The name Adele looks like a lot of female French names. Does the Someone Like You singer speak the language of love though?
No, Adele does not speak French. She has a name that could lead people to think that she’s French, but she doesn’t speak the language or have French heritage. Her mother is British and her father is Welsh, neither having ever taught the singer another language.
Scroll down to learn more about the history of the name Adele, Adele’s heritage, and what languages the singer speaks.
Etymology of the Name Adele
Adele is a feminine name that looks a lot like female French names. It seems fairly similar to names like Estelle, Belle, or Brielle. One big difference between these French names and the name Adele is that they all have two of the letter “l” while Adele only has one. That is the big indicator that the name is not French. Another reason why the name Adele is often mistaken for French, is due to it being the name of a French character in Charlotte Brontë’s novel Jane Eyre.
The name Adele actually has German roots. It is derived from the German words adel or adal, which mean “nobility” and “noble.” Quite a fitting name for the popstar deemed the Queen of Breakup songs. Although the singer Adele’s willful and blunt personality sometimes seems far from that of royalty.
Does Adele Have Any French Roots?
From what is known, Adele does not have a French heritage. Adele’s mother has the last name Adkins, which is traditionally English. Her mother is from Islington, a borough of London. When she was eighteen and in art school, she met Adele’s father, Mark Evans at a pub. She soon became pregnant and dropped out of school to raise Adele.
Adele’s father, Mark, is from Wales. Wales is a part of the United Kingdom, which is the combination of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Like all of the areas within the UK, the Welsh think of Wales as its own nation within a nation. Nonetheless, the languages spoken there are Welsh and English. Since Adele and her father barely had a relationship and she now despises him, she was never exposed to the Welsh language. At least not enough to learn it.
Through Adele’s mother and father it’s clear that she doesn’t have a French background. This is not to say that she couldn’t have some French heritage. It just means that she wouldn’t have much, if any.
What Languages Does Adele Speak?
The one and only language that Adele speaks is English. As mentioned before, her father is Welsh, but due to their strained relationship she never learned the language. That is assuming that he knows how to speak it in the first place.
What is interesting about Adele’s English is her accent and dialect. Like many people from the Greater London Area, Adele has a combination of accents. Her pronunciation of certain words bounces between a cockney accent and what is known as received pronunciation.
As this BBC article by Professor David Crystal suggests, received pronunciation has historically been referred to as “the King’s accent.” The accent has also been historically perceived as one of privilege. Contrasting to this, the cockney dialect has historically been looked down upon. That’s why it is interesting that Adele speaks in both dialects.
You can find out more on how Adele’s accent combines both dialects by watching the below YouTube video from Eat Sleep Dream English.
From all of this, it is fairly clear that Adele does not speak French, nor does she have any French heritage. Nevertheless, who is to say that the Water Under the Bridge singer won’t learn the French language in the future.