They’re rich, famous, attractive… and guess what? These ten actors and actresses also speak more than one language. Some of them grew up in other countries before arriving in Hollywood, while others have discovered a love for languages through their work and travel.
But are they any good? Check out the videos and judge for yourself…
The Star Wars actress can speak such a variety of languages from across the globe. Born in Jerusalem, she moved to the USA aged 3 and learned Hebrew at a Jewish elementary school. She’s since studied Spanish, German, Japanese and English. This woman is exceptionally talented.
The very intelligent Jodie Foster is fluent in French and understands Italian, German and Spanish from her frequent travels around the world. Her French is so good, she’s even dubbed herself in French-language versions of her movies.
This gentleman astounds us; he can speak eight languages, and yes that is eight! He is however only fluent in four of them, which are: Spanish, English, French and Greek. We’re certainly very impressed.
Penélope Cruz could most certainly be called a polyglot, as she can speak a total of four languages fluently: Spanish, French, Italian and English. Born in Madrid, she learned French at school, and studied Italian to help her get a role in Non Ti Muovere (Don’t Move), for which she went on to win a David di Donatello award.
The Grey’s Anatomy star was born in Canada to Korean parents, and was brought up learning four languages. She is now fluent in English, Korean, Spanish and French.
Many people know that this Oscar-winning actress was born in South Africa; whilst she was there she learnt to speak fluent Afrikaans – and also Dutch, as they’re very similar languages.
As if he didn’t have enough going for him already, Bradley Cooper – a.k.a. People’s Sexiest Man Alive 2011 – is also fluent in French. I think a lot of ladies just swooned.
Mila Kunis lived in Ukraine until she was seven, and today she is still fluent in Russian. When she arrived in the USA, she didn’t speak any English, and has since described the experience of starting school as like ‘being blind and deaf at age seven’.
After an exchange programme in the Spanish town of Talavera de la Reina when she was a teenager, Gwyneth Paltrow fell in love with the country, and still visits regularly. Unsurprisingly, she is now fluent in Spanish and often speaks the language to her children.
The daughter of an American army officer and a German opera singer, Sandra Bullock lived in Germany for twelve years, often accompanying her mother on European tours. She made her first stage appearance in an opera in Nuremberg, aged 5.
Did you know that these celebrities spoke other languages? And do you know any others that are bilingual?
The other day I discovered this article online. I already knew that Bradley Cooper spoke French, but was pretty happy when I realised that I could also listen to Johnny Depp, Ben Affleck and Colin Firth speaking various other languages too (French, Spanish and Italian, respectively). Being Grazia, the article is aimed at a female audience and only features male actors, but there are many famous women who also speak languages – Mila Kunis (Russian), Gwyneth Paltrow (Spanish), Natalie Portman (Hebrew) and Shakira (everything), among many others.
Here’s Bradley in action. I don’t speak French, unfortunately, so I have no idea what he’s saying, but it certainly sounds pretty good.
It’s easy to assume that movie and pop stars only speak English, because we only ever see them speak that language at the cinema or on TV. And let’s be honest, who hasn’t assumed at some point that because they’re rich and beautiful, they’re also lazy and probably not prepared to make the effort? As a result, we tend to be very surprised and make a big deal of it when we realise they do speak another language – even though, just like the rest of us, they went to school, go on holiday, have in-laws from another country to impress and sometimes may even need another language for work. So why is it so surprising?
Now – go to YouTube, search for ‘Bradley Cooper French’ and read some of the captions. Many of them say something along the lines of, ‘As if he couldn’t get any hotter…’ or ‘Bradley Cooper just keeps getting sexier!’ Which made me think – does speaking another language really make us sexy? And if so, surely this would be the perfect argument to encourage young people to keep going with languages at school? Never mind that they can get a better job, earn more, travel the world – if we could tell them it’ll make them more attractive to that girl/boy they fancy, maybe they’d be more interested.
But of course not all men are Bradley Cooper or Johnny Depp (more’s the pity). So I have to wonder – is it the language that’s sexy, or the person speaking it? If Bradley Cooper were just Bradley from next door, would we be so impressed? I’m not sure that we would.
And also, why doesn’t this apply to all languages? If my experience of watching The Big Bang Theory is anything to go by, guys speaking Klingon tend not to have the same effect on women (for the most part – I know to some ladies it’s very attractive).
I’d love to hear what you think about this. Do you like someone more if they speak another language? Or is it just a nice bonus, which only applies to someone you already fancy? And will you be learning some French to impress your partner this Valentine’s Day? Let us know in the comments below 🙂