Dear 100 Hour Board,
What size is Elder Uchtdorf's head? What languages does he speak?
Susan H. Andersen
Elder Uchtdorf's head size is not publicly available information, it would seem.
He speaks English and German fluently, and may also speak Russian, which he learned as a fourth-grader in East Germany:
After the turmoil of the Second World War, my family ended up in Russian-occupied East Germany. When I attended fourth grade I had to learn Russian as my first foreign language in school. I found this quite difficult because of the Cyrillic alphabet, but as time went on I seemed to do all right.
When I turned 11 we had to leave East Germany overnight because of the political orientation of my father. Now I was going to school in West Germany, which was American-occupied at that time. There in school all children were required to learn English and not Russian. To learn Russian had been difficult, but English was impossible for me. I thought my mouth was not made for speaking English. My teachers struggled. My parents suffered. And I knew English was definitely not my language.
But then something changed in my young life. Almost daily I rode my bicycle to the airport and watched airplanes take off and land. I read, studied, and learned everything I could find about aviation. It was my greatest desire to become a pilot. I could already picture myself in the cockpit of an airliner or in a military fighter plane. I felt deep in my heart this was my thing!
Then I learned that to become a pilot I needed to speak English. Overnight, to the total surprise of everybody, it appeared as if my mouth had changed. I was able to learn English. It still took a lot of work, persistence, and patience, but I was able to learn English!
He was born in 1940 in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia, but moved with his family when he was 4. It is possible, then, that he at least understands some Czech, but given his reference to Russian as his "first foreign language" in school it doesn't seem likely.