Reading this question a few people have assumed that Dumbledore understands Parseltongue but can't speak it. Where is the evidence in the books (or movies) of this?

I've read all the books a few time and the only thing that comes to mind is the memory at Little Hangleton where some of the Gaunts speak it. Unless I'm remembering poorly it isn't indicated if Dumbledore understands them - he lets Harry know that Harry can understand it (as a way of letting Harry know that it's Parseltongue and not English since Harry hears it as English).


1 Answer 1


In an live chat on the Bloomsbury website, JKR explicitly stated that Dumbledore understood a range of magical languages including Parseltongue

Delailah: How does Dumbledore understand parseltongue?

J.K. Rowling: Dumbledore understood Mermish, Gobbledegook and Parseltongue. The man was brilliant.

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