First Lady Melania Trump dusted off her French to charm a group of sick children at a Parisian hospital on Thursday.
Shortly after touching down in Paris, Melania was whisked off to Necker Hospital where she visited the Enfants Malades wing.
Beaming in her red skirt suit, she greeted the children with soft ‘bonjours’ before taking her seat at a play table.
The 47-year-old then introduced herself enthusiastically.
‘Je m’appelle Melania. Et toi?’ she gestured to one child, urging them to share their name.
When one of the children replied in English, she commended them: ‘You speak very good English, very good.’
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French is one of six languages the first lady is believed to speak. Slovenian is her native tongue and was the first she learned.
She is also widely reported to speak Italian, German and Serbo-Croatian. Her grasp of Italian and French came from the four years she spent living and working as a model in Milan and Paris between 1992 and 1996, when she moved to New York.
German and English are the foreign languages most commonly taught in Slovenian schools, followed by French. It’s not clear whether Melania had a taste of any before she quit her university degree in design to leave her home country in the early 1990s.
Her supporters have often used her language skills as weaponry against her critics.
When comedian Chelsea Handler claimed cruelly last year that the first lady ‘barely speaks English’, Trump fans responded angrily with a list of the many languages Melania is said to have mastered.
During a visit to Rome in May, she is said to have spoken Italian with another group in another children’s hospital.
The first lady’s spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said the experience at Ospedale pediatrico Bambino Gesù was ‘very emotional’.
After the visit, the hospital shared a photograph of the note she had left for the children.
Written in English, it said: ‘Great visiting you! Stay strong & positive!’
While the president speaks just one language, Melania is eager to keep the tradition of multilingualism going.
In 2009, when he was just a toddler, Melania boasted that Barron, their 11-year-old son, speaks French, English and Slovenian.
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