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Old 12-19-2005, 03:26 PM   #1
Patrick
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Indy's languages

What are the twelve languages he is able to speak and read?
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Old 12-19-2005, 05:22 PM   #2
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Now here's an interesting question.

Let's see... he knows English, German, French, Arabic, Latin, Hindi, Greek (both ancient and modern) and Chinese at least. Also, he seemingly is able to at least read Norse runes, Aramaic, Palawi (the dead language of natives living in the Eastern Indian Isles) and Egyptian Hieratic writing.

Indy's knowledge in Russian is bit of a haywire case, since there're contradicting terms. As far as I recall, video game the Infernal Machine suggests that he doesn't (at least very well) while in Spear of Destiny the comic he does.

Of course, in the English language term "dozen" can mean "12" as you assumed, or just "plenty", which means that there can be little less or way more stuff in Indy's linguistic databank than those.

Also... as my list is based on things picked from official Indiana Jones stories (I can provide you with a reference database if you wish), has somebody seen proof that Indy is able to speak Spanish?
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Old 12-19-2005, 06:49 PM   #3
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That's a pretty good list you've compiled there Finn. I never really considered all the languages that Indy speaks until Patrick brought it up. I would assume he knows at least a little Spanish but I'm not positive on that.
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Old 12-19-2005, 10:15 PM   #4
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Interesting subject, Patrick. Where does the "12" or "dozen" reference appear?

I can't vouch for Indy being able to *read* these languauges but in the
"London - May 1916" episode, he knows English, Medieval English, French,
German, Italian, Spanish, Hungarian, Swedish, Greek, Ancient Greek, and
Arabic (the 1st *other* one he learned). At that time, he did not know
Welch.

In "Masks of Evil", it states that he knows 27, with one of them being
sign language for the hearing impaired but he is stumped by Icelandic
in this episode.

The fact that he knows German in the Young Indy Chronicles doesn't jive
with "Raiders" when he is seemingly at a loss for words in the submarine bay.
Plus, he is able to communicate in whatever Indian dialect that is used in
"Doom" so I guess we can assume he's always learning...
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Old 12-20-2005, 08:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finn
...has somebody seen proof that Indy is able to speak Spanish?

In Young Indiana Jones and the Curse of the Jackal or "Mexico, 1916" he speaks fluent Spanish, fighting alongside Pancho Villa and even translating a news reel for his soldiers. (Lots of subtitles in that episode.)
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Old 12-20-2005, 10:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoo
The fact that he knows German in the Young Indy Chronicles doesn't jive
with "Raiders" when he is seemingly at a loss for words in the submarine bay.
Plus, he is able to communicate in whatever Indian dialect that is used in
"Doom" so I guess we can assume he's always learning...

There's no problem with Raiders as he knows exactly what the officer is saying, he doesn't want to get noticed by anyone else so he follows the commands and shuts up.

However, a number of times if you can understand one language you can get by in another. My wife speaks a good amount of Spanish, and when we were in Italy last year she was able to get by ok at least. Many languages are at least close so he can probably get by in many.
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Old 12-20-2005, 12:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoo
At that time, he did not know
Welch.
...

do you mean Welsh?
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Old 12-20-2005, 12:59 PM   #8
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Interesting thread.

I've always been interested in Indy's ability to be able to speak many launguages and have always thought it was pretty cool.

As far as I am aware, Indy can read and speak the following:

English - with an American accent
German - Raiders etc
Spanish - as seen in YIC
French - Young Indy chronicles
Arabic - This is well known and seen in YIC
Hindi - as seen in ToD
Greek (both ancient and modern) - as seen in LC and YIC
Chinese - seen in ToD
Russain - mentioned in YIC and Golden Fleece Dark Horse comic book
Turkish - also mentioned in yhe Golden Fleece adventure
Cuniform - Mentioned in
Sanskrit - seen in TOD
Babalonian in Infernal Machine?

I think that Indy probably also speaks Latin, Italian, Finnish, and maybe even Japanese.


Finn, can I ask. Where abouts did you hear that Indy could speak Palawi? Just curious.
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Old 12-20-2005, 02:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canyon
Finn, can I ask. Where abouts did you hear that Indy could speak Palawi? Just curious.
You may, if you answer why you think Indy could speak Finnish. And there's no "probably" in Latin. It's clearly seen in LC that he knows it.

From IM. We pick up Indy translating pieces of text while looking for part number two. Of course it's never stated that it's Palawi, but that's the best assumption (considering he's even on island called Palawan and so on...). And I didn't say "speak" I said "read". As most of us know, dead languages are very difficult to learn to speak, as there's rarely any vocal examples to pick on. Reading is whole another case, then.

And as far as Babylonian goes, there's no such language for starters. That would be Sumer. And as usual, read only probably. And Sumer was written in Cuniform, btw.

Back to school, you.
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Old 12-20-2005, 04:27 PM   #10
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I think he knows pig latin also! I really think I heard him say IX-Nay on the . . .
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Old 12-20-2005, 05:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finn
You may, if you answer why you think Indy could speak Finnish. And there's no "probably" in Latin. It's clearly seen in LC that he knows it.

From IM. We pick up Indy translating pieces of text while looking for part number two. Of course it's never stated that it's Palawi, but that's the best assumption (considering he's even on island called Palawan and so on...). And I didn't say "speak" I said "read". As most of us know, dead languages are very difficult to learn to speak, as there's rarely any vocal examples to pick on. Reading is whole another case, then.

And as far as Babylonian goes, there's no such language for starters. That would be Sumer. And as usual, read only probably. And Sumer was written in Cuniform, btw.

Back to school, you.

Y'know. I don't actually post on this messageboard to be critisized. If wanted that, i'd go somewhere else.

Seriously though, I know that Indy speaks Latin. It's just been a very long day.

And as for Infernal Machine, I wasn't quite sure of the language that was being read, ok?

The reason I suggeseted Finnish (not just because we have Finnish people on the board) was because I figured that if Indy could speak 27 languages, I thought that would at least include some of the Scandinavian languages.

Happy now?


Sheesh, some people aound here are never satisfied...
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Old 12-20-2005, 06:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canyon
Y'know. I don't actually post on this messageboard to be critisized. If wanted that, i'd go somewhere else.
Not critisize. Civilize.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canyon
The reason I suggeseted Finnish (not just because we have Finnish people on the board) was because I figured that if Indy could speak 27 languages, I thought that would at least include some of the Scandinavian languages.
1) Swedish would be more closer to the mark. It's more widely spoken and less complicated. Which gets us to... 2) If Icelandic left Indy stumped, guess what would happen with Finnish? And utmostly... 3) Finnish isn't a Scandinavian language.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canyon
Happy now?
Back to school, you.
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Old 12-20-2005, 06:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finn
Back to school, you.

Grrr. I left school 16 years ago. How about you?
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Old 12-20-2005, 06:38 PM   #14
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Wow, Finn is beginning to post just like Jay . . .go figure.

How about this, he is a fictional charater, and he can speek any language that fits the need of the movie, t.v. show, video game, book, comic book, graphic novel, bar coaster, road sign, message in a bottle, or whatever else is written abotu him?
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Old 12-20-2005, 06:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canyon
I left school 16 years ago.
Wow... you're younger than I thought. 21? 22? Don't they start the first grade at the age of five or six?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canyon
How about you?
Three years. And I still can't help but wonder what more I had learnt if they'd let me to stay longer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roundshort
Wow, Finn is beginning to post just like Jay . . .go figure.
Ouch. Hey, at least I capitalize my words correctly and use proper punctuation!
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Old 12-20-2005, 06:48 PM   #16
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don't get Jay started on that!

or he will happily do something he always says he will do . . .

Besides I thinkt he proper response should have been .

"Now your gettin' Nasty!"

Last edited by roundshort : 12-20-2005 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 12-20-2005, 07:07 PM   #17
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Hey, Jay boasts. I poke. There's a clear difference, man!
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Old 12-20-2005, 07:34 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finn
Wow... you're younger than I thought. 21? 22? Don't they start the first grade at the age of five or six?

Sorry, you mean you think I am 21/22 or older? If its the former, thanks for the compliment. I'm actually 32.
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Old 12-21-2005, 02:58 AM   #19
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Sorry, you mean you think I am 21/22 or older? If its the former, thanks for the compliment. I'm actually 32.
And again... I'm speechless. I wonder if somebody did notice what I actually suggested here?
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Old 12-21-2005, 02:18 PM   #20
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Relax!

Oh dear, we seem to be going off topic...
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Old 01-06-2006, 04:39 AM   #21
Patrick
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Hello everybody.

The reference to the twelve languages also comes from the Infernal Machine, specifically the help file on 'characters'.

I was wondering if there had been any consistency, or if they just pulled that out because it looked neat. Perhaps he speaks 27 languages, and only 12 fluently? Perhaps he's a little rusty sometimes, or learns the language before his major expeditions. ...Or something.

Quote:
And as far as Babylonian goes, there's no such language for starters. That would be Sumer. And as usual, read only probably. And Sumer was written in Cuniform, btw.
Which was the written alphabet of the Babylonians. I'm not sure, where their spoken word differed from other Mesopotamian languages, or even at all (probably did).

Thanks for thinking it was a good topic, That wasn't something I was particularly good at a few years ago.(off-topic) By the way, who has left? I don't seem to be called out as 'Paperboy' anymore.
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Old 01-06-2006, 06:51 AM   #22
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"...where he learned to speak, read, and write 27 languages, including French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Swedish, Greek, Arabic, Turkish, Vietnamese, Swahili, Latin and Chinese, as well as some Hindi, apart from English..."
According to wikipedia
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Old 01-06-2006, 06:57 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tennessee R
"...where he learned to speak, read, and write 27 languages, including French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Swedish, Greek, Arabic, Turkish, Vietnamese, Swahili, Latin and Chinese, as well as some Hindi, apart from English..."
According to wikipedia

how about bavarian?
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Old 05-26-2008, 03:37 PM   #24
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Arise! Dead thread!

After completing my full Indy-thon in preparation for KOTCS, here is my guess at the languages that Indy is known to speak. Please note that my sources for this list are only Young Indiana Jones episodes and the 4 films, as I was aiming for a comprehensive yet "official" list. (Plus, I haven't read very many of the books, and the only game I've played was Emperor's Tomb.)

During the timeframe of Young Indiana Jones, where it is stated he speaks 27 languages, Indy is known to speak (or can be strongly inferred to know) these languages:

1. English
2. Hungarian
3. Swedish
4. Greek
5. Ancient Greek
6. Arabic
7. French
8. Spanish
9. Italian
10. Russian
11. Latin
12. Hindi
13. Chinese
14. Swahili
15. Sign Language
16. German
17. Czech
18. Turkish
19. Vietnamese
20. Quechua

Also, by this point in time (circa 1917), he may know:
21. Hieroglyphics/Coptic (possibly "My First Adventure")
22. Romanian (see "Masks of Evil")
23. Singhalese (during the world tour)
24. Old English (based on his father's medieval studies)
? 25. Possibly another African language (various Africa episodes)
?? 26. Possibly an Australian Aboriginal language, based on references to traveling to Australia as a kid and extrapolating from what usually happens to little kid Indy in any given episode.)

He also knows Morse Code, if you wanted to count that as a language. At this point in time it is specifically shown that he does not speak Welsh, Icelandic, and Ubangi. He might have also learned some of the Indonesian language in "Treasure of the Peacock's Eye" as language #28.

Languages Indy is later known to speak that the timeframe of when he learned them is unclear include
A. Hieroglyphics (as a kid or in college)
B. Singhalese (as a kid or during his adventure just before TOD)
C. Mayan (my guess is he learned Mayan in college, since I find it hard to believe he learned both fluent Quechua and Mayan in the few weeks he was riding with Pancho Villa).

He does not speak Hovitos.

Additional languages Indy could have logically learned later in college might include Phonecian and Norse Futhark Runes. He may have learned Mayan in college. Based on the later adventures, he may know some Nepalese (Raiders), possibly Sioux (a total guess based on the "Mystery of the Blues" bookends), and he should be able to figure out Portugese fairly easily since he knows Spanish, etc. (the ship is off the Portugese coast in Last Crusade; presumably he wound up there after his escape.)

So my guess is that by KOTCS, Indy may know close to 35 languages? Miss Seymour was right- a "special aptitude for languages", indeed!

Last edited by NoCamels : 05-26-2008 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 05-26-2008, 04:18 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCamels
After completing my full Indy-thon in preparation for KOTCS, here is my guess at the languages that Indy is known to speak. Please note that my sources for this list are only Young Indiana Jones episodes and the 4 films, as I was aiming for a comprehensive yet "official" list. (Plus, I haven't read very many of the books, and the only game I've played was Emperor's Tomb.)

During the timeframe of Young Indiana Jones, where it is stated he speaks 27 languages, Indy is known to speak (or can be strongly inferred to know) these languages:

1. English
2. Hungarian
3. Swedish
4. Greek
5. Ancient Greek
6. Arabic
7. French
8. Spanish
9. Italian
10. Russian
11. Latin
12. Hindi
13. Chinese
14. Swahili
15. Sign Language
16. German
17. Czech
18. Turkish
19. Vietnamese
20. Quechua

Also, by this point in time (circa 1917), he may know:
21. Hieroglyphics/Coptic (possibly "My First Adventure")
22. Romanian (see "Masks of Evil")
23. Singhalese (during the world tour)
24. Old English (based on his father's medieval studies)
? 25. Possibly another African language (various Africa episodes)
?? 26. Possibly an Australian Aboriginal language, based on references to traveling to Australia as a kid and extrapolating from what usually happens to little kid Indy in any given episode.)

He also knows Morse Code, if you wanted to count that as a language. At this point in time it is specifically shown that he does not speak Welsh, Icelandic, and Ubangi. He might have also learned some of the Indonesian language in "Treasure of the Peacock's Eye" as language #28.

Languages Indy is later known to speak that the timeframe of when he learned them is unclear include
A. Hieroglyphics (as a kid or in college)
B. Singhalese (as a kid or during his adventure just before TOD)
C. Mayan (my guess is he learned Mayan in college, since I find it hard to believe he learned both fluent Quechua and Mayan in the few weeks he was riding with Pancho Villa).

He does not speak Hovitos.

Additional languages Indy could have logically learned later in college might include Phonecian and Norse Futhark Runes. He may have learned Mayan in college. Based on the later adventures, he may know some Nepalese (Raiders), possibly Sioux (a total guess based on the "Mystery of the Blues" bookends), and he should be able to figure out Portugese fairly easily since he knows Spanish, etc. (the ship is off the Portugese coast in Last Crusade; presumably he wound up there after his escape.)

So my guess is that by KOTCS, Indy may know close to 35 languages? Miss Seymour was right- a "special aptitude for languages", indeed!

Well, how about that - as it happened, I'd recently gotten a bit of an itch to sit down and log all we know about Indy's languages myself, and here you've gone and done it for me. On the one hand I ought to be irked at someone else here having usurped my designs on an Indy-fan-activity, but on the other, frankly, I'm pretty lazy, and glad I didn't have to type all this out myself. Nice work!

And nice also to know I'm not the only one who prepped for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull with a weeks-long, complete "My First Adventure"-to-Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Indython. I just wish I'd had time to include the novels and comics.
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