Skip to main content

The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 1:39 pm

Multilingual Kerry charms French, German hosts

By MATTHEW LEEAssociated Press

Secretary of State John Kerry is charming his way through the capitals of western Europe with his knowledge of local languages, delighting audiences by speaking German and French to his hosts.

The multilingual Kerry complimented a television host's shoes in passable German on Tuesday at a town hall meeting with youth in Berlin.

On Wednesday in Paris, he won approving nods from journalists and diplomats when he opened a news conference in fluent French, effusively praising his lunch and relations between the U.S. and France.

He then drew laughter by saying that that he would switch to English because quote "otherwise I would not be allowed to return back home."

Kerry's French skills were cited as elitist by Republicans during his unsuccessful 2004 presidential campaign.