In the movie The Two Popes (2019), the two popes speak to each other in English. Does this reflect reality or was this done just for the movie? (It seems that in the actual brief footage, they speak to each other in Italian instead.)

  • Why do you say the two popes speak to each other in English in the film The Two Popes? Why do you assume that the language actually spoken by the actors filming the scene is the same as the language the characters fictionally speak in the scene? In many westerns Indians talk among themselves and the actors speak English even though the fictional characters would speaking their tribe's language like Sioux or Apache. In Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) Klingon characters spoke Klingon with subtitles in English, then switched to speaking English. May 1, 2020 at 16:40
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    @M.A.Golding: You clearly haven't watched the movie.
    – user65233
    May 2, 2020 at 0:22

1 Answer 1


According to this article, Francis doesn't speak English particularly well, though he understands it.

“What has always caused the most problems for me has been English, especially the phonetics.” The reason, he said, is because he’s “tone deaf.”

However, he's proficient in Italian and prefers to use it in public duties.

Benedict and Francis share also a command of Spanish, German, French, and Latin. However, given the nature of the popes' interactions, I imagine the language they most likely spoke was, as you note in your question, Italian.

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