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Multilingual Kerry charms French, German hosts with knowledge of the vernacular

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    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, shakes hands after a news conference with French Minister of Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius at the Foreign Ministry in Paris on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013. Paris is the third leg of Kerry's first official overseas trip, a hectic nine-day dash through Europe and the Middle East. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool) (The Associated Press)

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    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry embraces his long time friend, U.S. Ambassador to Italy David Thorne, left, as Kerry arrives at Ciampino Airport, in Rome on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013. where talks on Syria will be held. Rome is the fourth leg of Kerry's first official overseas trip, a hectic nine-day dash through Europe and the Middle East. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool) (The Associated Press)

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    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, meets with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, right, in Rome, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013. The United States is looking for more tangible ways to support Syria's rebels and bolster a fledgling political movement that is struggling to deliver basic services after nearly two years of civil war, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool) (The Associated Press)

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    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry disembarks at Ciampino military airport, in the outskirts of Rome, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013. Kerry will attend an international conference on Syria in Rome Thursday. The United States is looking for more tangible ways to support Syria's rebels and bolster a fledgling political movement that is struggling to deliver basic services after nearly two years of civil war, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca) (The Associated Press)

Secretary of State John Kerry is charming his way through the capitals of western Europe with his knowledge of local languages, delighting audiences by speaking German and French to his hosts.

The multilingual Kerry complimented a television host's shoes in passable German on Tuesday at a town hall meeting with youth in Berlin.

On Wednesday in Paris, he won approving nods from journalists and diplomats when he opened a news conference in fluent French, effusively praising his lunch and relations between the U.S. and France.

He then drew laughter by saying that that he would switch to English because quote "otherwise I would not be allowed to return back home."

Kerry's French skills were cited as elitist by Republicans during his unsuccessful 2004 presidential campaign.

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