A top Vatican official says Pope John Paul spoke to him in two languages Tuesday.
The pope is in a hospital in Rome, recovering from throat surgery and a relapse of the flu. The tracheotomy had left him without a voice and today's conversation could be a sign he's making significant strides toward recovery.
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger says the pope spoke to him in Italian and German.
He also says the pope "is fully alert mentally and also able to say the essential things."
However, church officials say the pope's condition will keep him from Thursday's normal audience in which he blesses the faithful at the Vatican.