Any riders speaking these languages?

Hello, I'm kind of a language geek. I'm interested to know if there are any pro cyclists being proficient in those languages:
- Afrikaans (I guess there are surely some, but who?)
- Frisian
- Sorbian
- Breton
- Romansch
- Low German
- Karelian
and generally any kind of minority language in Europe, apart from Basque (because I'm more of less aware of which riders are Basque). I've heard Zakarin is a Tatar.

If you have any knowledge regarding this, please share it here.
 
Chris Froome in Afrikaans - I'm sure a few of the South African riders will at least know some Afrikaans, especially older ones who will have had some of their education prior to the dismantling of apartheid.

Obviously there's a fair few speakers of Galego and Catalan in the Spanish péloton as well as the Basques. Paul Martens I think has shown some knowledge of Plattdütsch.
 
I know he isn't techincally a pro cyclist anymore, but I wouldn't be surprised if Cancellara speaks Romansch. Is there any language that guy does speak? Okay, maybe Cantonese, or Mandarin. And I know those aren't minority languages.
 
Oct 23, 2011
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GenericBoonenFan said:
Any Dutch/Flemish person can understand Afrikaans,
This is not really true. I know several Afrikaans speaking people and it's easier to communicate in English than me speaking Dutch and them speaking Afrikaans. Of course it's not like we're completely unable to communicate when they speak Afrikaans and I speak Dutch, but it's seriously more difficult than you'd think. You end up having to speak slowly, explain some words, have each other repeat things, etc. Usually people just end up switching to English because it's easier.

I'd say understanding Afrikaans (when spoken; written Afrikaans is easier to understand) is about as difficult as understanding something like West-Vlaams for me.
 
Re: Re:

Maaaaaaaarten said:
GenericBoonenFan said:
Any Dutch/Flemish person can understand Afrikaans,
This is not really true. I know several Afrikaans speaking people and it's easier to communicate in English than me speaking Dutch and them speaking Afrikaans. Of course it's not like we're completely unable to communicate when they speak Afrikaans and I speak Dutch, but it's seriously more difficult than you'd think. You end up having to speak slowly, explain some words, have each other repeat things, etc. Usually people just end up switching to English because it's easier.

I'd say understanding Afrikaans (when spoken; written Afrikaans is easier to understand) is about as difficult as understanding something like West-Vlaams for me.
Unfortunately, it's the same with Swedish and Norwegian for me (Norwegian is easily read, middle difficulty when listened to; Swedish is middle difficulty when read, and I don't understand them when they speak). I'd wish it wasn't so, but it's far easier to communicate in English. It'd probably do me quite good to watch some Norwegian/Swedish television.
 
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Netserk said:
Maaaaaaaarten said:
GenericBoonenFan said:
Any Dutch/Flemish person can understand Afrikaans,
This is not really true. I know several Afrikaans speaking people and it's easier to communicate in English than me speaking Dutch and them speaking Afrikaans. Of course it's not like we're completely unable to communicate when they speak Afrikaans and I speak Dutch, but it's seriously more difficult than you'd think. You end up having to speak slowly, explain some words, have each other repeat things, etc. Usually people just end up switching to English because it's easier.

I'd say understanding Afrikaans (when spoken; written Afrikaans is easier to understand) is about as difficult as understanding something like West-Vlaams for me.
Unfortunately, it's the same with Swedish and Norwegian for me (Norwegian is easily read, middle difficulty when listened to; Swedish is middle difficulty when read, and I don't understand them when they speak). I'd wish it wasn't so, but it's far easier to communicate in English. It'd probably do me quite good to watch some Norwegian/Swedish television.
Really? That's quite interesting because after watching The Bridge I assumed that swedish and Danish could be understood by both.
 
Any of the Irish/Welsh/Manx educated guys will have some proficiency in those languages: if I had to guess who would be most fluent I would plump for Phil Deignan (Pilib Ó Duígeannáin), as Letterkenny is pretty much surrounded by Gealtacht and my cousins who attended St Eunan's (his old school) are confident Irish speakers(and not through their parents).
 
Re: Re:

Brullnux said:
Netserk said:
Maaaaaaaarten said:
GenericBoonenFan said:
Any Dutch/Flemish person can understand Afrikaans,
This is not really true. I know several Afrikaans speaking people and it's easier to communicate in English than me speaking Dutch and them speaking Afrikaans. Of course it's not like we're completely unable to communicate when they speak Afrikaans and I speak Dutch, but it's seriously more difficult than you'd think. You end up having to speak slowly, explain some words, have each other repeat things, etc. Usually people just end up switching to English because it's easier.

I'd say understanding Afrikaans (when spoken; written Afrikaans is easier to understand) is about as difficult as understanding something like West-Vlaams for me.
Unfortunately, it's the same with Swedish and Norwegian for me (Norwegian is easily read, middle difficulty when listened to; Swedish is middle difficulty when read, and I don't understand them when they speak). I'd wish it wasn't so, but it's far easier to communicate in English. It'd probably do me quite good to watch some Norwegian/Swedish television.
Really? That's quite interesting because after watching The Bridge I assumed that swedish and Danish could be understood by both.
I'm from the western part of Denmark, so I'm not as exposed to the Swedes as those who grew up in Copenhagen ;)
 
Terpstra is a Frisian origin surname. Don't know whether Nikki speeks it though.

Quite a few South African cyclists are Afrikaners and the language is still an official language in RSA with widespread use. It's also used in their National Anthem. So there should be a quite a few in the peloton who speak it.
 
Re:

the asian said:
Terpstra is a Frisian origin surname. Don't know whether Nikki speeks it though.

Quite a few South African cyclists are Afrikaners and the language is still an official language in RSA with widespread use. It's also used in their National Anthem. So there should be a quite a few in the peloton who speak it.
Terpstra isn't from Friesland though :)
 
Interesting topic!

The only well known rider i can think of who might know Karelian is evgeni berzin. Not an active rider of course. But even this is a long shot, as he originates from vyborg and karelian is usually associated with the more immediate surroundings of Lake Ladoga a bit up north from there.
 
I have heard that Nicolas Roche should be able to speak practically all cycling-relevant languages (which is funny, because on Twitter he comes across as slightly dyslexic - he even spells his name differently than what every other source says it should be (Nicholas instead of Nicolas)).

And then I remember hearing the Danish commentators on a drowzy Tour of California stage talk about the former Swiss rider, Marcel Wüst, who should be quite the multilingual genius. He had even learned some Danish - just because.

To Netserk:
You're right about it being good to watch some Norwegian or Swedish television if you want to be better at understanding their languages. It really does help very fast and the primary difference from Danish is probably the rhythm of the language (this is especially true for Norwegian, I think).
 
Jun 30, 2014
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WheelofGear said:
Which rider can speak in most languages?
Vino was pretty good when it came to languages, Russian, Kazakh, French and a decent amount of Italian and German, but there are many cyclists who know many different languages.
 

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