why is nadal's english so poor?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by rod99, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. rod99

    rod99 Professional

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    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.
     
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  2. gj011

    gj011 Banned

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    Is your Spanish better than his English?
     
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  3. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    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.
     
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  4. TheMusicLover

    TheMusicLover Legend

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    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?
     
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  5. tahiti

    tahiti Professional

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    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.
    1. Mandarin / China, Malaysia, Taiwan
    2. English / USA, UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand
    3. Hindi / North and Central India
    4. Spanish / The Americas, Spain
    5. Arabic / Middle East, Arabia, North Africa
    6. Russian / Russia, Central Asia
    Travelling 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?
     
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  6. RealityPolice

    RealityPolice Rookie

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    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
     
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  7. rafan

    rafan Hall of Fame

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

    swedechris Banned

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    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..
     
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  9. rod99

    rod99 Professional

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    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.
     
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  10. weallwegot

    weallwegot Rookie

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    Learning another language is a tough, especially English.
     
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  11. rod99

    rod99 Professional

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    regardless of whether or not it should be, it is.
     
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  12. rod99

    rod99 Professional

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

    RealityPolice Rookie

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    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.
     
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  14. galactico

    galactico Banned

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    because he's spannish
     
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  15. tahiti

    tahiti Professional

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    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."
     
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  16. Brned

    Brned Rookie

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    actually learning english is quite easy....
     
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  17. gj011

    gj011 Banned

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    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?
     
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  18. JeMar

    JeMar Legend

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    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.
     
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  19. theduh

    theduh Semi-Pro

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    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.
     
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  20. tahiti

    tahiti Professional

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    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.
     
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  21. rod99

    rod99 Professional

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    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
     
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  22. theduh

    theduh Semi-Pro

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    Really? Statistics please?
     
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  23. rod99

    rod99 Professional

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    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.
     
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  24. RealityPolice

    RealityPolice Rookie

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    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.
     
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  25. Giggs The Red Devil

    Giggs The Red Devil Rookie

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    Because it’s hard enough to keep coming up with new excuses in one language, let alone two.
     
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  26. rommil

    rommil Legend

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    Don't sweat it. A lot of native English speakers mangle the language.
     
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  27. NickC

    NickC Professional

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

    RealityPolice Rookie

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    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.
     
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  29. tudwell

    tudwell Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
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  30. theduh

    theduh Semi-Pro

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    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.
     
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  31. Commando Tennis Shorts

    Commando Tennis Shorts Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
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  32. tahiti

    tahiti Professional

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    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.:)
     
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  33. rod99

    rod99 Professional

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    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).
     
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  34. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    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.)
     
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  35. theduh

    theduh Semi-Pro

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    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.
     
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  36. tahiti

    tahiti Professional

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    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?
     
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  37. theduh

    theduh Semi-Pro

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    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.
     
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  38. rod99

    rod99 Professional

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    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.
     
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  39. amx13

    amx13 Semi-Pro

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    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.
     
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  40. theduh

    theduh Semi-Pro

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    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.
     
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  41. AAAA

    AAAA Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
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  42. tahiti

    tahiti Professional

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    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?
     
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  43. lightning.lu10

    lightning.lu10 New User

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    English is actually one of the easiest languages to learn.
     
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  44. swedechris

    swedechris Banned

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

    theduh Semi-Pro

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    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?
     
    #45
  46. rafan

    rafan Hall of Fame

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    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
     
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  47. rod99

    rod99 Professional

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    bingo.....
     
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  48. RealityPolice

    RealityPolice Rookie

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    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.
     
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  49. theduh

    theduh Semi-Pro

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    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.
     
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  50. rafan

    rafan Hall of Fame

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    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
     
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