She knew many languages

Eliza knew many languages. Her father was a trader in London, so her facility with the spoken and written word was of great value in his business. In addition to the languages of the British Isles—English, Irish, Scots, Welsh, and Cornish— Eliza could read and speak the main European tongues— French, Dutch, German, Romansh, Polish, Russian, Hungarian, Italian, Catalan, Basque, Spanish, and Portuguese— and the Nordic languages— Danish, Faroese, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish, and Finnish. She also knew a few Middle Eastern languages— Hebrew, Yiddish, Arabic— and a handful of Asian languages— Sanskrit, Filipino, Tagalog, Chinese, and Japanese— or at least enough to get by. Eliza’s great regret was her lack of fluency in horse, rat, cat, and bat.