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Aznar Speaks English Now? November 15, 2012

Posted by anagasto in language.
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An Italian would say “Se non è vero, è ben trovato”, if it isn’t true, it is well invented. That Aznar learned English is hard to believe, but not impossible.

Aznar always displayed lots of will power.
The problem is that willpower is not a big ingredient in language learning. Goethe said so long ago.

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However, Publico.es says that Aznar has learned English and according to the president of Israel this shows that the times are changing.

The question is how Shimon Peres meant it.

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aznar at georgetown university

According to the best of sources, it would take 2000 hours to learn English really well every which way, written, spoken, culturally too, to understand allusions, jokes, context of every colour, new words, old words, witty words, slogans.

Aznar would have had the most expensive teachers, who are not the best, but necessarily the most patient of their kind .

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However, he would not have spent 2000 hours sitting in class.

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That same source quoted above says that no one ever has learned a language all in class, because classes represent only about 20% of the necessary effort.

It is probable that Aznar would have read a lot, especially newspapers, maybe using the Google translator at http://www.google.com/language to make bilingual copies. That’s a very good way.

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keep in mind history
The quote is not from Cervantes, but from Camilo José Cela, which is a bit of an anachronism, though otherwise just fine.

However, why before leaving did he set up this?

→ → The drawings are by Peridis and by Raphael Wünsch

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YOUTUBE

I found two videos of Aznar speaking English.
In one of them his speech is slurred and so fast that it must have been dubbed.
http://linkstoenglish.blogspot.com/2007/02/spanish-people-speaking-english-aznar.html .

In the second video Aznar reads from a text and is just barely intelligible.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Ws8BRTwwAk

He is one of those who, along with Bush et al., picked up the geostrategic vocabulary which greatly simplified their after-dinner conversation.

Below: Aznar, as elegant as ever, almost like a torero, seen near the Prado in Madrid  by ghD in the company of his bodyguards:


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Added August 9, 2012

Penelope Cruz

speaks English. Her accent is her own, but there are no mistakes, and she understands Letterman, while I don’t.***  Maybe she is a reader. Or maybe as an actress she had to learn lots of text by heart.  Watch her being interviewed by David Letterman

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-HVguNzlrA

Added September 2013

I have just listened to this video again, and this time I understood Letterman, but did  hear a few mistakes in her English.It really doesn’t matter. What’s unique is that speaking om a foreign language just barely constrains her wit.

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