Languages Jefferson Spoke or Read

From Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia

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-'''Speaking'''+==Speaking==
- +[[Thomas Jefferson]] himself said in his ''Notes of a Tour through Holland and the Rhine Valley'', "...there was not a person to be found in Duysberg who could understand either English, French, Italian or Latin. So I could make no enquiry."<ref>[[Short Title List| ''PTJ'',]] 13:13.</ref>
-[[Thomas Jefferson]] himself said in his ''Notes of a Tour through Holland and the Rhine Valley'', "...there was not a person to be found in Duysberg who could understand either English, French, Italian or Latin. So I could make no enquiry."<ref>[[Short Title List| ''PTJ'',]] 13:13.</ref><br>+
And later in his ''Hints to Americans Travelling in Europe'', "I could find no body in the village however who could speak any language I spoke, and could not make them understand what I wished to see."<ref>Ibid, 13:264.</ref><br> And later in his ''Hints to Americans Travelling in Europe'', "I could find no body in the village however who could speak any language I spoke, and could not make them understand what I wished to see."<ref>Ibid, 13:264.</ref><br>
- +==Reading==
-'''Reading'''+
Jefferson said in an April 12, 1817 letter to Joseph Delaplaine, "I was educated at William and Mary college in Williamsburg. I read Greek, Latin, French, Italian, Spanish, and English of course, with something of it’s radix the Anglo-Saxon." In addition to the languages he lists, there is some evidence that Jefferson was attempting German.<ref>Kimball, Marie. [http://tjportal.monticello.org/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?BBID=332''Jefferson: The Road to Glory, 1743 to 1776.''] (New York: Coward-McCann, 1943), 106-109.</ref> Jefferson said in an April 12, 1817 letter to Joseph Delaplaine, "I was educated at William and Mary college in Williamsburg. I read Greek, Latin, French, Italian, Spanish, and English of course, with something of it’s radix the Anglo-Saxon." In addition to the languages he lists, there is some evidence that Jefferson was attempting German.<ref>Kimball, Marie. [http://tjportal.monticello.org/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?BBID=332''Jefferson: The Road to Glory, 1743 to 1776.''] (New York: Coward-McCann, 1943), 106-109.</ref>
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==Further Sources== ==Further Sources==
-*Gilreath, James, and Douglas L. Wilson (eds). [http://tjportal.monticello.org/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?BBID=3641''Thomas Jefferson's Library: A Catalog With the Entries in His Own Order''.] (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1989). See Critism.+*Gilreath, James, and Douglas L. Wilson (eds). [http://tjportal.monticello.org/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?BBID=3641''Thomas Jefferson's Library: A Catalog With the Entries in His Own Order''.] (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1989). Available [http://www.loc.gov/catdir/toc/becites/main/jefferson/88607928_ch43.html online]
-*Languages: http://www.loc.gov/catdir/toc/becites/main/jefferson/88607928_ch43.html.+*Randall, [[Short Title List|''Life'']], 1:24-25
-*[http://tjportal.monticello.org/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?BBID=8001 Jefferson Library Information File: EDUCATION - Foreign Languages].+
-*Randall, [[Short Title List|''Life'']], 1:24-25.+
== See Also == == See Also ==
 +*[[French Language]]
*[[Spanish Language]] *[[Spanish Language]]

Current revision

Contents

Speaking

Thomas Jefferson himself said in his Notes of a Tour through Holland and the Rhine Valley, "...there was not a person to be found in Duysberg who could understand either English, French, Italian or Latin. So I could make no enquiry."[1]

And later in his Hints to Americans Travelling in Europe, "I could find no body in the village however who could speak any language I spoke, and could not make them understand what I wished to see."[2]

Reading

Jefferson said in an April 12, 1817 letter to Joseph Delaplaine, "I was educated at William and Mary college in Williamsburg. I read Greek, Latin, French, Italian, Spanish, and English of course, with something of it’s radix the Anglo-Saxon." In addition to the languages he lists, there is some evidence that Jefferson was attempting German.[3]

Jefferson had dictionaries, vocabularies, and grammars in a number of other languages in his library. These included Arabic, Gaelic, and Welsh, amongst others. However, without confirmation from Jefferson himself, the most we can assume is that he was "dabbling" in these languages, and never achieved a notable degree of fluency.

Footnotes

  1. PTJ, 13:13.
  2. Ibid, 13:264.
  3. Kimball, Marie. Jefferson: The Road to Glory, 1743 to 1776. (New York: Coward-McCann, 1943), 106-109.

Further Sources

See Also