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Surprising Linguists of the Illuminati

Ah, the Illuminati. They have it all, don’t they? The money, the looks, the fame, the overall lifestyle that certain magazines make us pine for even though it is something we have never even experienced for ourselves. And on top of this, some of them are even nice. Some of them are even talented. It is enough to make us sigh with inadequacy. But there are rarer gems still in celebville, who seem intent on making us mere mortal feels even more shame. Those that we are of course referring to are those that are multi-lingual on top of everything else.

Join us in a collective sigh as we look at five celebrities who can tell us all how much we are lacking in multiple tongues.

Sandra Bullock


Image via Wikipedia

Famous roles: Annie Porter – Speed, Gracie Hart – Miss Congeniality, Leigh Anne Tuohy – Blindside.

Sandra Bullock is probably one of our most well-known bilingualists. Although very modest about her command of the language, Sandra is fluent in German, and there are numerous Youtube videos of her accepting awards of giving speeches in her other tongue. With an upbringing in Nuremberg and time spent with extended family in Salzberg, as well as accompanying her opera-singing mother on tours across Europe, it is no wonder that her German sounds so natural.

Viggo Mortensen

Famous roles: Aragorn – Lord Of the Rings, Man – The Road

Viggo Mortensen fluently speaks English, French, Italian, Spanish and German, following an upbringing that sings to our travelbug hearts. With an American mother and Danish father, the family started out in Norway, before moving to Venezuela, Denmark and finally settling in Argentina. Viggo has also adapted his French from its Canadian heritage to an Algerian dialect for a role, for which he also grappled with Arabic. Here he is speaking a little Danish: be still our language-lusting hearts.

Alexander Skarsgård


Image via Wikipedia

Famous role: Eric Northman – True Blood

Alexander Skarsgård gives us a cheeky little clue as to his origins with his surname. Born in Stockholm, Sweden, he has been acting practically since he was knee high to a grasshopper. A lovely fact about our Alexander is that as a teenager, fame was something he actually shied away from for around seven years, not wanting the lifestyle at all. He spent those years, in his own words, bumming around, before a stint of Swedish national service and some studying in Leeds in England. We think there must be something about a love of languages that urges certain people to a semi-nomadic lifestyle. Here’s a little taste of him speaking Swedish: enjoy.

Charlize Theron

Famous roles: Imperator Furiosa – Mad Max: Fury, Ravenna – Snow White And The Huntsman

It is near impossible to tell from her accent that Charlize Theron is South African. What we really love about Charlize is that she is just like any of us learning a new language – binge-watching TV to improve pronunciation and understanding, which is how she adopted the perfect American accent we hear her with today. Born in Benoni, Charlize started off her career as a model, travelling across Europe for work before finally deciding to head to New York to embark on a career in film. And very thankful for that decision we are. Here she is speaking in her native Afrikaans.

Natalie Portman


Image via Wikipedia

Famous roles: Nina Sayers – The Black Swan, Padme Amidala – Star Wars

Wow. Where do we start with this fantastically-talented individual? Actress, producer, director to start with, Natalie has also completed a degree at Harvard in between filming. And that’s just the career side of things. With regards to languages, it’s probably easier to ask what she doesn’t speak since her list is pretty extensive. Starting with her native Hebrew having been born in Jerusalem, Natalie is also fluent in French, German, Japanese, Spanish and of course, English. Here she is speaking Hebrew.

So we’ve shown you how some of our best known celebrities embrace languages. We don’t know about you, but we can’t decide if we love or hate them more for it. Either way, whether you hit Google for celebrity stalking or a textbook for some guilt-ridden studying, we hope you’re having a good day!