1st November 2012, 14:15 at 2:15 pm #132303
I heard Hulkenberg speaking English in an interview and I was stunned by how fluent he is. I’ve lived abroad all my life and attended Englsh-speaking schools before returning to the US and I have to say that the way Hulkenberg speaks is just extra-ordinary for a German.
It’s amazing how well champions like Roger Federer or Seb Vettel can learn to speak a foreign language – just uncanny. Even the ones that can’t soften their accent like Djokovic can joke in another language as if it was their own.
It goes to show you that some of these guys are REALLY special individuals. The fact that they excelled in their sport is not coincidence at all.
In fact, my impression of Hulkenberg’s abilities on track has tripled after hearing him speak. I’d be shocked if he doesn’t land a top seat in the near future.1st November 2012, 14:28 at 2:28 pm #214156
Well, you have to have a strong mind to be an F1 driver so their foreign language skills have never really surprised me.
In addition to that, English is the language of the international racing scene and a driver usually spends several years at various levels of it before arriving in F1 so they have plenty of time to learn the language. It was obviously different several decades ago as Fangio didn’t speak English and still could become a multiple world champion.1st November 2012, 14:33 at 2:33 pm #214157
Yeah. A lot of the foreign drivers enter F1 without a good grasp of english either and learn it sort of on the fly.
Of course, my favorite example of all time cannot be missed. The exact word is at 4:05 – the question to it is at 3:54 ;)1st November 2012, 16:14 at 4:14 pm #214158
Doesn’t Nico live in the UK (Oxfordshire I thought), in which case speaking good English is kind of essential. The similarities between English and German may also help.1st November 2012, 16:18 at 4:18 pm #214159
Here’s Hulkenberg – listen to the speed – astounding for a foreigner.1st November 2012, 17:08 at 5:08 pm #214160
Not sure if they have strong english lessons during school, but most germans are very good at english. At least those I’ve heard, they are much better at english than, say, the spanish/latin guys… and specially the french.1st November 2012, 18:44 at 6:44 pm #214161
It’s quite common for Europeans to be fluent in multiple languages. Here in Belgium for instance, even some lowly educated jobs, like secretary or receptionist, require fluency in at least Dutch, French and English (yes, as fluent as Hülkenberg, in all three) and usually German as well. Doesn’t mean they’re “great performers”.1st November 2012, 19:07 at 7:07 pm #214162
Well, most Belgians speak 2 of those languages anyway;-) I’m not so sure I would say many Belgians are fluent in English to the degree that Hulkenberg is. I’ve known many people who have lived in the States for 20 years and are not as fluent as Hulkenberg.1st November 2012, 19:30 at 7:30 pm #214163
Not true, there are very little bilingual households. The reason is that we start learning the other national language in primary school and (in Flanders) we grow up with a lot of English-speaking TV shows that aren’t dubbed, contrary to France, Germany, Spain, Italy, … I myself could speak fluent English without accent at the age of 9, just from watching The Simpsons, Fresh Prince, snooker on BBC, etc. every day at an early age. And since our country is so small, we often travel abroad where we (Flemish) try our best to speak the local lingo, because we know nobody speaks Dutch, again contrary to French and German speakers.
I think it’s typical for young, small nations that are surrounded by larger nations. Apparently Slovenians are also foreign language buffs.1st November 2012, 20:05 at 8:05 pm #214164
@necrodethmortem i couldn’t agree more with you for us Belgians it is a necessity to speak multiple languages. I know our Walloon counterparts have a lot of trouble with Dutch so speaking French is always handy. English has also become important knowing a lot of Flamings nowadays revolt against learning French and that the country is close of being split in two. For me German is also important because I live 20 km away from Germany. (De complexiteit van België in een notendop *zucht*)1st November 2012, 20:05 at 8:05 pm #214165
Lol, I lived in Brussels for 6 years and yes you’re right most households are not bilingual but most of you do speak the other language even though you pretend not to:-) I couldn’t stand to watch the dubbed channels so I ended up watching the Dutch channels and shows and I could understand 50% of the subtitles over time:-) I watched a lot of F1, MotoGP and snooker as a kid.. So what part of Belgium do you live in? Have you been to Spa?
Speaking of snooker, the first time I saw a real table I couldn’t believe my eyes… That’s a gentleman’s sport! Steve Davis and then Stephen Hendry!!! Wow!!!1st November 2012, 20:18 at 8:18 pm #214166
I hear Hulkenberg is, besides German and English, also fluent in Dutch. Now that is definitely not something he learned in school or is even remotely required.1st November 2012, 20:24 at 8:24 pm #214167
I think we’re straining off-topic here, all I was trying to say is that it’s not extraordinary for a European to be fluent in a foreign language.
But to answer your question, I’m from the North of East Flanders. The house I grew up in is literally across the street of the Dutch border (+/- 5 meters), but now I live in Antwerp, because I work as a civil engineer for the port authorities. I was raised trilingual Dutch/Italian/French and my English is fairly decent as well, even if I say so myself :)1st November 2012, 20:32 at 8:32 pm #214168
Oh and yes, I’ve been to Spa many times, but only once for F1 (in the V10 age, thank God), the prices are ridiculous.
@meander Now that is impressive indeed, Dutch is notoriously difficult to learn for foreigners.1st November 2012, 21:38 at 9:38 pm #214169
@necrodethmortem I am keeping this off-topic here, but how bilingual/trilingual are the people in Belgium? I live next to the border of Québec and Ontario in Canada (the former is francophone, the latter anglophone) but nobody here seems to be able to learn French very well at all… At least I lived in France for a while, alors je peux parler Français comme si c’était ma langue maternelle :P
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