Melania Trump: Does the former US First Lady really speak six languages? Here's what we know

Melania Trump claimed to be a polyglot, with four foreign languages spoken on top of her native Slovenian and acquired English. But has it ever been proven? Here is what the facts reveal.

Does Melania Trump really speak six languages? Here is what the evidence shows
© Photo by Mark Reinstein/Corbis via Getty Images
Does Melania Trump really speak six languages? Here is what the evidence shows

Speculations about the state of Melania Trump’s marriage to former US President Donald Trump made headlines in recent months, with claims often contradicting each other.

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The press revealed not only what she thinks about her husband’s bid for another term in the White House but also how close she is to their only son Barron.

As Donald Trump always tended to take a lot of media space with his controversial policies during his presidency, little was written about Melania Trump outside of her role as US First Lady and her famous modelling career.

She stated in an interview with MSNBC that she speaks several languages including English, Italian, French and German. Her native language is Slovenian and some reports claim that Melania Trump also speaks Serbian, bringing the total number of languages she has to six.

This qualifies her for being a polyglot and the only US First Lady to have that talent.

But her skills have been scrutinised after her public appearances failed to support her language fluency claims. Here is what we know.

Melania Trump claims to speak several foreign languages

Before pursuing her modelling career Melania Trump moved to Slovenia's capital to study architecture and design at the University of Ljubljana.

However, the future US First Lady soon dropped out and travelled to Paris and Milan for work.

The model’s international career undoubtedly helped her acquire foreign language skills as she later claimed she picked up four of them - English, French, Italian and German.

Speaking about her image in an interview with DuJour Magazine, the former First Lady once said:

I’m not only a beauty, I’m smart. I have brains. I’m intelligent.

But Melania Trump’s polyglotism has been questioned by observers.

Read more: Melania Trump: New speculation about the state of her marriage to Donald after recent appearance

Melania Trump language skills under criticism

No one doubts that Melania Trump can speak her native Slovenian. Moreover, she has also delivered multiple speeches in her acquired English which improved significantly after she moved to the US in 1996.

However, her proficiency in other languages has been questioned multiple times.

A video made during the Trumps' visit to Rome in May 2017 shows the Pope asking the First Lady in Italian what she feeds her husband. But Melania Trump did not seem to understand him until a translator repeated the question in English.

The former model also failed to show her knowledge of Italian, apart from the half-correct basic phrases, while visiting a children's hospital during the same trip. English dominated the communication.

Melania Trump's French language skills were criticised when she had the perfect opportunity to show them off during her and her husband's visit to France.

Footage from the trip was captioned ‘Melania Trump speaks French’ but it only showed hersaying ‘Hello’ and ‘My name is Melania’.

This interaction led AMERICAblog Editor and Language Expert John Aravosis to believe that if Melania Trump really had distinctive language skills, she would demonstrate them during her multiple travels to Europe. He said in a video posted in 2017 where he was analysing her language skills:

Someone who is fluent in French says a little bit more than hello my name is so-and-so.
You would at least show the kids you speak french and show off a bit for the local audience.
If she spoke French, wouldn’t she want to show that off abroad.
Wouldn’t she want to show sort of how classy she is, how she’s this first First Lady in a long time to be fluent in all these languages.

Read more:

Melania Trump reportedly disregarded by Donald yet again despite her support for him

Melania Trump finally reveals what she really thinks about Donald running for President again

Sources used:

- Express: 'Melania Trump is the only First Lady ever to be able to do THIS - reports claim'

- HNGN: 'Fact Check: Is First Lady Melania Trump Fluent in Five Languages?'

- MSNBC: 'Melania Trump On Her Life, Marriage And 2016 | Morning Joe | MSNBC'

- Express: Melania Trump embarrassment: FLOTUS' multilingual claims mocked by expert in outburst

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