The world’s most famous multilingual celebrities

Learn languages April 17, 2018

You love listening to their music and watching them in films and TV shows, but did you know that English isn’t the only language of some of your favourite celebs? Check out our list of multilingual celebrities and prepare to be impressed!



A bona fide Hollywood superstar, Charlize Theron is actually a native South African whose mother tongue is Afrikaans. And if you were curious about the correct pronunciation of her name and what she sounds like speaking her language, check it out here:



Spoken in just a handful of countries, the second language on our list is spoken by none other than Rita Ora! You may love her music and her style, but you probably didn’t know she spoke Albanian! Born in the former Yugoslavia to Albanian parents, it’s no surprise that she’s bilingual.



In addition to speaking perfect Spanish in the film Alatriste, this actor of Lord of the Rings fame grew up speaking English and Danish. Viggo Mortensen may have been born in New York, but with a Danish father, it’s clear that he speaks the language as well as a native!



You may know her for her role as Clarice in the legendary film, Silence of the Lambs, but did you know that Jodie Foster not only speaks French, but speaks it well enough to dub her own films? She attended a French school growing up which accounts for her flawless French.

Another celeb that speaks French? Hollywood heartthrob, Bradley Cooper. Check out his skills speaking French on a press junket for one of his films!



If you’re a fan of the romantic comedy, you definitely know and love this actress. Sandra Bullock was born to a German mother, and made an acceptance speech at a German awards show while showing off her impressive language skills:


Another A-lister who speaks German? Leonardo DiCaprio himself!



It would be hard to find a celebrity more typically British than Colin Firth, but just have a listen to him speaking Italian to shake up your preconceived notions of the actor! And the reason why he speaks it is super romantic… he learned it for his Italian wife.

Sports fans might be shocked to learn that one of the world’s most famous basketball players, Kobe Bryant, also speaks fluent Italian! He actually lived in Italy from ages 6 through 14.



A notoriously difficult language to learn, you won’t believe the two multilingual celebrities who count Japanese among the languages they speak. The first is Napoleon Dynamite himself, actor Jon Heder, and the second is Oscar-nominated actor, Edward Norton. Heder was once a Mormon missionary in Japan, while Norton actually worked for a Japanese company in Osaka after graduating from Yale University.



The brilliant mind behind Facebook also speaks Mandarin Chinese! If there’s anyone up for a challenge, it’s Mark Zuckerberg, but it also doesn’t hurt that his wife is Chinese-American.



This popular actress may have got her start as an all-American girl in That 70’s Show, but Mila Kunis was actually born in the former Soviet Union and still speaks flawless Russian today.



With her blonde locks and impressive ability to nail a British accent (she’s American), Gwyneth Paltrow actually speaks quite good Spanish. Check out the video of Gwyneth explaining how she learned the language in a little village near Toledo:




Finally, the latest actress to take on the role of Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider reboot, Hollywood starlet Alicia Vikander was born in Sweden. In addition to her native tongue, Swedish, she also learned to speak Danish for one of her films. In the video below she’ll teach you a little Swedish slang:


If these multilingual celebrities have mastered more than one language, anyone can!

Become a language all-star

By Leah Ganse

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