Portuguese is among the top 10 most spoken languages in the world (currently number 7) so it should not come as a surprise to know that some of the word-famous people speak Portuguese or even have a Portuguese origin. Some of these celebrities learned the language with a native speaker parent, others because they have worked with the language for professional purposes while others learned the language through sheer curiosity. We have prepared a list of some of the world known celebrities who learned to speak Portuguese, explaining how they came into contact with the language.
The world-famous singer and dancer learned to speak Portuguese because of her connection with Brazil. Shakira decided to learn Portuguese because of her love for Brazil and the work she has done in the country in the beginning of her career. She eventually became really good at it and you can say that she’s quite fluent in Portuguese.
This English actress is widely known for her roles in the TV show “The Tudors”, the horror movie “Annabelle 2” and more recently in the TV show “Peaky Blinders”, so why would you have guessed that Annabelle actually knows how to speak Portuguese. The truth is, during her childhood, Annabelle came to Portugal with her family and lived here for some years. Even though, during that time, she studied in an international school, she picked up a lot of the Portuguese language and can speak it quite well.
For Harry Potter fans this probably isn’t a surprise, but for those who don’t follow this writer as closely know that the reason for J.K. Rowling speaking Portuguese is because she lived in Portugal for two years, from 1991 to 1993. The fact that she married a Portuguese journalist, Jorge Arantes, gave her even more contact with the language and she feels very confident in speaking it. A fun fact about J.K. Rowling is that, whenever she gets a chance to reply to a Portuguese fan, she does it in Portuguese.
You can probably tell by her surname that Nelly Furtado is of Portuguese origin. Both her parents are Portuguese from the Azores who emigrated to Canada when she was very young. Even though she didn’t really need to speak Portuguese in Canada, her parents made sure that she knew the language and that she spoke it fluently.
Much like Shakira’s case, Ricky Martin wanted to learn to speak Portuguese due to his love for Brazil. With a big fanbase in Brazil, Ricky Martin visited the country a few times and went the extra mile by learning to speak Portuguese in order to speak directly with his fans.
Another reason to learn to speak a foreign language is you are dating or married a person who speaks a different language from yours. This was Candice’s case as her boyfriend is Brazilian and decided to learn to speak his language too.
Hailey Baldwin Bieber
Hailey is actually of Brazilian descendance and, during her childhood, she used to spend several months in a row in Brazil. Because of this she grew up occasionally hearing Portuguese and, despite not being fluent, she’s not clueless in Portuguese-speaking environments.
This French actor who is also known for having been married with Monica Belluci always had a connection with Brazil. His first contact with Portuguese was when he watched a Brazilian movie called “Orfeu Negro” and has been in love with the language ever since. In 1980 he decided to go to Brazil so he could learn capoeira. But this wouldn’t be the last time he would have contact with the Portuguese language. Later, in 2013 he decided to move permanently to brazil and has lived in Rio de Janeiro since then. Today Vincent speaks Portuguese fluently although he resents the fact of still having a strong French accent.
As you can see there are many world known celebrities who speak Portuguese either because they are of Portuguese descent or because they were willing to learn the language because they knew it would help in the dissemination of their projects. So, due to this, we can conclude that the millions of Portuguese speakers worldwide aren’t just native speakers and there are still many people willing to learn this enticing language.