Aitor Agirre

Aitor Agirre

7 celebrities that speak several languages

10/29/2016

They are famous, they are international, and yes, they're polyglots. Do you know these polyglot celebrities?

Wagner Moura: Spanish / English/ Portuguese

Wagner MouraWe're sure you all know this guy, and you've all heard him speaking both Spanish and English as Pablo Escobar in the popular Netflix show Narcos. His cursing in Spanish is famous worldwide, but he’s from Brazil and his mother tongue is Portuguese. If you’re willing to learn Spanish in order to understand Narcos better, you can check http://www.profedeele.es/, a site full of Spanish resources, and don’t repeat the common Spanish mistakes foreign language learners make.   

Shakira: Spanish/ English / Italian / Portuguese / Catalan

This Colombian singer is a real polyglot. In how many languages have you listened to her sing? She started out singing in Spanish, and later entered the English-language market. But Spanish and English aren’t the only languages that this Colombian star knows; she also speaks Italian and Portuguese. What’s more, we bet she also knows Catalan. Her mother's from Catalonia, and well, we guess you know who her boyfriend is. You can check out her Catalonian skills in the song Boig per tu.

Diane Kruger: English / French / German

This German actress's mother tongue is, unsurprisingly, German. Since childhood, she showed a keen interest in travelling and getting to know the world better, spending a year in London as an exchange student, where she become fluent in the English language. Later, she moved to Paris to complete her bachelor's degree, and of course, she decided to learn French. She is also fluent in this language, which she uses to fine effect in her role in the French film Farewell.

We're well aware not all of us have the resources these 2 celebrities have, but now you don’t need to move from your desk as you can learn languages online from home.

Sandra Oh: English / Korean / Spanish / French

Another famous actress, another consummate multilinguist. Sandra Oh, famous for her role in Grey’s Anatomy, was born to Korean parents in Canada. Living in a country with two official languages- French and English- and having Korean parents made for the perfect environment for Sandra to learn all three languages. And as if these weren't already enough, she also decided to learn Spanish. Such a great example for language learners!

Jose Mourinho: Portuguese / Spanish / Italian / English / French / Catalan

Being a person involved in the world of football is most of the time a synonym of being a polyglot, an example perfectly illustrated by Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese football manager has managed teams in the Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and English football leagues, and as a good language student, he learnt Spanish, Italian, Catalan and English during his periods working in those leagues. His reputation for knowing so many languages earned him the nickname “the translator”, a moniker he didn’t like much.

Novak Djokovic: Serbian / English / German / Italian / French

The Serbian tennis player is a self-described fan of languages. He declared that he speaks 6 or 7 languages in an interview for a tennis website. Firstly he studied English at school and later he also took German lessons. Serbia is close to Italy, France and Germany, and that led him to learn those languages. We're particularly keen on a sentence Novak said: “The more languages you know, the greater is your worth as a person”. So true.

Natalie Portman – Hebrew / French / Japanese / German / Spanish

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem to an Israeli father and American mother, so she was raised bilingual. Like many other celebrities, she is passionate about travelling and learning languages. “Learning gives you an open mind” – she says. That brought her to learn French, Japanese, German and Spanish; she has a conversational level in all these languages. In her opinion, Spanish is one of the languages most useful in the world. She has a bachelor’s degree from Harvard and is considered one of the most intelligent actresses, so listen to what she said: “I hate studying, I like learning”. So you know what you have to do: put down your books and start practicing Spanish with native speakers right now!