Nadal actually comes off like an intellectual in Spanish

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by octogon, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. octogon

    octogon Semi-Pro

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    Anyone else noticed this?

    There seems to be a massive disparity in how Nadal comes off in Spanish language interviews, compared to how he comes off in English interviews. I've just read an interview he gave with the Spanish paper El Pais, after he won this year's French Open, and his answers are incredibly thoughful, wise and detailed....he sounds almost like a younger version of his Uncle Toni. He doesn't hold back anywhere as much as he does with English language interviewers. In the Spanish interview, Nadal even hands out a book recommendation by the Irish novelist John Boyne, about a young boy in a concentration camp in World War 2. Deep stuff. Not exactly Twilight or Harry Potter.

    Seriously?

    If I just read Nadal's English interviews, I'd have no idea he even read novels. Or even knew what a novel was. He just gets characterised (or allows himself to be characterised) as this nice simplistic jock, who likes fishing, spending time with his family and playing video games. You never get a sense of how intelligent this really guy is in English interviews. His English has improved massively over the years, but he still hold back a lot.

    I wonder if this is a deliberate strategy. Playing the simply jock who repeats the same catchphrases for the English language media, while being as sharp as a tack for his native country speakers.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
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  2. Joe Pike

    Joe Pike Banned

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    You should listen to American players speaking Spanish, French or German.
    They come across as complete idiots.
     
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  3. FeVer

    FeVer Semi-Pro

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    He always seemed like a thoughtful kind of guy, just very intense at the same time. Could you link us the interview? Is it translated?
     
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  4. brownsfan456

    brownsfan456 New User

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    I am (almost) fluent in Spanish and I completely agree. His interviews in Spanish are much more well spoken. His speech at the French Open sounded pretty intelligent too. Feddy totally showed him up though with being completely fluent in French....
     
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  5. octogon

    octogon Semi-Pro

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    Just look on the "Nadal News thread". It's translated by a poster, and should be on the last page right now.
     
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  6. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Nadal is a smart guy. I really don't think you can be as successful as tennis player as he has been and achieved the things he has by 25 without some serious smarts. You have to figure out a whole lot more than tennis tactics and strategy to be that successful at this Sport and it's certainly not just because of family support. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. He's made some very smart choices in his life and has not listened to all the naysayers during his career. He sticks with what works for him. Plus, look how his game has evolved. That's not just talent, but he smartly realizes how to evolve his game. He's smart in terms of match strategy as well. I'm not at all surprised that his English doesn't allow most of us to appreciate the nuances of what he's trying to communicate.
     
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  7. Manus Domini

    Manus Domini Hall of Fame

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    I wonder, does Spanish being his native tongue have any bearing on this shocking discovery? Does his limited English have any relevance?
     
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  8. FeVer

    FeVer Semi-Pro

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    Here it is:


     
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  9. FeVer

    FeVer Semi-Pro

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    Well, obviously. Federer's native language is French.
     
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  10. octogon

    octogon Semi-Pro

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    Well since most people here judge Nadal by his interviews in English, I'd say it's very relevant. Not everyone is as wise as you are.

    But honestly, it's not just Nadal's limited English (which actually isn't all that limited these days) that makes the difference. It's his forthrightness. He holds back a lot with the English language media, even though his English is good enough these days to be more forthcoming.

    For example, in the Spanish interview, he admits that of course he cares about his legacy, about history and about possibly amassing the most grand slams in history. He would be unlikely to be as forthright about that in an English interview. He'd probably just say as usual "Roger is the best of the history".:)
     
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  11. Manus Domini

    Manus Domini Hall of Fame

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    Rafael, just because you lose a game here, a game there against non-seeded players in the 1st round doesn't mean you're playing poorly. Seriously, every top player would kill for the way you play in early RG matches
     
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  12. Manus Domini

    Manus Domini Hall of Fame

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    Good point.

    I'm not wise at all, so that doesn't say much for them.

    Oh ok. That makes sense. Since he doesn't feel as comfortable in English, it's only natural he would be hesitant on some issues. Maybe I shouldn't have said "limited English", but rather "limits on utilizing his capacity in the English language."

    Well, considering the press in America, I don't blame him for trying to be mild. Imagine the headlines: "Rafael Nadal: Arrogantly Challenging Federer Legacy."
     
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  13. FeVer

    FeVer Semi-Pro

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    Lol he does say that in every english interview, even when he hasn't played Federer!
     
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  14. nothingfails

    nothingfails Rookie

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    I don't know about the Spanish part but it didn't seem that bright. I thought his speech was the lamest and dullest I ever heard. Very business-like. Very annoying ffrom somebody who won his 6th RG title.
     
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  15. aldeayeah

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    Isn't it German? :-|
     
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  16. rhubarb

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    French is his third or even fourth language.
     
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  17. Lsmkenpo

    Lsmkenpo Hall of Fame

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    Quite naive, ninety five percent of this crap is Nadal's handlers answering the questions, not Nadal's own words. If Nadal says, " Benito, bring me banana" this would be turned into Nadal is trying to cure world hunger and he is a gourmet chef with his own recipe for banana creme pie.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
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  18. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    German (Swiss dialect) is Federer's first language.

    A lot of people also don't seem to know that Nadal's first language is Catalan, not Spanish (Castilian).
     
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  19. oneness

    oneness Semi-Pro

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    Yeah right. His handlers also plan ahead for the prize ceremony as well, taking into consideration all scenarios, whether the loser is going to be more or less emotional, will cry or just be sad etc. and do rehearsals.
    Look, the guy might not be the brightest bulb in the planet, but his emotional intelligence is more than the EI of all his rabid haters in this board summed up.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypdSpGJTa18

    An excerpt from this article.

    http://blogs.tennis.com/tennisworld/2009/02/rafa.html

    "Rafa may have eclipsed his mentor, but I believe that while he's well aware of the situation and proud of what he's accomplished, he's not inclined to think of it in those terms. There's a lot more than good manners, tact and a kindly disposition at work in this; there's also a certain purity of spirit. Nobody appreciates TMF more than Rafa does, because nobody has done more for him than Federer. I can imagine Rafa experiencing many emotions on the heels of this win, but gloating isn't one of them. I thought that the consolation he offered Federer after the podium breakdown was telling; Nadal didn't need to think for a moment of what to do, or how to handle the situation. He threw his arm around Federer and produced one of the most genuine smiles I've ever seen cross his elastic, expressive features. The gesture seemed to come from the heart, and testify to how large it is.

    Hail, it even made Roger look sheepish, which was quite a feat, given the emotional tone of the moment. "

    So please stop with the idiot savant BS.
     
    #19
  20. MichaelNadal

    MichaelNadal Bionic Poster

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    This.

    10 char
     
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  21. Lsmkenpo

    Lsmkenpo Hall of Fame

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    ................
     
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  22. Lsmkenpo

    Lsmkenpo Hall of Fame

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    .............
     
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  23. Lsmkenpo

    Lsmkenpo Hall of Fame

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    .................
     
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  24. cucio

    cucio Legend

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    If that is your standard for tack sharpness I advise you to stick to Post-it® Products.
     
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  25. ben123

    ben123 Professional

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    i think most tennis pros are somewhat intelligent...

    to be able to speak many languages is fine etc but actually every idiot can learn languages it just needs some time. it doesnt hav anything to do with intelligence.

    just imo
     
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  26. rovex

    rovex Legend

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    I didn't know being articulate equates to being intelligent, I'm quite certain there are various factors to take into account.
     
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  27. above bored

    above bored Semi-Pro

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    This is what Federer was criticized for saying, but Nadal says the exact same thing.
     
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  28. FeVer

    FeVer Semi-Pro

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    What did you quote me for?
     
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  29. hawk eye

    hawk eye Hall of Fame

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    Didn't any of you folks know that Rafa was involved in developing string theory? Actually he was the leading force behind it. It's all about time, space and rpm.. Einstein just couldn't have imagined a worthier successor.
     
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  30. Federerx16

    Federerx16 Rookie

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    No ****. I guess you've never met anyone that doesn't speak english as their first language before.
     
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  31. above bored

    above bored Semi-Pro

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    I'm not quoting you, just a passage from the interview you posted. It's in reference to another thread were Federer was criticized for saying when he plays well against Nadal he will most likely win, but when he does not play so well he loses. He was essentially saying his level of play determines the outcome of the match because Nadal's game is just to be stable, whereas his is to be aggressive.
     
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  32. nadalbestclass

    nadalbestclass Hall of Fame

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    I remember the thread and thought of it when I was translating the interview. Two things,
    1) Nadal saying Fed is the best and talking about how he's almost unbeatable, is very different than Fed saying the match is on his racket. Players will always get criticized for blowing their own horn. Not to mention, Rafa is always drooling over Fed.
    2) To me what Rafa is saying makes sense, sure when Fed plays perfectly it's very difficult to beat him, but who can play perfectly for 3 hours and that too against Nadal? Plus, Rafa says his goal is preventing Fed from playing perfectly. Fed made it sound like, Rafa's role is minimal, he's content doing the same thing, and the only thing stopping Fed is Fed. Which is bologna. Someone should ask Rafa, what would the result be if regardless of how Fed was playing, if Rafa could play perfectly for 3 hours what would happen?
     
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  33. above bored

    above bored Semi-Pro

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    This is your interpretation. Federer and Nadal said the same thing, which was that if Federer plays well he will most likely win in the score or in the match, but not if he does not play well. This is what is meant by the match being on a player's racquet, not that they can win at will. Also, no one mentioned anything about playing perfectly, just well.
     
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  34. octogon

    octogon Semi-Pro

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    But you don't highlight the part where Rafa says that when he plays at the right level, he's actually forcing Federer to play badly. In a way, Nadal is arguing that the match is often on his racket. If he's playing his game to the level he wants, he'll force Fed to play badly. He does that to Fed time and time again. It's not luck. Nadal makes it happen.

    Federer thinks he's playing badly by some mysterious source of bad luck or fate which has everything to do with him, and little to do with Nadal. Nadal is the one pointing out that he's the one making Federer play badly...ie the match is on Nadal's racket.
     
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  35. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    We don't know what Federer thinks,only he does.To add I personally doubt that the guy who played Nadal so many times doesn't realize Nadal's game is making it very hard for him(Roger)to play his game.
     
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  36. nadalbestclass

    nadalbestclass Hall of Fame

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    Actually Rafa said at the highest level. You just highlighted his summary sentence, but didn't look at the stuff he says before that.

    Not only is Rafa saying that if Fed were to play really well he would be VERY hard to beat, but not impossible. But obviously that is not where it ends. Rafa says that match duration and his own level of play, does not allow Fed to play his best.
     
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  37. above bored

    above bored Semi-Pro

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    Nadal obviously does not make it easy. He makes it as hard as he possibly can. That goes without saying. It also goes without saying that the outcome of all matches in any scenario involves the contribution of both players. This is a trivial point.

    The point that both players were making is that Federer's level is more instrumental in determining the outcome of their matches because Nadal's game is to be stable and hope Federer makes enough unforced errors to lose. This is evidently not a bad calculation because Nadal moves well enough and hits with enough topspin to play a defensive game with bigger margins. Federer as the aggressor takes more risks and on average is going to be more prone to error, but when he is playing well he serves at a high percentage and hits his spots more frequently, which is very difficult to stop.

    A match being on one's racquet is not a boast. It is an understanding that against a constant, the variability in one's own level of play will determine the outcome.
     
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  38. above bored

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    Highest level is not perfectly. Federer has had many instances in his career where he has sustained his highest level, but the important thing is to achieve high levels at key moments. That's the key to all matches, especially those between Federer and Nadal which are invariably close. As he said, he does not go all out when he plays against Nadal. He tries to choose his spots.

    Also Nadal does not say he does not allow Federer to play his best. He says he can make it hard for Federer to play well if he keeps the ball deep and high, but this is an unchanging constant Federer is familiar with, which he wins and loses against by turns from one point to the next. Again, the key is to win against it at key moments in the match and this will mainly be determined by the level of play Federer achieves at those key moments.
     
    #38
  39. nadalbestclass

    nadalbestclass Hall of Fame

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    Highest level is not "well" either. :p No point going back and forth on this, because on this board no on will ever change their opinion, and right now, all we are doing is throwing opinions.
     
    #39
  40. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

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    lol Rafa is as smart as a nuclear physicist.
     
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  41. above bored

    above bored Semi-Pro

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    Highest level clearly is 'well'. Federer cannot play at his highest level and play badly.

    In any case, the point is Federer and Nadal agree on this matter, despite the protests against what Federer said.
     
    #41
  42. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Si, me llamo is Bud.. er :?
     
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  43. nadalbestclass

    nadalbestclass Hall of Fame

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    It's a pity if Fed's highest level is only "well". We also don't know what rafa and Fed believe, now do we? You chose to believe what you want.
     
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  44. Hood_Man

    Hood_Man Legend

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    Nope, sorry, I haven't seen your Llama.


    I always got the impression Nadal was a smart guy, his blogs in the Telegraph were always pretty interesting. Plus I know what a tool I sound like when I try and speak another language, it's difficult to be completely open and expressive when you're not 100% sure of what it is you're saying, or how to say it.
     
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  45. above bored

    above bored Semi-Pro

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    Well, Federer's 'well' is no ordinary 'well'.

    I'm not telepathic, so I'll just go with what both players said about their matches.
     
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  46. Lsmkenpo

    Lsmkenpo Hall of Fame

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    Great movie, my favorite scene is when someone moves his water bottles and he throws a fit, very emotional.

    [​IMG]
     
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  47. LeoMOMO

    LeoMOMO Rookie

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    I think so, too.
    Also, for me, almost all players look like nice guys unlike many guys of this forum...
     
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  48. reversef

    reversef Hall of Fame

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    He goes further in his spanish interviews because he trusts himself to use the right words and not sound arrogant, aggressive or whatever (given the situation). Express oneself with nuances in a foreign language is very difficult, you always sound simplistic or caricatural. It's very dangerous when you have a high profile. So, Nadal doesn't want to take the risk. When he wants to defend a point of view, he does it clearly though in one way or another. He doesn't find worth it to fight hard with his english on any question and thus he stays more generic in his english interviews very often.
     
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  49. Smasher08

    Smasher08 Hall of Fame

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    One day, if he wants to be one, Rafa would probably make one helluva coach.
     
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  50. rafan

    rafan Hall of Fame

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    Something i particularly noticed when i visited majorca this time was that there is not a great deal of english spoken and in my ignorance I cannot speak spanish at all well. Or rather catalan (i think they speak both). His English has improved a great deal. In Switzerland you come accross people speaking german, french, and much more english since they are bilingual from an early age and pick it up at the right time when they are kids
     
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