In this year of presidential primaries, party platforms, and the presidential general election, it might be more than interesting to research presidential academic achievements, both past and present. We mere mortals must present our bona fides for any employment, so it might behoove us to take a look at American Presidents, commonly seen as global leaders, who have studied a foreign language or two.


Here are some fun facts:

  • Martin Van Buren, the eighth president, was the only president whose first language was Dutch. He later learned English in elementary school.
  • The eighteenth and nineteenth century presidents who spoke foreign languages
    outnumber those bi-lingual or multi-lingual presidents in the twentieth and  twenty-first century.
  • Herbert Hoover spoke fluent Mandarin Chinese.