Best English speakers on tour (besides native speakers)

octobrina10

G.O.A.T.
Actually, I never claimed that Catalan and Castelan are the same, just similar and that Rafa went to school in Castelan.
I jokingly (and somewhat bitterly, for reasons other the you/Rafa) suggested that Serbo-Croatian dialects are forced into separate languages by politicians.

Interesting percentage with Italian and French, I'd never thought it would be that colse... Mind you, even with my very poor French, I can do very basic communication in "made up Italian". When we were there, 2 years ago, my kid asked me how come I spoke Italian
Anyhow, I always found Spanish and Italian more resambling each other than French...

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Catalan is closer to French & Italian than Spanish is.
Rafa has said that Catalan and French are quite similar and he understands French if people are speaking slowly:


And Rafa is able to give interviews in Italian. In this video, Rafa is interviwed by Adriano Panatta, the winner of Roland Garros 1976, in Italian in May 2015:
 

topher

Semi-Pro
"Almost the same" was for crediting Rafa for being fluent in Castelan and Catalan would be "almost the same" as crediting Nole for 4 Balcan "languages".

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Stupendously obtuse statement from you then, as you've been shown Catalan contrasts more from Spanish than French from Italian. And know that the 4 Balcan languages have no lexical difference. I can only presume that you are trolling smh.
 

Old Gregg

Rookie
Federer's mother may be South African and he did speak English as a child, but if you go back to interviews in the earlier part of his career (pony tail and just after) he spoke English with much more of a German accent and pronounced a few words incorrectly. He still has trouble with the "th" sound sometimes
Well that's no such thing as "th" in German so it would be difficult to shake for a Switzerdütschy.
 

skaj

Hall of Fame
"Almost the same" was for crediting Rafa for being fluent in Castelan and Catalan would be "almost the same" as crediting Nole for 4 Balcan "languages".

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That's the thing - it is not almost the same. Almost the same would be comparing Nadal to Katarina Srebotnik who's mother tongue is Slovenian and who at the same time speaks Serbo-Croat because she had to learn that (somewhat similar, but still different)language in school.
 

BlueB

Legend
That's the thing - it is not almost the same. Almost the same would be comparing Nadal to Katarina Srebotnik who's mother tongue is Slovenian and who at the same time speaks Serbo-Croat because she had to learn that (somewhat similar, but still different)language in school.
I get your example but it is not quite correct:
- Catalan and Spanish (Castilian) are listed as mutually intelligible languages, while Slovene and Serbo-Croatian as partially and asymmetrically intelligible.
- Slovene children learned Serbo-Croatian in school as a second language, up to the disintegration of Yugoslavia, Mallorcan (Balearic) children learned Castilian as the first language in schools up to 1997. After that, a minimum of 50% curriculum in Catalan was introduced.
- Allegedly, everyone is bilingual in Catalonia, while most of the younger people are not bilingual in Slovenia.
Therefore, Nadal learned Spanish naturally from young age and gets "almost the same credit" for speaking it as Djokovic for "Bosnian", in my mind. I'd speculate it was easier for Nadal to be fluent in Spanish than Fed in English, in their pre-teen years.

On the other hand, more to the real OP of this thread, I really think that Rafa gets bashed for his English way too much. He's just fine for a non-native speaker who doesn't reside in an English speaking country.
 

octobrina10

G.O.A.T.
....I really think that Rafa gets bashed for his English way too much. He's just fine for a non-native speaker who doesn't reside in an English speaking country.
Rafa gets bashed for his English from Fed devotees' anti-Rafa propaganda apparatus.
 

octobrina10

G.O.A.T.
I get your example but it is not quite correct:
- Catalan and Spanish (Castilian) are listed as mutually intelligible languages, while Slovene and Serbo-Croatian as partially and asymmetrically intelligible.
- Slovene children learned Serbo-Croatian in school as a second language, up to the disintegration of Yugoslavia, Mallorcan (Balearic) children learned Castilian as the first language in schools up to 1997. After that, a minimum of 50% curriculum in Catalan was introduced.
- Allegedly, everyone is bilingual in Catalonia, while most of the younger people are not bilingual in Slovenia.
Therefore, Nadal learned Spanish naturally from young age and gets "almost the same credit" for speaking it as Djokovic for "Bosnian", in my mind. I'd speculate it was easier for Nadal to be fluent in Spanish than Fed in English, in their pre-teen years.

On the other hand, more to the real OP of this thread, I really think that Rafa gets bashed for his English way too much. He's just fine for a non-native speaker who doesn't reside in an English speaking country.
Children have to be credited for being capable of study at school in language that's not their home-language.
 

BlueB

Legend
Children have to be credited for being capable of study at school in language that's not their home-language.
Of course, but it comes easy to them when they are young, plus in bilingual environment, and not to forget the 85% similarity of the two.
Also, we don't know is Nadal family perhaps bilingual at home too. But, you and I have been through that mental excercise already, in the past.

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octobrina10

G.O.A.T.
...

Also, we don't know is Nadal family perhaps bilingual at home too.
Rafa's family speaks the Mallorcan variety of Catalan.

That's what Richard Gasquet and his coach (Sergi) said about the language Rafa speaks:



Sergi = Sergi Bruguera, then the coach of Richard Gasquet, was born and lives in Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia.

Richard Gasquet was interviwed by French daily newspaper l'Équipe when he practiced with Rafa in Mallorca at the end of 2014.
 
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BlueB

Legend
People who speak both Spanish and Catalan say that the languages are not mutually intelligible.
Spanish and Catalan have a lexical similarity of 85%. Spanish is also partially mutually intelligible with Italian, Sardinian and French, with respective lexical similarities of 82%, 76% and 75%. So give these mutually intelligible languages a second look.
https://www.fluentu.com › blog › mutually-intelligible-languages

Spanish: Astur-Leonese and Galician (high),[26] Portuguese (high in written form; asymmetrically in spoken form), Extremaduran, Catalan, and Italian (partially),[30][41][25] Ladino (very high in written form; partially in spoken form[25]).
 

octobrina10

G.O.A.T.
Spanish and Catalan have a lexical similarity of 85%. Spanish is also partially mutually intelligible with Italian, Sardinian and French, with respective lexical similarities of 82%, 76% and 75%. So give these mutually intelligible languages a second look.
https://www.fluentu.com › blog › mutually-intelligible-languages

Spanish: Astur-Leonese and Galician (high),[26] Portuguese (high in written form; asymmetrically in spoken form), Extremaduran, Catalan, and Italian (partially),[30][41][25] Ladino (very high in written form; partially in spoken form[25]).
I already answered you:
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
I already answered you:
I knew Spanish was partially intelligible with Italian because the phonetics are very similar but surprised to hear it about French, at least in spoken form, given that the phonetics of that language are so different from Spanish and Italian.
 

TheGhostOfAgassi

Talk Tennis Guru
Spanish and Catalan have a lexical similarity of 85%. Spanish is also partially mutually intelligible with Italian, Sardinian and French, with respective lexical similarities of 82%, 76% and 75%. So give these mutually intelligible languages a second look.
https://www.fluentu.com › blog › mutually-intelligible-languages

Spanish: Astur-Leonese and Galician (high),[26] Portuguese (high in written form; asymmetrically in spoken form), Extremaduran, Catalan, and Italian (partially),[30][41][25] Ladino (very high in written form; partially in spoken form[25]).
French, Italian and Spanish isnt THAT similar. I started to speak Italian and Norwegian. Had French in school and it wasnt that similar to Italian, as if it was different dialects, though French was easier for me to learn than it was for Norwegians. But still, a lot different and I had to study to learn it. I found Spanish maybe easier, after some days in Spain I could understand some Spanish, but not speak it well.
Swedish, Danish and Norwegian much more similar to each other.
 

BlueB

Legend
I wonder why you write about things you don't know much about. :unsure:
Well, you don't seem to have a problem to do it yourself...

Anyways, I wonder why you started writing about Rafa's special achievement in Catalan/Castilian proficiency, while the thread was about English proficiency?
 

BlueB

Legend
French, Italian and Spanish isnt THAT similar. I started to speak Italian and Norwegian. Had French in school and it wasnt that similar to Italian, as if it was different dialects, though French was easier for me to learn than it was for Norwegians. But still, a lot different and I had to study to learn it. I found Spanish maybe easier, after some days in Spain I could understand some Spanish, but not speak it well.
Swedish, Danish and Norwegian much more similar to each other.
Yeah, the French seems hardest to me as well, in despite that I've studied it for many years and not at all Italian or Spanish. The last one does seem easiest, indeed.
 

octobrina10

G.O.A.T.
Well, you don't seem to have a problem to do it yourself...

Anyways, I wonder why you started writing about Rafa's special achievement in Catalan/Castilian proficiency, while the thread was about English proficiency?
I replied to a poster, who bragged about being capable of speaking English as a second language and laughed at Rafa for not speaking English fluently.
 

skaj

Hall of Fame
I get your example but it is not quite correct:
- Catalan and Spanish (Castilian) are listed as mutually intelligible languages, while Slovene and Serbo-Croatian as partially and asymmetrically intelligible.
- Slovene children learned Serbo-Croatian in school as a second language, up to the disintegration of Yugoslavia, Mallorcan (Balearic) children learned Castilian as the first language in schools up to 1997. After that, a minimum of 50% curriculum in Catalan was introduced.
- Allegedly, everyone is bilingual in Catalonia, while most of the younger people are not bilingual in Slovenia.
Therefore, Nadal learned Spanish naturally from young age and gets "almost the same credit" for speaking it as Djokovic for "Bosnian", in my mind. I'd speculate it was easier for Nadal to be fluent in Spanish than Fed in English, in their pre-teen years.

On the other hand, more to the real OP of this thread, I really think that Rafa gets bashed for his English way too much. He's just fine for a non-native speaker who doesn't reside in an English speaking country.
It is quite correct actually. I was referring to your "almost the same". The example of Katarina(born in 1981.) I gave is almost the same. The case of Djokovic and Croatian/Bosnian/Montenegrin is not almost the same.

As for Rafa, there are many other players who don't reside in an English speaking country with much better English. Still, I think he is alright now(also very cute when he speaks it, at least for my taste).
 

BlueB

Legend
It is quite correct actually. I was referring to your "almost the same". The example of Katarina(born in 1981.) I gave is almost the same. The case of Djokovic and Croatian/Bosnian/Montenegrin is not almost the same.

As for Rafa, there are many other players who don't reside in an English speaking country with much better English. Still, I think he is alright now(also very cute when he speaks it, at least for my taste).
I still think it was much easier for Rafa: Spanish 1st language at school, environment where Spanish is used "on the street", higher similarity of language. Katarina: Serbo-Croatian 2nd language at school, not used on street, lesser similarity.
For Rafa it was natural, for Katarina a lot less. At our "almost the same" scale, Rafa's case would be right in between Katarina and Nole.
But now, if Nole somehow understood more then 60% of Slovene, that would be a small miracle...

Yes, Rafa's English totally ok. He understands what people ask him and conveys his message across, and is very cute while speaking it.
We actually often do "Rafa English" at home, just for fun. I also do Russian, Chinese and Indian English. I need to work on my Chinese accent a lot more, though....
With all of that being said, my own English is far from perfect.

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octobrina10

G.O.A.T.
I still think it was much easier for Rafa: Spanish 1st language at school...
You are wrong about education in Mallorca.

June 2019: ¤¤ Education in Mallorca.
In the Balearics education system the majority of classes are taught in Catalan, rather than Castellano.¤¤
 

BlueB

Legend
You are wrong about education in Mallorca.

June 2019: ¤¤ Education in Mallorca.
In the Balearics education system the majority of classes are taught in Catalan, rather than Castellano.¤¤
From 1997, before that it was Castilian. I gave the link in previous posts.

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skaj

Hall of Fame
I still think it was much easier for Rafa: Spanish 1st language at school, environment where Spanish is used "on the street", higher similarity of language. Katarina: Serbo-Croatian 2nd language at school, not used on street, lesser similarity.
For Rafa it was natural, for Katarina a lot less. At our "almost the same" scale, Rafa's case would be right in between Katarina and Nole.
But now, if Nole somehow understood more then 60% of Slovene, that would be a small miracle...

Yes, Rafa's English totally ok. He understands what people ask him and conveys his message across, and is very cute while speaking it.
We actually often do "Rafa English" at home, just for fun. I also do Russian, Chinese and Indian English. I need to work on my Chinese accent a lot more, though....
With all of that being said, my own English is far from perfect.

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Even if it was easier for Nadal, it cannot be right in between the former Yugoslavs, because Spanish and Catalan are different languages, Serbian and Slovenian are different languages, and Serbian and Bosnian/Croatian/Montenegrin are the same language.

Btw, Slovenians traveled around the former Yugoslavia(especially the Adriatic coast) and a lot of the media was in Serbo-Croat, so it's not like Katarina did not have opportunities to learn the language outside school. As for the similarities between the languages I don't know what the estimated percentages are exactly, but that's rather irrelevant for this particular discussion anyway.
 
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