Ivanka Trump's Language Skills Are Pretty Relatable
As an adviser to her father's administration, Ivanka Trump has done a lot of traveling. She's met with world leaders, advocated for women's economic empowerment (and occasionally generated controversy over appearances at diplomatic events). Trump's critics have routinely questioned her qualifications to serve her father's administration on the global stage, but it seems like there's at least one skill she has that will help out. So, what languages does Ivanka Trump speak? She is proficient in at least one other language besides English.
In April 2018, Trump shared some tweets in Spanish ahead of a trip to Peru, where she attended the 8th annual Summit of the Americas. Twitter users immediately wondered whether the first daughter was a fluent Spanish speaker, and questioned her seemingly bilingual tweets even as her father's administration used racist rhetoric to discuss immigration. However, it is unclear whether Trump actually speaks Spanish. Before the summit in Peru, Trump gave an interview to a Lima-based Spanish-speaking newspaper, but her responses may have been translated from English to Spanish.
But even if Trump doesn't speak Spanish, it appears that she does speak French with at least some proficiency. In 1989, her mother, Ivana Trump, told The Morning Call that Trump can speak French and understand Czech.
"Our oldest son, Donald, speaks Czech very well," Ivana said at the time. "Ivanka understands Czech, but the youngest is lazy. Of course, my parents now speak English well, so there's no reason to learn, I guess. But I'm working on it. They all speak French because they have it in school."
But apparently, Trump's language skills are pretty relatable — she might not be fluent, but she sure knows the bad words. Back in 2010, Ivanka Trump referenced her exposure to Czech in a tweet, noting that she seems "to only know the curse words!" She also confirmed that her older brother — Donald Trump Jr. — is fluent in their maternal grandparents' native language:
Despite her apparent ability to speak or understand other languages, Trump does not regularly send out tweets in languages other than English. (Her tweets in Spanish ahead of her Peru trip were something of an anomaly.) She did not use Hindi, for example, when tweeting about her meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi back in 2017. Nor did she tweet in Korean during the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
However, Trump has said in the past that she would like for her children to be bilingual. In fact, all three of her children with husband Jared Kushner are learning Mandarin, and their oldest — Arabella — is able to sing in Mandarin as well. Back in 2017, President Donald Trump showed Chinese President Xi Jinping a video of Arabella speaking and singing in Mandarin, according to Newsweek, prompting compliments from Xi. Trump also posts photos of her daughter speaking or singing Mandarin to social media.
Although Trump and her siblings speak multiple languages, she has thus far stuck to English when traveling and engaging in diplomatic efforts. But it is not her linguistic abilities that have prompted scrutiny from international audiences so much as her inexplicable presence at events typically reserved for world leaders. In June, for example, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed Trump for participating in the G20 summit as a diplomatic representative, noting that "being someone’s daughter actually isn’t a career qualification." In a statement to Elite Daily, White House Deputy Communications Director Jessica Ditto shot back, saying, "It is sad but not shocking that the haters choose to attack Ivanka Trump."
Perhaps, if Trump had broached a bilingual conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron, she might have been able to make a different argument? Maybe next time.