Re: Been busy, guys, and how many languages/dialects does Indy speak?

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Posted by Michaelson from on September 29, 1998 at 20:07:47:

In Reply to: Re: Been busy, guys, and how many languages/dialects does Indy speak? posted by ~The Raider~ on September 29, 1998 at 19:45:53:

: : : : : From the movies at least, we can count English, German, Chinese, Indian, various forms of Latin, Greek. In one of the books he can speak Spanish. Is that all or have I left out some?

: : : : My two cents:
: : : : We knows he speaks at least a little modern Greek from Last Crusade and is well versed in ancient Attic Greek from Peril at Delphi. Don't forget Sanskrit from Temple. Anyone know what language he uses with the Indian villagers in Temple? I don't think it's Hindi. According to Fate of Atlantis, he seems to have trouble with Porteguese. I think in Interior World he reads Runes while in Marcus' museum. While in the Belgian Army he speaks French, and while stationed in Italy, Italian.

: : : : It seems very rare that Indy ever needs an interpreter. I guess that what happens when you're raised traveling the world with Henry Sr. as your dad!

: : : : -Indy

: : : As well versed in other languages as he is portrayed to be, I always wondered why Indy required a translator for the markings on the Staff of Ra. I always figured he could've decoded them himself.

: : : BMan

: : About the only language Indy doesn't speak is Hovitos! I don't understand, however, some of the logic behind what he does and doesn't speak. For example, why does Indy have trouble speaking Portuguese, when he can speak fluent Spanish (which aside from some spelling and pronouniciation differences, is fairly simliar) and the other main Romance languages (French and Italian). Once you learn one of these languages (not to mention the root language Latin) most people can learn the others without a great deal of difficulty. The stuff with the Staff of Ra also confuses me. If it was because of an eurocentric basis in his training, that would be one thing, but Indy is quite comfortable with Eastern languages, and knowledgeable about the customs and artifacts of many civilizations. I guess we just have to chalk it up to plot contrivance. By having the old man translate, the audience learns all the information of the staff, without any messy recap scenes between Indy and Sallah.

: : Laurie

: Don't forget, the runes on the medallion were from a dialect long dead since just a few centuries after the time of Moses. It would seem plausible that that language may have died out or changed radically over the thousands of years.
: Or it could just be a hole in the script brought on by our attempts to try and make this man more and more heroic.

: ~The Raider

Well, probably more of your last comment that most. Remember, Raiders was the first out of the gate. The additional languages were heaped on the story well after the first movie. We did get a hint in Raiders of the possibility of other languages when he understood German in the bar in Cairo. That was about all. In Temple of Doom, he understood and spoke Mandrin Chinese, another hint of the possibility. YIJC is what REALLY opened Pandora's box. Regards. Michaelson

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