Have you ever wondered why so many Americans get upset when they hear someone speaking another language? They’ll say rude things like, “This is America, speak English!” or “Go back to your country if you want to speak your language. We speak English here!” It’s interesting that people say this, but America doesn’t really have a national language, despite English being the default.
If you look around the country, many of the names of our cities and states are Spanish. Americans use some Spanish words in everyday conversations. In fact, according to a Pew Report released in 2013, Spanish is the second-most spoken language in the country and it’s isn’t just immigrants who speak it. The US Census reported that 38.3 million people speak Spanish. That’s a lot of people!
So, it should be no surprise that there quite a few celebrities that speak Spanish and we’re going to take a look at them now!
Non-Spanish Celebs Who Speak Spanish
1. Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow is an American actress who spent a year studying Spanish while she was in Spain as a teen. She’s a level B2 speaker, which means she’s able to communicate effectively and proficiently.
2. Ben Affleck
When Ben was a teenager, he spent a year in Mexico. While he was there, he was able to learn a little bit of Spanish at a B1 level. As a B1, he struggles trying to find the right words to communicate effectively, but he’s still able to convey his thoughts pretty nicely.
3. Will Smith
Will Smith is a border line A1/A2 Spanish speaker. What this means is that he’s able to convey simple thoughts and information. He’s able to participate in basic conversation where the topics are simple and even predictable. As you’ll see in this video clip, he struggles to find his words, but he doesn’t do too bad!
4. Jada Pinkett Smith
It should be no surprise that since her husband speaks a little bit of Spanish, Jada knows some too. She’s at a level A1 and can hold simple conversations. Like her husband, Jada struggles a little with her words, but she’s paying attention to her accent, which is a big plus!
5. David Beckham
One would think that since David spent four seasons in Madrid playing for the Real Madrid soccer club, he’d be a little more skilled than a level A1/A2. But, we’ll overlook that because he tries and even admitted to being a little hesitant to speak Spanish because of his struggles with the language.
6. Nelly Furtado
Nelly may be Portuguese Canadian, but she’s been speaking Spanish since was 14. She released her first Spanish album, “Mi Plan,” in 2009 and she even featured a few Spanish speaking artists like Juan Luis Guerra, Julieta Venegas, Alex Cuban, and La Mala Rodriguez. We weren’t able to find a verified “level” for Nelly (or any of the following celebrities that speak Spanish), but it’s safe to say she’s pretty proficient!
7. Matt Damon
Matt may have married Luciana Barroso, an Argentine woman, in 2005, but he has been speaking the language long before he even met her. As a teenager, Matt learn Spanish while in Mexico and then he later backpacked all over Guatemala and Mexico.
8. Matthew McConaughey
According to Latina.com, Matthew McConaughey is an honorary Latino for a variety of reasons. He speaks Spanish pretty well, he married Camila Alves, a Brazilian woman, he’s worked with Jennifer Lopez, and he was raised in Uvalde, Texas where the population is 80% Mexican.
9. Viggo Mortensen
Viggo just doesn’t speak Spanish fluently, he’s learned six other languages! He grew up in a bilingual household that spoke Spanish and English. He also knows Arabic, Danish, and French. When he was asked about how he was able to master learning new languages so quickly, he claims that if you grew up knowing more than one language being spoken in the household, it is a big help. That and a lot of practice!
10. Jack Black
One wouldn’t think funny man Jack Black would take anything seriously, but his natural curiosity and desire to learn has allowed Jack to not only learn Spanish on his own, but also French. He admits to watching Spanish movies to perfecting his Castilian accent. We admire his passion and willingness to ask for help – even during an interview!
Learning Spanish isn’t just something that us everyday mere mortals do, there are many non-Latino celebrities that speak Spanish and the folks we covered to today doesn’t even scrape the tip of the iceberg!
We know that learning a new language isn’t easy and we understand that along the way you’re going to want to give up. However, if celebrities who have hectic work schedules, countless press junkets, and whatever else is going on their lives are able to learn Spanish, anyone can. All it takes is a willingness to learn and setting aside time in your day to practice and improve!
Do you speak Spanish or are you interested in learning? In the comments below, tell us what made you decide to want to learn another language. We’d love to hear from you!