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The Liz Quiz

Question 4

Elizabeth was extremely well educated, and her diplomatic capabilities were aided by the fact that she was fluent in several different languages. Which of the following languages was she least fluent in?

  1. French
  2. German
  3. Greek
  4. Italian
  5. Latin
  6. Spanish

The answer is b. German.

By the time she was 10 years old, Elizabeth was fairly well-grounded in Latin and was learning Italian and French. As a teenager she pursued Greek ardently, translating Sophocles and Demosthenes into English and back into Greek. Once she became queen she engaged in conversations with many foreign diplomats, none of whom spoke English, in their native tongue; and she always did so with fluency and the upper hand.

Elizabeth could understand and speak German, but only haltingly. She particularly enjoyed Italian, in which she also wrote beautifully.

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