Hollywood's Hidden Linguists: Celebs with Multilingual Talents

Nothing captures the attention more than a famous face suddenly speaking another language. From Bradley Cooper bowling us over with his French to Sandra Bullock joking in German, plenty of stars shine in multiple languages.
 Hollywood's Hidden Linguists: Celebs with Multilingual Talents
Photo by Venti Views / Unsplash
In: Global Communications

Celebrities. They have it all: glittery careers, palatial mansions, Hollywood looks and designer fashions. They walk the boards, get beamed onto silver screens, go on global tours and win awards. We feel like we know them, and then suddenly they blindside us with a hidden talent we didn't know about, be it Harrison Ford's piloting, Keanu Reeves' hockey playing or Tom Cruises' fencing expertise.

The A to Z of A-list linguists

Interestingly, one of the most common secret skills celebrities have up their sleeves is multilingualism. Yes, they are not content with mastering the art of the spoken word in their native language; a whole host of stars, including actors, sportspeople, and pop stars, are fluent in many more. 

Some are widely known for their polyglottal prowess. Colombian-born singer Shakira, for example, was raised speaking Spanish but has now added English, Portuguese, Italian, French, Catalan, and Arabic to her arsenal of languages. She has even topped the charts with songs in both English and Spanish.

Singer Shakira speaks many different languages.

Actress Jodie Foster can speak French, Spanish, German, Italian, and native English. The two-time Oscar winner's linguistic capabilities are so exceptional that she has dubbed herself in French movie versions of her films and hosted France's prestigious César Awards in 2011.

Spanish actress Penélope Cruz is also unafraid to use her language skills on screen. As well as her native Spanish, Cruz speaks Italian, French and English. Her Italian is so good that she starred in the film L'immensità last year. Though born in Virginia in the States, Sandra Bullock spent large chunks of her childhood accompanying her mother, a German opera singer, on European tours. As well as her native English, she can speak fluent German and was feted in 2012 for presenting the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in German.

Others keep their talents largely under wraps. It's fair to say Cooper took everyone by surprise a few years ago when he spoke French during an interview on French television, revealing he learnt the language after being inspired by a scene in the film Chariots of Fire.

Natalie Portman is another celeb who keeps her multilingualism reasonably low-key. As if being an Oscar-winning Hollywood actress and Harvard graduate isn't impressive enough, Portman is also fluent in Hebrew, French, Japanese, German, and Spanish.

Some like to use their languages on tour as they travel the world. British actor Tom Hiddleston can speak native English, Spanish, French and Greek and is often captured wowing interviewers with his language skills. Actress Mila Kunis, meanwhile, was born in Ukraine and has often been filmed speaking Russian at press conferences.

When playing, tennis player Serena Williams also liked to give her tournament address in the language of the country she was in. She speaks Spanish, French, Mandarin and even some Italian. There must be something about tennis, as Grand Slam record-breaker Novak Djokovic is another impressive polyglot. He speaks Serbian as a native language, plus English, German, Italian, French, Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Portuguese and Japanese.

Serena Williams speaks fluent French, among other languages.

The power of multilingual communication

So there we have it. Not content with being the brightest and best of us in their own fields, these celebrities - and many others - have also become skilled linguists, making us even greener with envy. On press tours and during television interviews, on the silver screen and the tennis court, they use the inclusivity of multilingualism to communicate more effectively and feel closer to their fans. 

It's a power we here at Bwritr want you to be able to harness, too. Our talented copywriters are more than ready to embolden your brand to connect universally across a variety of different languages. Let's chat

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