10 Celebrities You Didn’t Know Are Bilingual
Bonjour! Como estas?
I’m fine, too!
Yep, that’s about the length and breadth of my bilingual chatter. I’m not very good at speaking more than one language!
It always amazes me when I meet people who can speak two, three, four, five, or even six languages fluently. Being bilingual is indeed no mean feat, and it takes a very special kind of person to dedicate themselves to learning a brand new language. Some people don’t even learn a new language because they’re visiting a certain country – they learn it just because!
But have you ever wondered which of your favourite celebrities speak more than one language? Let’s take a look at 10 celebrities you didn’t know are bilingual. You might just be surprised!
Gwyneth Paltrow is not everyone’s favourite celebrity. She has a kid called Apple, enjoys telling people what they should eat, and once said of her break-up with singer Chris Martin that they were “consciously uncoupling.” Mmmm…Interesting…?
Love her or hate her, though, Paltrow is certainly very good at what she does. She has starred in movies such as Shallow Hal, Infamous, Iron Man and The Royal Tenenbaums, and won an Academy Award for her performance in Shakespeare In Love.
She’s also bilingual, and has been spotted speaking fluent Spanish in interviews. I wonder what the Spanish is for “consciously uncoupling”?
There is a fun fact that not a lot of people know about Mila Kunis. See, many of us just presume she’s American. After all, she speaks with an American accent, stars in American TV shows, movies and whiskey commercials, and is married to an all-American dude.
But actually, Mrs Kunis is from Ukraine.
Yup, she migrated to the USA with her parents when she was just a wee girl, which basically means that Russian is her first language and American-English is just something she picked up because she’s so amazing.
Colin Firth is quite possibly the most charming Englishman to ever appear on our screens. Hugh Grant probably had the mantle first, but Firth has claimed it since Mr Grant seems to have disappeared into the ether.
Firth is indeed one of those true English gents, but he is also a proud bilingualist who speaks Italian, too.
Why did he learn Italian if he only ever plays the role of an English gent? Well, because the woman he was trying to woo was Italian, of course!
Yup, Firth openly admits that he learned the language of love when he began dating an Italian woman to impress her. It’s a good reason if you ask me.
Here is a fun fact about Charlize Theron, too: She wasn’t born in America either!
Nope, Charlize was born in South Africa to South African parents. As such, her first language is Dutch Afrikaans. Like Mila, American-English was just something she managed to pick up as she went about her business. Respect.
The fact that both of Theron’s languages are acquired doesn’t detract from her obvious intellect, though; she’s a fantastic actress who won a much-deserved Academy Award for her role in the 2003 film Monster, in which she portrayed a serial killer. She also created The Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project and is a keen activist.
When Sandra Bullock first burst onto our screens in the early nineties with the movie Speed, she was your typical American girl next door. She was gorgeous, classy, and wholesome. Over the years, Bullock hasn’t starred in what you’d call classic movies, with her filmography containing such “gems” as The Prince of Egypt, Two Weeks Notice and Premonition.
But this disguises the fact that Bullock is a very astute woman who speaks fluent German as well as her native American-English. As well as acting, she also runs her own production company, while a restaurant she founded in 2006 only closed last year. She has also donated around $4 million to the American Red Cross. Respect!
Bradley Cooper was something of a latecomer when it came to Hollywood. He existed as a struggling actor for many years until he decided that one day he was going to kick the booze.
“I don’t drink or do drugs anymore. I realised I wasn’t going to live up to my potential, and that scared the hell out of me. I thought, ‘wow, I’m actually going to ruin my life. I’m really going to ruin it.”
Although Cooper has become known for playing obnoxious characters in movies such as Wedding Crashers and The Hangover, off-screen he’s a very astute man who speaks French fluently.
Yup, Robin can speak English and French. It’s just yet another reason to fall in love with him.
He didn’t respond to my message in English on Facebook, so maybe he prefers it when people approach him in French? Worth a try!
There is a common joke that all footballers are stupid, but you certainly can’t level this accusation against the NBA. Former pro Shaquille O’Neal has a PhD, while Michael Jordan is the first ever basketball player to become a billionaire.
Meanwhile, Kobe Bryan can speak three languages fluently.
Yup, as well as his native American-English, the Cleveland Cavaliers star can also speak Italian and Spanish.
Johnny Depp is one of those men that ages like a fine wine. He just doesn’t seem to have lost any of his handsome looks over the years.
And it’s only natural that The Pirates of the Caribbean star be as intellectual as he is good looking, right? Yep, Depp can speak French fluently which makes him a proud bilingualist.
Although he admitted in 2000 that he could speak “some French,” he now speaks it fluently thanks to the fact that he’s lived in France for numerous years and is currently dating a French woman.
Most celebrities on this list have an obvious reason for speaking more than one language. Will Smith, though, apparently speaks Spanish “just because.”
He used to be super fluent too, but over the years has become a little rustier. Oh well, he still counts. It’s the Fresh Prince, come on!