When you bring a baby into the world, everything changes. But the language (or languages) you hear on a day-to-day basis won’t. That is, unless you’re Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and their newborn baby, Archie.
Though recently born, Prince Harry and Meghan are reportedly already planning to take baby Archie on a royal tour of Africa to continue the charitable work of Princess Diana.
With tour stops including Malawi, Angola and South Africa and the tour lasting up to 6 months, we’ve got to ask: will baby Archie’s first words be in English? Or might he pick up words in another language on his first globetrotting adventure?
Anything is possible – especially if Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s baby boy stays in Africa in his first 12-18 months, the period when babies are most likely to start speaking.
In which case, baby Archie’s first words could be in one of many languages spoken in the places in Africa the royals plan to visit.
The most widely spoken languages in those areas do include English, but Portuguese, Chewa (a Bantu language spoken in South-East, Southern and East Africa), Afrikaans (a West Germanic language spoken in South Africa), Zulu and Xhosa (two of the official languages of South Africa) are also on the cards.
So if Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s baby became a talented linguist, would he be the first in the family?
No, far from it! The royals have quite a wide repertoire when it comes to languages.
As diplomats and frequent international jetsetters, royal family members almost have to consider learning foreign languages as a core job requirement.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s baby would be one of many talented linguists in a family, who, between them, speak at least a total of eight languages. One stealthy royal is fluent in as many as five. Impressive, right?
So, which languages do some of the core members of the royal family speak?
Our Queen’s forte is French. Fun fact: she’s reportedly so good that she doesn’t need a translator.
Like his wife, Prince Philip is also fluent in French; but he also speaks fantastic German, as his family spoke it with him while he was growing up.
The Prince of Wales speaks Welsh (that one’s obvious!), as well as German and French.
The Duchess of Sussex seems to have dabbled in a few languages. She’s picked up some Spanish (from her days working for the US Embassy in Buenos Aires); a bit of French (although fluency has not been confirmed); and even the odd word in Tagalog, the language of the Philippines.
The future Prince of Wales is much like his father, Prince Charles, with Welsh, French and German under his belt. But the list doesn’t stop there: he also brings a little bit of Swahili, Gaelic and Spanish to the table. Now that’s what we call multilingual!
Kate Middleton, Prince Andrew, Princess Anne and Prince Edward are all French speakers. And let’s not forget Kate and Prince William’s budding little linguists, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, who’re learning Spanish.
Research shows that a baby’s first words are most commonly “mamma”, “dadda” or “no”. Provided, of course, that their first language is English.
So, what would “mamma, “dadda” or “no” be in the languages that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s baby Archie might pick up on his travels to Africa?
Interested in learning more Portuguese? Try learning for 10 minutes a day with busuu.
See any connections between the different translations? We’ve noticed a fair few.
Check out the common “m”s in all the different translations of “mummy”, and the interchangeable letters “p” in “b” that form the different variations of the word “daddy”.
It just goes to show: it doesn’t matter whether the language Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s baby attempts first is English, Portuguese or Zulu. Baby talk is a language that can be understood by all!