JJ
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JJ asked in Society & CultureRoyalty · 2 months ago

Did Britain's King George the First have an interpreter ?

The year 1714 saw the accession of King George the First of Great Britain. Various sources stated that the new king was fluent in French, though the king spoke very little or no English.  What language did the king used to communicate with his subjects?  

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago
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    Walpole is supposed to have communicated in Latin with the King, but George I had some English (and became fluent in time) and as French was the language of diplomacy everyone he needed to speak to could speak that. He was less interested in England and Scotland than he was with Hanover where he still spent time and in a constitutional monarchy it was not that important. The population at large would never get to hear him speak. There is a portrait of the king making his only visit to Newmarket to see the racing early in his reign; identified among the people depicted is The Royal Interpreter. 

  • George I did use an interpreter. He spoke German and French at court. 

    The suggestion that he became fluent in English is a little white lie - like the one about Princess Camilla having given up smoking. 

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    George I was an excellent linguist. He was, in fact, multilingual, and he did learn to speak English.

    He would have had an interpreter at first, or occasionally later, though a great many people at court spoke French -- it was standard at European royal courts -- and certainly some spoke German.

    See the biography by Ragnhild Hatton, among others.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    He was German, from Hanover. He did not speak English fluently. One assumes he had an interpreter.  

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  • 2 months ago

    He gradually picked up the language, but tended to speak French with his courtiers.  He could already speak some English from the start though.

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