrid. however, i'm very surprised that he doesn't speak better english by now.

and btw, i'm by no means a nadal hater, i've just always been curious about this. i think if he spoke better english, he would gain a lot more fans, as they'd be able to relate to him and better understand his thoughts.

He still has millions of fans...guess why?? because he lets his tennis do the talking... :oops:

chess9
07-14-2009, 05:02 AM
you're missing my point. this has nothing to do with my spanish skills. other than coria and davydenko, i don't recall any top player with poorer english skills. english is the universal language of tennis (the score is called out in english at every tournament except roland garros) and he is asked english speaking questions after every one of his matches. blake and roddick are never asked media related questions in spanish so there is no reason for them to learn the language.

if only say half of foreign players spoke english well then i'd understand, but when virtually every single player speaks english better than nadal (including all of spanish players), it's somewhat surprising.

Why does it matter? He speaks volumes on the tennis court!

You do realize your question makes you sound like a provincial bonehead? ;)

-Robert

pmerk34
07-14-2009, 05:19 AM
Why does it matter? He speaks volumes on the tennis court!

You do realize your question makes you sound like a provincial bonehead? ;)

-Robert

It's a legit question.

ET Brit
07-14-2009, 05:19 AM
Why does it matter? He speaks volumes on the tennis court!

You do realize your question makes you sound like a provincial bonehead? ;)

-Robert

Excellent observation Robert. And btw, do you happen to know if eggheads are all they are cracked up to be? :)

Latest studies report that staring at awesome muscles affects the viewers hearing, so I can't comment on the standard of spoken English in this instance.

ET Brit

chess9
07-14-2009, 05:28 AM
Excellent observation Robert. And btw, do you happen to know if eggheads are all they are cracked up to be? :)

Latest studies report that staring at awesome muscles affects the viewers hearing, so I can't comment on the standard of spoken English in this instance.

ET Brit

Yolk, yolk, yolk! ;)

Staring is not polite, ET, even at Rafa! ;) You have to do it surreptitiously. ;) A cautious glance, etc. And salivating while staring is a big no-no!

-Robert

severus
07-14-2009, 05:32 AM
Hereís my point of view on the question:

Joseph Conrad, author or ďHeart of darknessĒ (the novel that inspired ďApocalypse nowĒ) is considered a milestone in English literature. He became English citizen, was in the English navy and he lived in England for many years. He was Polish. He could write in great literary English (with hard work, though) but his spoken English was ďawfulĒ, nearly unintelligible, even after all his years in England. He spoke a perfect French, though. Howís that? A guy who lived in England most of his life and was a well respected English language writer, spoke awful English but perfect French? Thatís why he was educated to learn French -as a second language- in his early years. But he began learning English as a young adult and he could never speak it well. People like H.G. Wells and Virgina Woolf, who were his admirers, met him and told that his spoken English was ďuglyĒ and ďbrokenĒ. Conrad himself said that he used to think his writings in French first, and then, he translated mentally each phrase to English to write it.

In Spain, people is not acoustically educated to English. American and English movies and shows are dubbed (even when many Spaniards criticize that, but itís a fairly old custom). Sure there are a lot of tourists, mainly English, German and French. But thereís little communication between them and Spaniards. Italian tourists are more communicative, but they learn some Spanish, which is VERY similar to Italian. They can even say stuff in Italian and many times you can understand them because there are so many similar words and sentences. But an Italian will NEVER use English to speak to a Spaniard.

So most people in Spain donít speak good English; many donít speak English at all. You do fairly well in Spain knowing only Spanish, so not many people here feel the need of learning English (or any other language) properly. The dubbed movies have a lot to do with it, too, as I said before. I try to watch as many subtitled movies and shows as I can; some Spaniards do it, many other donít (or donít care about that).

So you have Nadal: a very familiar guy (which is common in Spain), who has a close circle of relative and friends where he speaks Spanish and Majorcan. His girlfriend sheís a Majorcan too. As many Spaniards, he didnít watch many subtitled English speaking movies or shows. He even didnít go to a tennis academy to meet foreign players and begin with his English. Living in Spain, he didnít need to move anywhere else to train and become good at tennis. He became a wealthy pro, but he was wealthy before, so he didnít change his ways. He doesnít go to Hollywood parties and he doesnít hang around with Antonio Banderas or Penelope Cruz or Enrique freakiní Iglesias or someone like that. He goes back to Majorca to hang out with his old friends and go fishing.

He only speaks English on tour, especially on press conferences. I guess thatís not practice enough to become a fluent English speaker. I guess he doesnít like to study English in his own time, he prefers playing videogames with other Spanish and Argentine pros or whatever. He doesnít go after Ivanovics like Verdasco (I would, but thatís me.. I guess Nadal is not that kind of guy). Heís not into a tennis academy business and PR stuff like Ferrero. Heís not a mundane guy like Moya or Corretja. He has not to learn English to speak to coach, trainers, etc as most pros from many countries have to. His coach is his uncle. And thereís not any kind of tennis first class trainer/doctor you wonít find in Spain in case Nadal wants to speak fluently to them.

Press conferences are the only reason in the world for Nadal to learn English and he donít even like conferences that much. I think he wants to win and be great in tennis but doesnít care about fame. More fame = more money, but heís not wealth ambitious and he comes from a wealthy family already, he never felt the need of make social progress before. His other uncle was a big sports star in Spain too. He knows that stuff since being a kid. And his hobbies are not thaaaat expensive. Maybe not exactly cheap when talking about golf, but geez, living in Majorca anyone could go fishing if he really wants to and everyone you know has got a PlayStation, right?

Being the kind of guy he is and having the kind of family/friends and the mentality he has, Iím not surprised heís bad at English. Itís not Iím trying to defend him, Iím just giving you my POV. I admit I understand him: I didnít came from a wealthy family at all, but never had the need of speaking English and I try to learn it just because I like it. But I can do perfectly fine without English here in Spain. If a was a pro, I would suck as much as him in English press conferences. I practice my English just because I enjoy it. He doesnít.

All of this should give you the picture I hope.

Hmmm.... Your english is better than Nadals. How is that ? And other spanish players have better english than Nadal as well. Explain this ?

latinking
07-14-2009, 05:34 AM
Hereís my point of view on the question:

Joseph Conrad, author or ďHeart of darknessĒ (the novel that inspired ďApocalypse nowĒ) is considered a milestone in English literature. He became English citizen, was in the English navy and he lived in England for many years. He was Polish. He could write in great literary English (with hard work, though) but his spoken English was ďawfulĒ, nearly unintelligible, even after all his years in England. He spoke a perfect French, though. Howís that? A guy who lived in England most of his life and was a well respected English language writer, spoke awful English but perfect French? Thatís why he was educated to learn French -as a second language- in his early years. But he began learning English as a young adult and he could never speak it well. People like H.G. Wells and Virgina Woolf, who were his admirers, met him and told that his spoken English was ďuglyĒ and ďbrokenĒ. Conrad himself said that he used to think his writings in French first, and then, he translated mentally each phrase to English to write it.

In Spain, people is not acoustically educated to English. American and English movies and shows are dubbed (even when many Spaniards criticize that, but itís a fairly old custom). Sure there are a lot of tourists, mainly English, German and French. But thereís little communication between them and Spaniards. Italian tourists are more communicative, but they learn some Spanish, which is VERY similar to Italian. They can even say stuff in Italian and many times you can understand them because there are so many similar words and sentences. But an Italian will NEVER use English to speak to a Spaniard.

So most people in Spain donít speak good English; many donít speak English at all. You do fairly well in Spain knowing only Spanish, so not many people here feel the need of learning English (or any other language) properly. The dubbed movies have a lot to do with it, too, as I said before. I try to watch as many subtitled movies and shows as I can; some Spaniards do it, many other donít (or donít care about that).

So you have Nadal: a very familiar guy (which is common in Spain), who has a close circle of relative and friends where he speaks Spanish and Majorcan. His girlfriend sheís a Majorcan too. As many Spaniards, he didnít watch many subtitled English speaking movies or shows. He even didnít go to a tennis academy to meet foreign players and begin with his English. Living in Spain, he didnít need to move anywhere else to train and become good at tennis. He became a wealthy pro, but he was wealthy before, so he didnít change his ways. He doesnít go to Hollywood parties and he doesnít hang around with Antonio Banderas or Penelope Cruz or Enrique freakiní Iglesias or someone like that. He goes back to Majorca to hang out with his old friends and go fishing.

He only speaks English on tour, especially on press conferences. I guess thatís not practice enough to become a fluent English speaker. I guess he doesnít like to study English in his own time, he prefers playing videogames with other Spanish and Argentine pros or whatever. He doesnít go after Ivanovics like Verdasco (I would, but thatís me.. I guess Nadal is not that kind of guy). Heís not into a tennis academy business and PR stuff like Ferrero. Heís not a mundane guy like Moya or Corretja. He has not to learn English to speak to coach, trainers, etc as most pros from many countries have to. His coach is his uncle. And thereís not any kind of tennis first class trainer/doctor you wonít find in Spain in case Nadal wants to speak fluently to them.

Press conferences are the only reason in the world for Nadal to learn English and he donít even like conferences that much. I think he wants to win and be great in tennis but doesnít care about fame. More fame = more money, but heís not wealth ambitious and he comes from a wealthy family already, he never felt the need of make social progress before. His other uncle was a big sports star in Spain too. He knows that stuff since being a kid. And his hobbies are not thaaaat expensive. Maybe not exactly cheap when talking about golf, but geez, living in Majorca anyone could go fishing if he really wants to and everyone you know has got a PlayStation, right?

Being the kind of guy he is and having the kind of family/friends and the mentality he has, Iím not surprised heís bad at English. Itís not Iím trying to defend him, Iím just giving you my POV. I admit I understand him: I didnít came from a wealthy family at all, but never had the need of speaking English and I try to learn it just because I like it. But I can do perfectly fine without English here in Spain. If a was a pro, I would suck as much as him in English press conferences. I practice my English just because I enjoy it. He doesnít.

All of this should give you the picture I hope.

Nice post.....

MichaelNadal
07-14-2009, 05:36 AM
Whats wrong with his english besides his accent?

latinking
07-14-2009, 05:37 AM
Whats wrong with his english besides his accent?

Nothing........

drive
07-14-2009, 05:38 AM
Maybe Nadal read this post and that's the reason why he isn't playing tennis at the moment. :)

I'm also an spaniard and Dilettante's post described the situation perfectly. In spain the people aren't so much interested in learning English. Unfortunately the english language subject that we do in school is a joke and we pass the exams having a very low english level. For an spanish native speaker english is easy because of its grammar but damn hard to understand when speaking with a native english speaker because of the wide range of vocalic sounds. I learn english because i like it and i think it's a great way to communicate with people around the world. I'm going to london within three weeks to try to improve my language skills! :)

chess9
07-14-2009, 05:40 AM
Nothing........

Exactly. This is a transparent attempt to either bash Rafa, bash the Spanish, or bash non-English speakers. He's a wonderful human being with some awesome skills. Why he doesn't sound like an Oxford don is irrelevant. Oh, and thankfully he doesn't! ;)

-Robert

MichaelNadal
07-14-2009, 05:41 AM
Nothing........

Lol thats what I was thinking... last time I checked if you can get through the accent he pretty much knows what he is talking about.

ET Brit
07-14-2009, 05:49 AM
Whats wrong with his english besides his accent?

I doubt very much whether Nadal would wish to emulate the British accents of the drunken visitors to Majorca from the UK. :shock:

His manner is polite, he smiles and he is comprehensible. And ...... he plays beautiful tennis. Who can ask for anything more?

ET Brit

Rafa rules - OK

severus
07-14-2009, 05:53 AM
Nothing........

Accent is the most important thing.:twisted:

Dilettante
07-14-2009, 06:27 AM
Hmmm.... Your english is better than Nadals. How is that ? And other spanish players have better english than Nadal as well. Explain this ?

You are READING me. But I have a totally Nadalesque accent and a Nadalesque broken speech. Also, it's easier to write (I can think twice, take pauses, and even that way I make a lot of mistakes) than to talk.

Other Spanish players have better English than him because someone among them had to be the worst at English and he happened to be Nadal. He didin't start young enough to learn English, he doesn't seem to have much genuine interest in studying and maybe he just have less abilities to learn idioms than others. Son people can play piano, some others not.

Maybe I know a bit more English than Nadal, but maybe I put more effort on it. I try to watch subtitled shows and movies, I try to read lyrics from English spoken songs that I like, I come here and read this forum and try to express my opinions.

And even doing all this, some English speaking people that use to work with me say that my spoken English is "horrible". It's hard to master a foreign speech when you start old and you still live in your own country. Nadal travels a lot, but don't forget he's sorrounded by Spaniards all the time. Maybe Nadal and me just are not good at idioms.

rod99
07-14-2009, 07:22 AM
some people in this thread are so defensive. i think the point is that it's weird that such a top player would have a relatively less good english even compared to his lower-ranked compatriots. so these "just focus on his tennis" "he doesn't need to master english" is just being preachy and dodging the point. anyway doesn't he have a publicist and image manager to help in this? don't get me wrong, i don't think it's necessary for him to improve his english, though it'll be good if he does.

meanwhile, others like theduh are too offensive, nitpicking here and there and taking such a small matter too seriously, hiding behind this english-speaking issue just to bash rafa.

thank you. it wasn't necessarily a criticism, it was just a curious question. it's just interesting that the #1 player in the world speaks less english than the rest of the top 30. nothing more, nothing less. geez.....

nikdom
07-14-2009, 07:27 AM
thank you. it wasn't necessarily a criticism, it was just a curious question. it's just interesting that the #1 player in the world speaks less english than the rest of the top 30. nothing more, nothing less. geez.....

Really? How did you come to this conclusion? Have you compared every single player that is a non-native English speaker and who did not receive their primary education in English? Where is the objective basis for this statement?


Seems to me more like a vague supposition that gets a conversation going (headed towards bickering) than a genuine curiosity.

rod99
07-14-2009, 07:29 AM
Really? How did you come to this conclusion? Have you compared every single player that is a non-native English speaker and who did not receive their primary education in English? Where is the objective basis for this statement?


Seems to me more like a vague supposition that gets a conversation going (headed towards bickering) than a genuine curiosity.

it's not vague at all. i've heard all of the top 30-40 players speak at some point. and other than davydenko, nadal's english is the poorest. not a criticism, just an observation (before someone again jumps down my throat).

Rippy
07-14-2009, 07:33 AM
Exactly. This is a transparent attempt to either bash Rafa, bash the Spanish, or bash non-English speakers. He's a wonderful human being with some awesome skills. Why he doesn't sound like an Oxford don is irrelevant. Oh, and thankfully he doesn't! ;)

-Robert

Nobody's saying Nadal doesn't have good skills or that he's rubbish at tennis... they're just saying his English isn't great. It's a fair observation.

nikdom
07-14-2009, 07:34 AM
it's not vague at all. i've heard all of the top 30-40 players speak at some point. and other than davydenko, nadal's english is the poorest. not a criticism, just an observation (before someone again jumps down my throat).

Have you heard Juan Martin Del Potro speak? He's top 5 and nowhere near a good English speaker.

More importantly, why is this curious at all to you? Someone who is born into an English-speaking family or receives their education in English or spends time with English speaking people is bound to be not so good at the language. Some more so than others. What's so curious about it?

henryshli
07-14-2009, 07:35 AM
let's face it Nadal isn't the sharpest one on tour......in fact he isn't the sharpest one anywhere.

hankash
07-14-2009, 07:40 AM
Most Spanish people cannot speak good English. Most English people cannot speak good Spanish. It's not his native language, and maybe he doesn't really care to learn it. If I lived in Spain and was enjoying my life, I could probably care less about learning English.

rod99
07-14-2009, 07:49 AM
Have you heard Juan Martin Del Potro speak? He's top 5 and nowhere near a good English speaker.

More importantly, why is this curious at all to you? Someone who is born into an English-speaking family or receives their education in English or spends time with English speaking people is bound to be not so good at the language. Some more so than others. What's so curious about it?

yes i have heard del potro speak. his voice is very low but his english is better than nadal's.

rod99
07-14-2009, 07:50 AM
Most Spanish people cannot speak good English. Most English people cannot speak good Spanish. It's not his native language, and maybe he doesn't really care to learn it. If I lived in Spain and was enjoying my life, I could probably care less about learning English.

true, but if i was a top tennis player in the world then i'd work my butt off to improve on it. but maybe that's just me. it seems to have worked for all the other spanish players.

Seany
07-14-2009, 08:07 AM
http://www.******central.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/arguing_on_internet.jpg

OddJack
07-14-2009, 08:16 AM
Here’s my point of view on the question:

Joseph Conrad, author or “Heart of darkness” (the novel that inspired “Apocalypse now”) is considered a milestone in English literature. He became English citizen, was in the English navy and he lived in England for many years. He was Polish. He could write in great literary English (with hard work, though) but his spoken English was “awful”, nearly unintelligible, even after all his years in England. He spoke a perfect French, though. How’s that? A guy who lived in England most of his life and was a well respected English language writer, spoke awful English but perfect French? That’s why he was educated to learn French -as a second language- in his early years. But he began learning English as a young adult and he could never speak it well. People like H.G. Wells and Virgina Woolf, who were his admirers, met him and told that his spoken English was “ugly” and “broken”. Conrad himself said that he used to think his writings in French first, and then, he translated mentally each phrase to English to write it.

In Spain, people is not acoustically educated to English. American and English movies and shows are dubbed (even when many Spaniards criticize that, but it’s a fairly old custom). Sure there are a lot of tourists, mainly English, German and French. But there’s little communication between them and Spaniards. Italian tourists are more communicative, but they learn some Spanish, which is VERY similar to Italian. They can even say stuff in Italian and many times you can understand them because there are so many similar words and sentences. But an Italian will NEVER use English to speak to a Spaniard.

So most people in Spain don’t speak good English; many don’t speak English at all. You do fairly well in Spain knowing only Spanish, so not many people here feel the need of learning English (or any other language) properly. The dubbed movies have a lot to do with it, too, as I said before. I try to watch as many subtitled movies and shows as I can; some Spaniards do it, many other don’t (or don’t care about that).

So you have Nadal: a very familiar guy (which is common in Spain), who has a close circle of relative and friends where he speaks Spanish and Majorcan. His girlfriend she’s a Majorcan too. As many Spaniards, he didn’t watch many subtitled English speaking movies or shows. He even didn’t go to a tennis academy to meet foreign players and begin with his English. Living in Spain, he didn’t need to move anywhere else to train and become good at tennis. He became a wealthy pro, but he was wealthy before, so he didn’t change his ways. He doesn’t go to Hollywood parties and he doesn’t hang around with Antonio Banderas or Penelope Cruz or Enrique freakin’ Iglesias or someone like that. He goes back to Majorca to hang out with his old friends and go fishing.

He only speaks English on tour, especially on press conferences. I guess that’s not practice enough to become a fluent English speaker. I guess he doesn’t like to study English in his own time, he prefers playing videogames with other Spanish and Argentine pros or whatever. He doesn’t go after Ivanovics like Verdasco (I would, but that’s me.. I guess Nadal is not that kind of guy). He’s not into a tennis academy business and PR stuff like Ferrero. He’s not a mundane guy like Moya or Corretja. He has not to learn English to speak to coach, trainers, etc as most pros from many countries have to. His coach is his uncle. And there’s not any kind of tennis first class trainer/doctor you won’t find in Spain in case Nadal wants to speak fluently to them.

Press conferences are the only reason in the world for Nadal to learn English and he don’t even like conferences that much. I think he wants to win and be great in tennis but doesn’t care about fame. More fame = more money, but he’s not wealth ambitious and he comes from a wealthy family already, he never felt the need of make social progress before. His other uncle was a big sports star in Spain too. He knows that stuff since being a kid. And his hobbies are not thaaaat expensive. Maybe not exactly cheap when talking about golf, but geez, living in Majorca anyone could go fishing if he really wants to and everyone you know has got a PlayStation, right?

Being the kind of guy he is and having the kind of family/friends and the mentality he has, I’m not surprised he’s bad at English. It’s not I’m trying to defend him, I’m just giving you my POV. I admit I understand him: I didn’t came from a wealthy family at all, but never had the need of speaking English and I try to learn it just because I like it. But I can do perfectly fine without English here in Spain. If a was a pro, I would suck as much as him in English press conferences. I practice my English just because I enjoy it. He doesn’t.

All of this should give you the picture I hope.


Nice try, but sorry. Bloney.

Did Joseph Conrad traveled the world constantly whole year round? Did he have to give interviews almost every week? Did he have to improve his image for his business? Do they teach English in serbia or does serbia get more tourists than spain? And why Djoker speaks English so well? Did you know Tommy Robredo speaks French as well as English? Is he from the same coutnry that nobody cares about English?

All you gathered here are bunch of excuses. Movies? thanks for the laugh dude.

pmerk34
07-14-2009, 08:23 AM
Nice try, but sorry. Bloney.

Did Joseph Conrad traveled the world constantly whole year round? Did he have to give interviews almost every week? Did he have to improve his image for his business? Do they teach English in serbia or does serbia get more tourists than spain? And why Djoker speaks English so well? Did you know Tommy Robredo speaks French as well as English? Is he from the same coutnry that nobody cares about English?

All you gathered here are bunch of excuses. Movies? thanks for the laugh dude.

It's be nice to get more out of him than " Roger....you are great champions...you will win French one day..."

OddJack
07-14-2009, 08:33 AM
It's be nice to get more out of him than " Roger....you are great champions...you will win French one day..."

You got to be from spain... watch more movies buddy.

pmerk34
07-14-2009, 08:43 AM
You got to be from spain... watch more movies buddy.

LOL "Sorry, Roger"

Dilettante
07-14-2009, 11:25 AM
Did Joseph Conrad traveled the world constantly whole year round?

Well... in fact, yes. He was a sailor, dude.

Did he have to give interviews almost every week?

No, but he had to live in a ship with English people and he had to speak in English for years. In a ship. No mobile phone to call your family back on those days.

Did he have to improve his image for his business?

Yes, back then they didn't make captain of an English ship just anyone. And they made Conrad captain, and his English was awful. But other than that he was a respected, educated, disciplined man, who sailors could respect as a captain. Yes, he had to get an image to become captain without speaking well the ship's language

Do they teach English in serbia or does serbia get more tourists than spain? And why Djoker speaks English so well?

Spain gets more tourists I know that from some statistics, but other than that don't know about Serbia. Do all the Serbians speak English? It wouldn't surprise me. It happens in some countries, like Sweden I think. If that's the fact, good for Serbians.

Did you know Tommy Robredo speaks French as well as English? Is he from the same coutnry that nobody cares about English?

Yes he is.

Most people in Spain speaks English as bad as Nadal. And forget about French. Tommy Robredo proves nothing. I'm from Spain dude. Don't know about Serbia but I know about Spain.

Movies? thanks for the laugh dude.

You're welcome.

But believe me, HEARING a language is the way to be used to the way it sounds and the way it's pronounced. It helps a lot to start with it. Specially for people that didn't studied it or don't have any particular interest in it.

All you gathered here are bunch of excuses.

Excuses??? Excuses for what? Does Nadal have an obligation to speak English? Where do you think you live, in the freakin Roman Empire?

Nadal is from Spain and he speaks Spanish. Get over it.

FedFan_2009
07-14-2009, 11:29 AM
I'm not offended that Nadal's English is poor. However, it will affect his earning potential. That is a fact. Do you honestly think that if Federer didn't speak such good English, that he'd be pulling in $30 million a year in contracts?

FiveO
07-14-2009, 11:33 AM
Depends on one's perspective, I guess.

My grasp of Spanish is pretty much limited to:

1) ordering a cold beer

and/or

2) asking Isabelle where the library is.

5

Dilettante
07-14-2009, 11:34 AM
Depends on one's perspective, I guess.

My grasp of Spanish is pretty much limited to:

1) ordering a cold beer

What more do you need? Seriously.

FiveO
07-14-2009, 11:36 AM
What more do you need? Seriously.

Valid point.:wink:

5

Mick
07-14-2009, 11:46 AM
probably because most his friends and acquaintances speak spanish so he doesn't communicate in english much until it's time to do the interviews for the english speaking press.

pmerk34
07-14-2009, 11:47 AM
probably because most his friends and acquaintances speak spanish so he doesn't communicate in english much until it's time to do the interviews for the english speaking press.

The English speaking press is huge.

jms007
07-14-2009, 12:08 PM
If we are all to truely speak the universal language, we should be speaking Chinese because it's the biggest in the universe. Which is why UK schools have already brought in basic Chinese to school.


"Chinese" is not universal because the majority of people who speak it live in one country. It might be the biggest going purely by amount of people, but I think even that is debatable. There are plenty of people who can communicate in basic english but don't necessarely qualify as fluent english speakers.

OddJack
07-14-2009, 12:10 PM
Well... in fact, yes. He was a sailor, dude.



No, but he had to live in a ship with English people and he had to speak in English for years. In a ship. No mobile phone to call your family back on those days.



Yes, back then they didn't make captain of an English ship just anyone. And they made Conrad captain, and his English was awful. But other than that he was a respected, educated, disciplined man, who sailors could respect as a captain. Yes, he had to get an image to become captain without speaking well the ship's language



Spain gets more tourists I know that from some statistics, but other than that don't know about Serbia. Do all the Serbians speak English? It wouldn't surprise me. It happens in some countries, like Sweden I think. If that's the fact, good for Serbians.



Yes he is.

Most people in Spain speaks English as bad as Nadal. And forget about French. Tommy Robredo proves nothing. I'm from Spain dude. Don't know about Serbia but I know about Spain.



You're welcome.

But believe me, HEARING a language is the way to be used to the way it sounds and the way it's pronounced. It helps a lot to start with it. Specially for people that didn't studied it or don't have any particular interest in it.



Excuses??? Excuses for what? Does Nadal have an obligation to speak English? Where do you think you live, in the freakin Roman Empire?

Nadal is from Spain and he speaks Spanish. Get over it.

Exuses for not taking the time to learn English which is the language spoken on 3 of the four majors and many other tournaments.

From your response dogmatism and nationalism is obvious..." hey I am spanish so spanish only, get it?.." sorry dude, this is the laziest approach. A player as high profile as Nadal should know better.
At least you could come up with better excuses than movies,
You want to know why he doesnt speak good English? because he is more about brawn than brain. He spends more time body building and spends no time behind the computer or learning anything outside the gym.
Have you ever seen him post video messages during a tournament for his fans the way Federer does? No. Just go and compare their facebook pages.

Instead of defending your hero and ridiculous excuses like movies and tourists, just say he doesnt care, he is not the type to bother about those type of things. That would make more sense, and it's probably true.

OddJack
07-14-2009, 12:26 PM
Well... in fact, yes. He was a sailor, dude.

Dude, sailors can speak English. Would he be a better sailor if he did speak English?

No, but he had to live in a ship with English people and he had to speak in English for years. In a ship. No mobile phone to call your family back on those days.

So what? You're saying because Joseph Conrad was successful at something and had poor English skills it's ok for others not to improve theirs?
funny logic

[Yes, back then they didn't make captain of an English ship just anyone. And they made Conrad captain, and his English was awful. But other than that he was a respected, educated, disciplined man, who sailors could respect as a captain. Yes, he had to get an image to become captain without speaking well the ship's language

Ok, so what if on those days Mr Conrad was to appear on TV screens around the world? Would it helped him if he spoke good English? Would it improve his image?

Spain gets more tourists I know that from some statistics, but other than that don't know about Serbia. Do all the Serbians speak English? It wouldn't surprise me. It happens in some countries, like Sweden I think. If that's the fact, good for Serbians.

No sir, all Serbians do not speak English. Djoker does because he learned how to.



.

Most people in Spain speaks English as bad as Nadal. And forget about French. Tommy Robredo proves nothing. I'm from Spain dude. Don't know about Serbia but I know about Spain.

Most people in spain are not top 100 tennis players and they dont give interviews.

chess9
07-14-2009, 03:50 PM
Rafa has no obligation to the English speaking world, regardless of his ranking. To suggest otherwise is simply a form of provincialism. The dominant language is always changing, but, thankfully, we have a veritable popourrie of languages worldwide. Everyone isn't a polyglot, and few need to be.

Why would anyone care whether Rafa spoke 5 languages fluently or one? Only the French and the Americans have such provincial attitudes!

-Robert

FedFan_2009
07-14-2009, 03:55 PM
Rafa has no obligation to the English speaking world, regardless of his ranking. To suggest otherwise is simply a form of provincialism. The dominant language is always changing, but, thankfully, we have a veritable popourrie of languages worldwide. Everyone isn't a polyglot, and few need to be.

Why would anyone care whether Rafa spoke 5 languages fluently or one? Only the French and the Americans have such provincial attitudes!

-Robert

So Federer speaking 4 languages isn't a positive trait? Nadal not even speaking 2 languages ok for a world-class player whose job is to help build tennis up?

chess9
07-14-2009, 04:38 PM
So Federer speaking 4 languages isn't a positive trait? Nadal not even speaking 2 languages ok for a world-class player whose job is to help build tennis up?

I wouldn't say it's not a positive trait.

Rafa and Fed have entirely different agendas off the court, I'm sure. Rafa is happy sitting in a boat with his fishing pole for hours on end. I can't imagine Fed doing that. Viva la difference!

Why should I have expectations for what Rafa should be? That's a very time consuming and ill advised approach to life, eh? Everyone on this board is better off getting their own lives straight, and quit worrying about what Rafa is or isn't doing, or whether Serena ate two cheesburgers rather than three. ;)

This board comes across as very harsh and unkind to many of the pro players, and I'll bet most posters wouldn't be happy getting the same scrutiny.

And you know what they say about those dogs who bark the loudest? :)

-Robert

clayman2000
07-14-2009, 05:09 PM
So Federer speaking 4 languages isn't a positive trait? Nadal not even speaking 2 languages ok for a world-class player whose job is to help build tennis up?

Ignorant fool.... Fed speaks 4 languages because they learn at least 3 in school. If your an American who learns 1 language in school you have no right to bash Rafa.

And also Nadal speaks Spanish, and Catalan fluently, and speaks english, italian enough to hold a conversation.... I live in Canada, one of the worlds most multicultural nations and the only language ive learned outside Enlgish is latin, and that was for school credit.... im jelous of Rafa

Boriz
07-15-2009, 12:17 AM
All you gathered here are bunch of excuses. Movies? thanks for the laugh dude.

Excuses for what? Dilettante is 100% correct in his post-- Rafael Nadal has no obligation whatsoever to learn, or to speak English. His job is to be the very best tennis player he can be, and to devote himself full-time to that. And he (along with Fed) is indeed the very best in the world, so he has nothing to apologize for. If he wants to learn some foreign languages on top of that, kudos to him, but by no means must he be forced to learn or use English. If he wants to focus on improving his Catalan (a foreign language he already does speak), great. If he prefers French (the language of Roland Garros, and a Romance language like Spanish), fine. If he prefers German (increasingly the main European language esp. for tech and business, as even many of us Americans in the tech biz quickly learn), then more power to him. Maybe Chinese is more up his alley-- China, after all, being the country with the most rapid growth in tennis interest!

It's a distinctly myopic American trait (among some Americans, fortunately not all) to think that a person is somehow less than accomplished if they don't speak English (and American English at that, given the amount of friction I've seen even between Americans and Britons about things like vocabulary and spelling). There isn't anything terrifically special about English compared to other languages. It may be the world's most important trade language at this particular point in history, but a century before it was French, or Italian, Latin, Greek, German in the universities-- there have been many lingua francas before. And given the way we're sinking into debt these days, English won't be the world's main language much longer, Chinese will almost certainly be taking up that mantle soon. (Already in countries like Korea or even in S. America, schools are dumping English as the main foreign language and focusing more on Chinese, or occasionally German.) As I said before-- we are basically in hock to countries like Japan and China to the tune of trillions of dollars, and in that situation, we are in no position to go dictating cultural terms to the rest of the world.

Obviously as a native English-speaker I love my own native language and what I can do with it, and just as obviously given the language's geographical importance and value in business, English will remain a global language indefinitely-- even if, as seems increasingly likely, it takes on a secondary role to other world languages.

At the same time, I recognize that others feel the same way about their native languages as well, and what they can do with them. And particularly when it comes to native-speakers of languages like Spanish, German, Chinese, French, Hindi, Korean and Japanese-- all with very high-culture literary traditions, importance as vehicles in philosophy and technology, and often a widespread geographical reach (i.e., the things that make languages economically important)-- there's even less of a rationale for them to obsess on the minutiae of English. They already speak a global language to begin with, and can express complex concepts and ideas within them and attract an international audience. People in general should speak several foreign languages, but it doesn't absolutely have to be (American) English. If they're more into Chinese, or German, Spanish or Hindi for example, that's fine-- there's a perfectly valid economic and cultural rationale for doing so.

Do they teach English in serbia or does serbia get more tourists than spain? And why Djoker speaks English so well?

And have you stopped to notice that this is a TENNIS blog? Of Djokovic and Nadal, who's the better tennis player? Djokovic may speak better English than Rafa does, but Nadal towers over Djokovic where it counts, because Nadal is a far, far better tennis player. Perhaps in part, because Nadal has focused far more on practicing (and improving) his tennis than mastering the fine points of English, which he really doesn't need. One could argue that maybe Djokovic has if anything hurt himself by worrying too much about his English and less about his tennis. I personally doubt this, but considering the way Tommy Haas demolished Djokovic at Wimbledon, clearly Djoko is off his game and he needs to make some tweaks.


Did you know Tommy Robredo speaks French as well as English? Is he from the same coutnry that nobody cares about English?

Once again, which Spaniard-- Robredo or Nadal-- is the better tennis player, with a whole shelf's worth of Grand Slam trophies? I have nothing against Robredo and admire him (both for his tennis and his foreign-language abilities), but clearly whatever Nadal is doing, it's working brilliantly for him, and he should keep it up. It would be the height of stupidity to disadvantage himself by spending countless hours at this point, learning English (which he doesn't need) when he's better off improving his already-brilliant on-court skills.

Again, just like the LPGA fiasco, it's the height of arrogance to arbitrarily demand that a tennis player speak English and English specifically, which would afford a totally unearned competitive advantage on American and Australian players. If we're going to draw up arbitrary language requirements for tennis players, then we'd have to do something equitable like requiring that all players speak 2 or 3 languages but without specifying which ones. Otherwise, it's just like Carolyn Bivens publicly humiliating herself with an arbitrary and ridiculous regulation that was transparently designed to hurt the South Korean golfers who, gosh darn it, were just overachieving so much in those tournaments as opposed to red-blooded Mericuns. She was rightfully denounced for trying to push something that would have selectively disadvantaged the Koreans in an international tournament. It's the same with tennis, and to the extent that Rafa needs to speak to non-Spanish audiences, that's what we have interpreters for.

Boriz
07-15-2009, 12:25 AM
"Chinese" is not universal because the majority of people who speak it live in one country. It might be the biggest going purely by amount of people, but I think even that is debatable. There are plenty of people who can communicate in basic english but don't necessarely qualify as fluent english speakers.

And this differs how, exactly, from English? The vast majority of first-language English-speakers reside in the USA-- roughly 250 million (depending on the specific estimate) of our 300 million or so population. This dwarfs the populations of Britain, Australia and Canada combined. English is not widely spoken at all in India-- at most 5% of the pop. has even basic ability in it, and it's rarely used as a first language anywhere there. Hindi is the most widely-spoken language, though Tamil and Telugu predominate in the south. (Even there, in contrast to 30 years ago, a sort of basic "Mumbai Hindi" is popular as I found out there a few years ago.)

And Chinese is spoken not only by well in excess of 1 billion people in China, but also in Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines, and growing as a second language in the rest of Asia, S. America, even in Europe. So it's not only by far the world's most-spoken first language (sorry, but this is not in dispute in any reputable source), but (along with German) among the fastest-growing second languages and also among the most economically important. So yes, when it comes to "universal languages," Chinese is right up there.

vive le beau jeu !
07-15-2009, 12:26 AM
wow, many of you are quite harsh with him.
don't be so demanding, the poor kid is doing his best.
http://img221.imageshack.us/img221/1332/norly.jpg

Boriz
07-15-2009, 12:30 AM
I wouldn't say it's not a positive trait.

Rafa and Fed have entirely different agendas off the court, I'm sure. Rafa is happy sitting in a boat with his fishing pole for hours on end. I can't imagine Fed doing that. Viva la difference!

Why should I have expectations for what Rafa should be? That's a very time consuming and ill advised approach to life, eh? Everyone on this board is better off getting their own lives straight, and quit worrying about what Rafa is or isn't doing, or whether Serena ate two cheesburgers rather than three. ;)

This board comes across as very harsh and unkind to many of the pro players, and I'll bet most posters wouldn't be happy getting the same scrutiny.

And you know what they say about those dogs who bark the loudest? :)

-Robert

Amen to all that, different strokes for different folks. Rafa's priority is other things besides English-learning, and he has every right to be the way he is. Just live and let live, and stop idiotically disparaging Nadal for some arbitrary (and thoroughly ridiculous) assumption that he should speak English better. And I say this as a Fed fan.

Boriz
07-15-2009, 12:34 AM
wow, many of you are quite harsh with him.
don't be so demanding, the poor kid is doing his best.

Don't worry about the Rafa-haters on here-- Rafael's deservedly laughing at their tirades about totally irrelevant matters (like Rafa's perceived English ability), since Nadal's already had the last laugh. He'll be enjoying his 6 Grand Slam titles, his Olympic Gold medal, and his historic greatness (probably in his native Spanish and rightfully so) while the English fanatics here continue to spout impotently about a character trait that has absolutely nothing to do with Rafa's tennis, and which 99.999% of the world's population (whatever our first language) couldn't care less about.

Again, I say this as a Fed fan who enjoys magnificent tennis, and is highly grateful for what both Federer and Nadal have brought to our sport, and how they've enriched it.

Boriz
07-15-2009, 12:45 AM
Rafa has no obligation to the English speaking world, regardless of his ranking. To suggest otherwise is simply a form of provincialism. The dominant language is always changing, but, thankfully, we have a veritable popourrie of languages worldwide.
-Robert

Another excellent post, probably the three most important "sum-up" sentences in this entire forum.

LoveFifteen
07-15-2009, 01:28 AM
Maybe because he isn't the most gifted when it comes to languages?

pmerk34
07-15-2009, 02:26 AM
Excuses for what? Dilettante is 100% correct in his post-- Rafael Nadal has no obligation whatsoever to learn, or to speak English. His job is to be the very best tennis player he can be, and to devote himself full-time to that. And he (along with Fed) is indeed the very best in the world, so he has nothing to apologize for. If he wants to learn some foreign languages on top of that, kudos to him, but by no means must he be forced to learn or use English. If he wants to focus on improving his Catalan (a foreign language he already does speak), great. If he prefers French (the language of Roland Garros, and a Romance language like Spanish), fine. If he prefers German (increasingly the main European language esp. for tech and business, as even many of us Americans in the tech biz quickly learn), then more power to him. Maybe Chinese is more up his alley-- China, after all, being the country with the most rapid growth in tennis interest!

It's a distinctly myopic American trait (among some Americans, fortunately not all) to think that a person is somehow less than accomplished if they don't speak English (and American English at that, given the amount of friction I've seen even between Americans and Britons about things like vocabulary and spelling). There isn't anything terrifically special about English compared to other languages. It may be the world's most important trade language at this particular point in history, but a century before it was French, or Italian, Latin, Greek, German in the universities-- there have been many lingua francas before. And given the way we're sinking into debt these days, English won't be the world's main language much longer, Chinese will almost certainly be taking up that mantle soon. (Already in countries like Korea or even in S. America, schools are dumping English as the main foreign language and focusing more on Chinese, or occasionally German.) As I said before-- we are basically in hock to countries like Japan and China to the tune of trillions of dollars, and in that situation, we are in no position to go dictating cultural terms to the rest of the world.

Obviously as a native English-speaker I love my own native language and what I can do with it, and just as obviously given the language's geographical importance and value in business, English will remain a global language indefinitely-- even if, as seems increasingly likely, it takes on a secondary role to other world languages.

At the same time, I recognize that others feel the same way about their native languages as well, and what they can do with them. And particularly when it comes to native-speakers of languages like Spanish, German, Chinese, French, Hindi, Korean and Japanese-- all with very high-culture literary traditions, importance as vehicles in philosophy and technology, and often a widespread geographical reach (i.e., the things that make languages economically important)-- there's even less of a rationale for them to obsess on the minutiae of English. They already speak a global language to begin with, and can express complex concepts and ideas within them and attract an international audience. People in general should speak several foreign languages, but it doesn't absolutely have to be (American) English. If they're more into Chinese, or German, Spanish or Hindi for example, that's fine-- there's a perfectly valid economic and cultural rationale for doing so.



And have you stopped to notice that this is a TENNIS blog? Of Djokovic and Nadal, who's the better tennis player? Djokovic may speak better English than Rafa does, but Nadal towers over Djokovic where it counts, because Nadal is a far, far better tennis player. Perhaps in part, because Nadal has focused far more on practicing (and improving) his tennis than mastering the fine points of English, which he really doesn't need. One could argue that maybe Djokovic has if anything hurt himself by worrying too much about his English and less about his tennis. I personally doubt this, but considering the way Tommy Haas demolished Djokovic at Wimbledon, clearly Djoko is off his game and he needs to make some tweaks.




Once again, which Spaniard-- Robredo or Nadal-- is the better tennis player, with a whole shelf's worth of Grand Slam trophies? I have nothing against Robredo and admire him (both for his tennis and his foreign-language abilities), but clearly whatever Nadal is doing, it's working brilliantly for him, and he should keep it up. It would be the height of stupidity to disadvantage himself by spending countless hours at this point, learning English (which he doesn't need) when he's better off improving his already-brilliant on-court skills.

Again, just like the LPGA fiasco, it's the height of arrogance to arbitrarily demand that a tennis player speak English and English specifically, which would afford a totally unearned competitive advantage on American and Australian players. If we're going to draw up arbitrary language requirements for tennis players, then we'd have to do something equitable like requiring that all players speak 2 or 3 languages but without specifying which ones. Otherwise, it's just like Carolyn Bivens publicly humiliating herself with an arbitrary and ridiculous regulation that was transparently designed to hurt the South Korean golfers who, gosh darn it, were just overachieving so much in those tournaments as opposed to red-blooded Mericuns. She was rightfully denounced for trying to push something that would have selectively disadvantaged the Koreans in an international tournament. It's the same with tennis, and to the extent that Rafa needs to speak to non-Spanish audiences, that's what we have interpreters for.

As a new user your post is pure rubbish.

pound cat
07-15-2009, 02:35 AM
Not everyone is a linguistics wizzard...
And him living in Mallorca wouldn't be much of a factor... do you know how many English (and German) people visit that island each year?


English and Gremans speak to each other, not to the Mallorcans. BTW, how many English people speak a foreign language?

About as many as do in the USA,

And why would Nadal want to speak German?

Considering 2nd language acquisition is extremely difficult for an adult, Nadal speaks pretty well.