international intrigue

Apparently John Kerry Speaks German

John Kerry’s fluency in French is well known; it was used during the 2004 presidential race to portray him as an effete liberal snob. Kerry has also mastered English, obviously. But until today, we had no idea that Kerry could speak German, perhaps thanks to the time he spent there as a child:

The all-English translation:

Q: So, Mr. Secretary, how do you feel?

Kerry: [in German] Very good, thank you. All is well. Your shoes are fantastic, yes?

Q: You speak very good German.

Kerry: [in German] No, no, I can only speak a little German. But I would say, it is wonderful to be back here in Berlin. Thank you. And now I will speak in English because it’s easier. [end of German]

It’s the “your shoes are fantastic” line that convinces us Kerry knows more than just “a little” German. Unless you’re Tim Gunn, that’s not really a vital phrase for beginners.