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How Many Languages Does a Typical United States President Know?

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This question originally appeared on Quora.

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By Nick Bhardwaj, VP of Monetization at NaturalMotion

I am going to assume we are talking about being fluent in a language. Taking that into consideration, here is the data I could find:
  • Barack Obama: Fluent in 1 language. (English) Conversational in 1. (Indonesian)
  • George W. Bush: Fluent in 1 language. (English) Conversational in 1. (Spanish)
  • Bill Clinton: Fluent in 1 language (English) Conversational in 1. (German)
  • George H. W. Bush: Fluent in 1 language. (English)
  • Ronald Reagan: Fluent in 1 language. (English)
  • Jimmy Carter: Fluent in 2 languages. (English and Spanish)
  • Gerald R. Ford: Fluent in 1 language. (English)
  • Richard M. Nixon: Fluent in 1 language. (English)
  • Lyndon B. Johnson: Fluent in 1 language. (English)
  • John F. Kennedy: Fluent in 1 language. (English)
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower: Fluent in 1 language. (English)
  • Harry Truman: Fluent in 1 language. (English)
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt: Fluent in 3 languages. (English, German, and French)
  • Herbert Hoover : Fluent in 3 languages. (English, Mandarin, and Latin)
  • Calvin Coolidge: Fluent in 1 language. (English)
  • Warren G. Harding : Fluent in 1 language. (English)
  • Woodrow Wilson: Fluent in 2 languages. (English and German)
  • William Howard Taft: Fluent in 1 language. (English)
  • Theodore Roosevelt: Fluent in 2 languages. (English and French) Conversational in 2. (German and Italian)
  • William McKinley: Fluent in 1 language. (English)
  • Grover Cleveland: Fluent in 1 language. (English)
  • Benjamin Harrison: Fluent in 1 language. (English)
  • Chester A. Arthur: Fluent in 1 language. (English) Conversation in 2. (Latin and Greek)
  • James Garfield: Fluent in 3 languages. (English, Latin and Ancient Greek)
  • Rutherford B. Hayes: Fluent in 3 languages. (English, Latin, and Greek) Conversational in 1. (Italian)
  • Ulysses S. Grant: Fluent in 1 language. (English)
  • Andrew Johnson: Fluent in 1 language. (English)
  • Abraham Lincoln: Fluent in 1 language. (English)
  • James Buchanan : Fluent in 3 languages. (English, Latin, and Greek)
  • Franklin Pierce: Fluent in 1 language. (English)
  • Millard Fillmore: Fluent in 1 language. (English)
  • Zachary Taylor: Fluent in 1 language. (English)
  • James K. Polk: Fluent in 3 languages. (English, Latin, and Greek)
  • John Tyler: Fluent in 3 languages. (English, Latin, and Greek)
  • William Henry Harrison: Fluent in 2 languages. (English and Latin) Conversational in 1. (French)
  • Martin Van Buren: Fluent in 2 languages. (Dutch and English)
  • Andrew Jackson: Fluent in 1 language. (English)
  • John Quincy Adams: Fluent in 4 languages. (English, French, German, and Latin) Conversational in 2. (Dutch and Greek)
  • James Monroe: Fluent in 2 languages. (English and French)
  • James Madison: Fluent in 4 languages. (English, Greek, Hebrew, and Latin)
  • Thomas Jefferson: Fluent in 6 languages. (English, French, Greek, Italian, Latin, and Spanish)
  • John Adams: Fluent in 5 languages. (English, French, Greek, Hebrew, and Latin)
  • George Washington: Fluent in 1 language. (English)
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_multilingual_Presidents_of_the_United_States

Results from the Data:
  • 25 presidents were only fluent in one language. (English)
  • 44 presidents were fluent in a total of 78 languages. That comes out to 1.77 languages per president.
  • Only one president was fluent in Mandarin. (Herbert Hoover)
  • Only one president's first language was not English. (Martin Van Buren - Dutch)
  • Thomas Jefferson was simply a boss for being fluent in 6 languages. (English, French, Greek, Italian, Latin & Spanish)
  • If you look at the last 12 presidents in the United States, 11 of them were only fluent in one language. So you could say that the typical US president today only needs to know one language, English.
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