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Stephen Fry's massive lobes

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231600.  Sat Nov 17, 2007 9:05 pm Reply with quote

Well I hope this belongs here. I put it here because I, like, hopefully, all you guys, find our Host to be Quite Interesting.

Does anyone know just how many languages Stephen speaks? He seems to be knowledgeable if not fluent in at least five or six other than English. Also, he seems to have depths of knowledge in basically every topic ever -- anyone know exactly what fields he is an expert in? Literature, obviously, and apparently linguistics, but any other specifics?

I'm fascinated at how one guy can fit so much knowledge in one regular-sized cranium. He was obviously the perfect guy to play Jeeves.

231601.  Sat Nov 17, 2007 9:33 pm Reply with quote

From Moab is my Washpot:

There must be a prep school out there somewhere in need of extra staff. In need of someone who knew the system and was prepared to step in at a moment's notice to teach a little Latin, a little Greek, a little French, English and History.

That was around the time he was 18, looking for a temporary teaching job. He's studied German, at least, since being there, but obviously not enough to pronounce "das Boot" correctly. :P

231606.  Sun Nov 18, 2007 3:40 am Reply with quote

From the title I was expecting this thread to be some comment about Stephen's ears...


231607.  Sun Nov 18, 2007 4:15 am Reply with quote

You're not the only one.

Prof Wind Up Merchant
231617.  Sun Nov 18, 2007 6:18 am Reply with quote

We have fallen into the QI bear pit. Same here.


231619.  Sun Nov 18, 2007 6:32 am Reply with quote

Lumpo31 wrote:
From the title I was expecting this thread to be some comment about Stephen's ears...


231625.  Sun Nov 18, 2007 7:01 am Reply with quote

The latin, greek and french would come from his schooling at least.

Goodness knows where you find the time to pick up languages after that. I keep meaning to get a little french under my belt, or even some polish... and probably a refresher course in german too, although I can pronounce "das Boot" correctly ;)

231628.  Sun Nov 18, 2007 7:31 am Reply with quote

I've heard him speak German in his Who do you think you are, I think, which didn't sound too bad.

231635.  Sun Nov 18, 2007 8:05 am Reply with quote

i thought that was going to be about people's ears and whether their lobes were attached to their heads or if you had clearly defined lobes.

mine are clearly defined

231678.  Sun Nov 18, 2007 11:02 am Reply with quote

He speaks German quite a lot on Just A Minute

231690.  Sun Nov 18, 2007 11:45 am Reply with quote

There was a time when that would deserve a <Beep>: deviation.

231881.  Mon Nov 19, 2007 4:48 am Reply with quote

It's quite easy to learn a language conversationally, especially European languages. I speak a little French, German, Italian and Spanish, and a little Japanese. I will say I understand them better than I can speak them, but that's down to lack of practice.

As for knowledge in lots of fields, doesn't everyone have that? Your average game of Trivial Pursuit will reveal just how much the average joe knows.

232062.  Mon Nov 19, 2007 10:35 am Reply with quote

stephen's german is quite excellent actually, judging by the conversations he had in who do you think you are. according to moab, he grew up with german au pairs at home, and one reason why his mom fell in love with his dad was that he spoke the language, so i guess it would have been a fairly constant presence in the fry household, also, his grandad - who, it appears, he was quite close to - would have grown up with german as the lingua franca - it just was where he came from - and might well have gone on using it in his personal life after coming to england. he hasn't got much of an english accent, either, so my guess is that he picked it up pretty early in life. though fuck knows where his idea about "boot" comes from... ;-)



232068.  Mon Nov 19, 2007 10:47 am Reply with quote

I was definitely ribbing about the "Boot" pronunciation: His German is pretty good. As was mentioned above, he delights in doing it on Just a Minute, notably in an episode where he, Clement Freud, Tony Hawks, and even Nicholas Parsons started spouting off in multiple languages, while Julian Clary sat there and spluttered at them. Excellence.

232076.  Mon Nov 19, 2007 11:09 am Reply with quote

sounds like something i'll have to get hold of... :-D i've developed my own theory about his pronounciation of "boot", actually. he must have picked that one up from a hardcore northerner and never checked up on its buehnendeutsch correctness... it just comes as such a shock with him, doesn't it? given that his german is so good and almost bereft of accents.




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