Photo: 20th Century Fox
It’s true: sometimes real-life polyglots seem like semi-mythical beings by dint of their superhuman language abilities. But as anyone who liked movies, books and television shows growing up can attest, some fictional characters can pack a mean multilingual punch as well, and that’s why we came up with this fun character quiz to see who our readers would most love to learn languages from.
So who’s it going to be: Daenerys Targaryen lighting a (literal) fire under your butt, or C3PO brightly guiding you through his flawless execution of 6 million languages?
Remember: your vote counts, and we’re counting on you.
Daenerys, who many would agree is sort of the queen bee (or at least the warrior princess) of Westeros, is fluent in both English and Dothraki, a constructed language (or conlang) developed for the show by David J. Peterson. She might be your pick if you prefer to go through life with a physical trainer screaming at you (except she doesn’t really need to scream, because she has dragons).
Everyone’s favorite affable robot of Star Wars fame is also fluent in over 6 million languages. Did you know there were even 6 million languages? C-3PO is the friendliest, most helpful sidekick there is, so he’d make an excellent language teacher for those of you who use computers to study anyway (but might prefer someone slightly more sentient than Siri). Of course, C-3PO also seems to complain and get hurt a lot.
Though Harry Potter commanded a bit more of the bilingual spotlight with his Parseltongue abilities, Hermione did have a way with ancient runes. The reason you might want Hermione in your camp is not because of how many languages she may or may not know, however. Girlfriend was taking Ancient Runes at the same time as she was taking Charms in her third year because she was literally using magic to be in two places at once. Hermione is the ultimate dedicated nerd, and she’ll have high standards for you too.
Dora the Explorer
Who hasn’t learned Spanish from Dora on a sick day from school? Dora is always on a quest, and she has an endearing way of taking your advice into consideration (but to be fair, she’ll probably trust Pirate Parrot’s directions to Treasure Island a little more). Dora’s teaching style is appealing because she not only makes things easy enough for a five-year-old to understand (because that’s basically who’s actually watching the show), but also because learning is always an adventure. Backpack, backpack!
If you prefer your language learning with a side of adrenaline and intrigue, Jason Bourne might be your international mystery man. The superspy has a command of German, French, Russian, Dutch, Spanish and Swedish — not to mention lots of tricky spy moves. If you want to learn how to effortlessly move through the world (and look really badass doing it), you might want to read a few pages from Bourne’s book.
Okay, so Ms. Frizzle isn’t technically bilingual (as far as we know). But her students claim she knows everything, and honestly, can you think of a better fictional teacher? She wouldn’t force you to spend a nice day cooped up inside with a French textbook. She’d snap her fingers and take you to Paris for the afternoon. Besides, wasn’t she the one who also said: “Take chances! make mistakes! get messy!” Pretty on-point language-learning advice, if you ask us.