Final Word from Friday, October 10, 2003

Russian-American writer Vladimir Nabokov, whose mother spent her later years in prewar Prague, said that he grew up in a "completely normal" trilingual family in tsarist Russia. Although he never got rid of his heavy Russian accent in English, his mastery of written English, Russian and French brought him fame and fortune. Shoe baron Thomas J. Bata, who was born 15 years after Nabokov, told the Czech BBC on his 89th birthday that he spoke four languages from the age of three - Czech, German, English, and French. Both Nabokov and Bata came from privileged backgrounds (Nabokov's father was a minor Russian aristocrat), but their parents understood that money alone wouldn't secure their future. Bata said that it was clear to his father in the 1910s that in a Central European country like Czechoslovakia, anyone doing anything would need foreign languages. The same applies today, he said.


Tel: 420 224 221 580

Published by

E.S. Best s.r.o.
Ovenecká 78/33
170 00 Prague 7
Czech Republic



FS Final Word