Being in the language access industry we often only think of the importance of providing limited English speakers, deaf and hard of hearing patients with with access to healthcare, legal and government services through the use of interpreters.
Once we take some time to look beyond the day to day necessities of language access it becomes apparent how diverse a society we live in. It amazes me the hidden polyglot talents that people possess. I’ve done some research and found a few notable celebrities that are multilingual, some of which will surprise you! Actors and actresses can be described as intellectual people, their ability to memorize and improvise massive scripts under extremely tight schedules proves to be a daunting task. However, many of the well-known actors and actresses gain recognition from their English-speaking roles in their movies and not their ability to speak another language. You might be surprised to learn that Mila Kunis’ first language is Russian and can speak it flawlessly! Let’s take a look at other bilingual celebrities.
Actress Sandra Bullock speaks fluent German. Her mother was a German opera singer and at the time her father met her while stationed in Nuremberg! In 2000 Bullock won a Bambi award which is the German equivalent to the Oscars. You can check out the video of her acceptance speech here!
Natalie Portman is quite the linguist. Not only is she fluent in Hebrew, she is also fluent in Spanish, German, Japanese and a little bit of French. Portman was born in Hershlag, Jerusalem but she moved to Washington D.C. in 1984 with her family due to her father’s medical training and career advancements. Check out this video of Portman speaking Hebrew in a few interviews.
One of my favorite actors, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, loves French, And he can speak it fluently too. And he even managed to fit in French classes into his busy class schedule while attending Columbia College. He felt that the French classes were more “interesting”. Have a look at this video of Gordon-Levitt in a French interview back in 2005.
Last and most certainly not least, Johnny Depp. Depp lived in Paris for over a decade with his former partner Vanessa Paradis. Not only are they both fluent in French, both of their children are bilingual also! This is quite impressive since Depp was born and raised in the United States.
It’s amazing to think that many gifted actors and actresses have such impressive hidden lingual talents. This was just a short list of my favorite actors and actresses, here is where you can find a larger list of bilingual celebrities. It’s safe to say that interpretation industry would get an influx of interpreters if there was ever a disaster to happen in the film industry!