History Main / CunningLinguist

26th May '16 12:00:49 AM DarkHunter
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* ''VideoGame/PokemonXAndY'': During the Looker sidequest, Emma takes this role due to being the only one present who can speak Kantoese when a Kanto woman comes looking for help. Looker ''claims'' he can understand a wide variety of languages (he has appeared in both [[VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl Sinnoh]] and [[VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite Unova]], each of which speak different languages than Kalos), but then he also mistakes the woman's story about her Pokemon being stolen as being a request for tea.
26th Apr '16 8:40:56 PM JulianLapostat
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** Creator/JorgeLuisBorges wrote in Spanish but being a lifelong bibliophile and scholar, he knew several other languages, including English, Spanish, French, Italian among others. He learnt languages largely to read his favorite authors in the original.
18th Mar '16 9:06:03 AM JulianLapostat
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* Creator/JRRTolkien spoke ten languages fluently and understood 18.

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* UsefulNotes/{{India}} is a nation of a billion plus (and poised to become the world's most populous nation in the coming decades) and yet it's a truism that every Indian is bilingual. Each state of India has its own language and dialect and people in the state know that and speak Hindi-Urdu, if not via-school education than PopculturalOsmosis as a result of UsefulNotes/{{Bollywood}} and Filmi music. People who are middle-class and professionals (a minority in India but a large population by global standards) speak SurprisinglyGoodEnglish. In major cities like UsefulNotes/{{Mumbai}}, people working in professional and banking sector can speak Hindi/English/Marathi/Gujarati and if they are South Indian, Punjabi, Assamese and Bengali migrant families, they will know all those languages and also speak Tamil/Punjabi/Assamese/Bengali on top of that. Likewise kids at middle-school and high-school can also if they wish take French, German or Japanese as an elective.
* Authors as a rule, tend to know multiple languages, if only to read particular authors in the original language, and there are cases where authors have become famous as English authors despite it not being their first language:
**
Creator/JRRTolkien spoke ten languages fluently and understood 18.18.
** Creator/JamesJoyce could speak and read: English, Gaelic, French, Greek, Latin, German, Italian and when he resolved to write a fan-letter to Creator/HenrikIbsen, he learnt ''Norwegian'' to write his hero an appreciation. His multi-lingual ear for languages went into many of his books.
** Creator/SamuelBeckett, Joyce's good friend and fellow great author also knew a good variety of languages. Most impressively, he knew French well enough that after moving to UsefulNotes/{{France}}, he wrote his works first in French and then translated it into English.
** Creator/JosephConrad was born into Polish Nobility during the period of the Russian Empire's hegemony over his land, so growing up he knew Polish, French and Russian, and in the years of his work in the Merchant Company, he picked up multiple languages, and when he became a respected author, he wrote in English despite learning it and becoming fluent at the age of 13.
** Creator/VladimirNabokov was born in an aristocractic family and spoke Russian, French and English at home, he also studied at Trinity College, Cambridge. He spent the first part of his career as an emigre writing in Russian, and remarkably made the transition to writing in English for the second part of his career. Nabokov boasted that this put him one over Conrad, who never wrote books in his native languages, whereas Nabokov wrote accomplished works in both Russian ''and'' English.
** Creator/SalmanRushdie was born in UsefulNotes/{{India}} and he knows Hindi, Urdu, English and French. English was not his "mother tongue" (aka first language) yet he became a respected English novelist and known for using British and American slang in his books.
** Critic Harold Bloom grew up in a Yiddish-speaking Jewish neighborhood and didn't learn or speak English until he was older, he also knows Spanish well enough to read Literature/DonQuixote and many other authors in the original. Bloom nonetheless became perhaps the most famous and influential literary critic of his time, and a major scholar on Creator/WilliamShakespeare[[note]]Himself an aversion, since as Ben Jonson said, he knew little Latin and Greek[[/note]]
* In film history, cinema being an international language occassionally leads to film-makers working in different national cinemas:
** Actor Edgar Ramirez who was born in UsefulNotes/{{Venezuela}} caught the eye of director Olivier Assayas for his film ''Carlos'' because he could speak English, French and Spanish very well and act in each languages. Assayas didn't think he'd be able to cast the part because he didn't think anybody would have that facility with language and somehow he struck gold.
** Creator/IngridBergman spoke Swedish, French, Italian and of course English. She had a thick Swedish accent which she never lost but it added to her "exotic" quality, and she later worked in the Italian and French industries in addition to UsefulNotes/{{Hollywood}}.
** One surprising example is American director Creator/JohnFord, known for making RatedMForManly Creator/JohnWayne films. But Ford knew English, Gaelic, French, German, Navajo, and bits of Mandarin, Japanese and Serbian. Of course his fluency is exaggerated, Creator/MaureenOHara said his Gaelic was not good, while actor Henry Brandon (a German man) was amused by Ford's attempts to chat with him in German, but everyone agrees that Ford did have a gift for languages.
4th Mar '16 2:44:12 PM Doug86
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* Barchuk in the ''{{Conqueror}}'' books fills this role at first, being a Mongol who speaks fluent Chinese; he also teaches the language to Temuge, allowing him to play the same role. Ho Sa, a Chin soldier who speaks decent Mongolian, may also qualify.

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* Barchuk in the ''{{Conqueror}}'' ''Literature/{{Conqueror}}'' books fills this role at first, being a Mongol who speaks fluent Chinese; he also teaches the language to Temuge, allowing him to play the same role. Ho Sa, a Chin soldier who speaks decent Mongolian, may also qualify.
19th Feb '16 11:45:35 PM GrammarNavi
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* MacGyver, of course. He is proficient to a greater or lesser extent in Russian, German, French, Italian, Spanish, and American Sign Language, and knows how to use International maritime signal flags and Morse code. In RealLife, Richard Dean Anderson (MacGyver's actor) is multilingual as well.

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* MacGyver, Series/MacGyver, of course. He is proficient to a greater or lesser extent in Russian, German, French, Italian, Spanish, and American Sign Language, and knows how to use International maritime signal flags and Morse code. In RealLife, Richard Dean Anderson (MacGyver's ([=MacGyver=]'s actor) is multilingual as well.
12th Feb '16 8:06:14 AM BeerBaron
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** Back in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'', the Nerevarine ''always'' knows Aldmeri (an extinct ancestor language to several modern languages), and is capable of using a book written in both Aldmeri and the (at that point untranslatable by scholarship) Dwemer language as a translation tool for Dwemeri -- [[GeniusDitz even if the Nerevarine is as dumb as a brick and complete focuses on combat skills]].

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** Back in In ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'', the Nerevarine ''always'' knows Aldmeri (an ancient Telvanni wizard Baladas Demnevanni proves to be one. During the Mages Guild questline, you'll come upon several books which contain clues about the disappearance of the Dwemer, including one that is written in both Aldmeris (the extinct ancestor language to several many modern languages), languages) and is capable of using a book written in both Aldmeri and the (at that point untranslatable by scholarship) Dwemer language as a translation tool for Dwemeri -- [[GeniusDitz even if (which, to date, has not been able to be translated.) Baladas can read Aldmeris and will be able to use it to translate the Nerevarine is as dumb as a brick and complete focuses on combat skills]].Dwemeri it for you. (Alternatively, if you've made it far enough in the main quest, you can take it to Yagrum Bagarn, [[spoiler: the last living Dwemer]], who logically translates it easily.)
11th Feb '16 3:09:24 PM DoctorCooper
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* Many [[UsefulNotes/{{Tennis}} tennis]] players are knowledgeable in multiple languages due to regularly traveling around the globe, especially those who were born in a non-Anglo country and hence had to learn how to speak at least passable English to be able to give mainstream press interviews. The most famous example of this is [[{{Main/RogerFederer}} Roger Federer]] who's proficient in English, French, Swiss German, and plain German and won a great deal of respect from international media and fans by regularly speaking to foreign crowds in their native tongue. Another good example is Novak Djokovic who's fluent in Serbian, English, and Italian and can also speak passable French and German.

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* Many [[UsefulNotes/{{Tennis}} tennis]] players are knowledgeable in multiple languages due to regularly traveling around the globe, especially those who were born in a non-Anglo country and hence had to learn how to speak at least passable English to be able to give mainstream press interviews. The most famous example of this is [[{{Main/RogerFederer}} Roger Federer]] Federer who's proficient in English, French, Swiss German, and plain German and won a great deal of respect from international media and fans by regularly speaking to foreign crowds in their native tongue. Another good example is Novak Djokovic who's fluent in Serbian, English, and Italian and can also speak passable French and German.
29th Jan '16 5:31:12 PM nombretomado
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* And there's Joseph Porta in the SvenHassel books. He and the other members of the 27th Panzer Regiment often find themselves [[TrappedBehindEnemyLines behind Soviet lines]] deliberately or otherwise, and there's usually a scene where they unexpectedly bump into an enemy soldier and Porta's quick-thinking response is what gets them out (it's mentioned several times that Porta's Russian is actually quite atrocious, but as the Soviet army of UsefulNotes/WW2 had a vast number of ethnic minorities who couldn't speak Russian either he didn't stand out).

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* And there's Joseph Porta in the SvenHassel Creator/SvenHassel books. He and the other members of the 27th Panzer Regiment often find themselves [[TrappedBehindEnemyLines behind Soviet lines]] deliberately or otherwise, and there's usually a scene where they unexpectedly bump into an enemy soldier and Porta's quick-thinking response is what gets them out (it's mentioned several times that Porta's Russian is actually quite atrocious, but as the Soviet army of UsefulNotes/WW2 had a vast number of ethnic minorities who couldn't speak Russian either he didn't stand out).
1st Jan '16 5:40:39 PM nombretomado
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* In ''{{Smallville}},'' Chloe (while under the influence of an alien parasite) [[InvokedTrope invoked]] this trope to insult a language expert.
* ''{{Warehouse 13}}'' has Agent Myka Bering, who appears to be able to read or speak every single language on the planet (at minimum, French, Russian, Japanese and Latin, and at least some Arabic, Chinese and Portuguese. And English). It's become something of a running gag.

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* In ''{{Smallville}},'' ''Series/{{Smallville}},'' Chloe (while under the influence of an alien parasite) [[InvokedTrope invoked]] this trope to insult a language expert.
* ''{{Warehouse ''Series/{{Warehouse 13}}'' has Agent Myka Bering, who appears to be able to read or speak every single language on the planet (at minimum, French, Russian, Japanese and Latin, and at least some Arabic, Chinese and Portuguese. And English). It's become something of a running gag.
1st Jan '16 3:57:48 AM Morgenthaler
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* In ''Film/Cradle2TheGrave'', {{DMX}}'s character Fait is a jewel thief who ends up having to team up with Creator/JetLi's character Su. When asked who he is, Su gives his credentials. Fait's arms dealer friend Archie takes the ID and figures out that Su is a Taiwanese Intelligence operative. When Fait asks Archie if he reads Chinese. Archie replies that he doesn't but knows "cop" in every language.

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* In ''Film/Cradle2TheGrave'', {{DMX}}'s character Fait is a jewel thief who ends up having to team up with Creator/JetLi's character Su. When asked who he is, Su gives his credentials. Fait's arms dealer friend Archie takes the ID and figures out that Su is a Taiwanese Intelligence operative. When Fait asks Archie if he reads Chinese. Archie replies that he doesn't but knows "cop" in every language.
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