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What Languages Does Natalie Portman Speak?

As one of the most in-demand and beloved actresses in her generation, Natalie Portman is largely a household name. The Oscar-winner has lived and worked all over the globe, having started acting when she was still a child in films like Leon and the Star Wars prequels. 

With this international lifestyle in mind, we can find ourselves asking what languages does Natalie Portman speak and how fluent is she? Well, the answers might surprise you, so let’s dive in and find out!

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How Many Languages Can Natalie Portman Speak?

At the moment, it’s reported that Natalie Portman can speak five languages and is learning a sixth. This is an incredible amount of languages to be able to speak and definitely shows Portman’s commitment to language learning. 

Given how many different places she’s lived in, especially while filming various projects, it’s likely that this has influenced her decision to learn so many languages.

What Languages Does Natalie Portman Speak?

It’s been reported that Natalie Portman can speak English, French, Spanish, German, and Hebrew. She’s currently thought also to be learning Japanese which is massively impressive. There’s a huge breadth of languages in Portman’s repertoire, and some which she’s acted on camera in that aren’t her native English.

Which Languages is Natalie Portman Fluent In?

Although Natalie Portman speaks a handful of languages, she is not fluent in all of them. Out of her list of languages, Portman is definitely fluent in English and Hebrew and thought to have a conversational level in German and French. 

Given that Natalie Portman grew up in the US, English is one of her main languages. It’s the language that she acts in the most, so it’s pretty common to hear her speaking English. She only moved to the US when she was three, having been born in Jerusalem, Israel to an American mother and an Israeli father.

Consequently, she grew up speaking both Hebrew and English at home, leading to her being fluent in both.

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Can Natalie Portman Speak Hebrew?

Yes, Natalie Portman can speak Hebrew. Having been born in Israel and growing up in a household with an Israeli father, Portman spoke both Hebrew and English at home. 

When the family moved to Washington D.C., Portman attended a Jewish Elementary school where Hebrew language learning courses were a mandatory part of her education. As she grew up, Portman settled into a bilingual home life, switching between English and Hebrew depending on which parent she was speaking to.

Her passion for the Hebrew language only grew, with Portman starring in Hebrew-language films and studying Advanced Hebrew Literature at the prestigious Ivy League college, Harvard.

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Can Natalie Portman Speak French?

It’s been well-documented that Natalie Portman can speak French, at least to a conversational level. Portman has starred in a number of French-language films, but has admitted that she’s struggled with improvisation on set as her knowledge of the language isn’t at a fluent level.

Given that Natalie Portman is married to the French dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied, it’s unsurprising that she can speak a decent amount of the language. They lived in Paris for a couple of years, so it’s likely that Portman picked up a lot of French through immersion. 

Immersive learning is one of the best ways to acquire and improve a new language as you’re surrounded by it. Between living in Paris for a few years and being married to a Frenchman, there’s a good chance that this is why Portman speaks so much French.

When she was preparing for her role in the French-language film, Planetarium, Portman had to enlist the help of a vocal coach to sort out her accent. She said that she was speaking French with too much of a musical English accent which clearly wouldn’t be natural for her native French character.

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Can Natalie Portman Speak Spanish?

Despite Natalie Portman not speaking Spanish in public, it’s been reported that she can speak the language pretty well. Portman fell in love with the Spanish language, culture, and lifestyle while she was filming a movie in Madrid, the capital of Spain.

Since there aren’t any clips of Natalie Portman speaking Spanish, it’s difficult to know how fluent or conversational she is in the language. Given her proficiency in languages, especially European ones, it wouldn’t be surprising if she spoke Spanish to a high level.

Portman’s also gone on record saying that Spanish is one of the most useful languages in the world. Given how many people across the world speak Spanish as either a first or second language, it’s definitely a language that’s worth learning if you want a language that’ll help you in a ton of different places.

Take this free quiz to find out what your level is in Spanish on the CEFR scale (from A1 to C2!).

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Can Natalie Portman Speak German?

Yes, Natalie Portman can speak German to at least a conversational level, if not fluently. There are plenty of anecdotes about Portman speaking German while in Berlin shooting the amazing V for Vendetta. 

Crew members on the project have openly commended Portman’s German skills, saying that she was speaking freely and fluently with members of the German cast and crew throughout the shoot.

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While there are no actual clips for us to gauge Natalie Portman’s fluency levels, given the response from native-level German speakers, we know she must be pretty good!

Can Natalie Portman Speak Japanese?

Natalie Portman can speak some phrases in Japanese but she’s definitely not conversational or fluent. There are a few clips online of Natalie Portman speaking Japanese on press tours and in interviews, but it’s clear that she only knows a few basic greetings and phrases at the moment.

Natalie Portman has previously studied Japanese in the past, but it is a tricky language to get to grips with. It seems like she does remember the basics and feels comfortable using them publicly on camera. That’s a testament to her confidence in her Japanese language-learning abilities.

Can Natalie Portman Speak Sign Language?

Yes, it seems like Natalie Portman can speak some American Sign Language. Portman recently featured in a music video for Sir Paul McCartney (yes, of The Beatles fame).

The music video revolved around performing the lyrics of the song in sign language form, so Portman knows at least the content of the song in ASL. Given how many people are hard of hearing or deaf, this is massively important!

What are Natalie Portman’s Views on Language Learning?

It seems like Natalie Portman loves learning in general, having studied Psychology at Harvard and being a self-described nerd who loves the intellectual rigor of school and learning. 

In different interviews, Portman has expressed that she likes how learning languages opens up her mind, and when she learns new things that she can discuss it brings her a unique sense of joy.

Her commitment to studying and learning is no joke, and she’s famously missed movie premieres and turned down major movie roles to continue studying and learning. That’s huge!

Where Can I Learn Languages Like Natalie Portman?

There are a ton of great apps and websites where you can learn to speak any of the languages that Natalie Portman can speak. One of the best sites that you can use is iTalki. It’s designed to connect native language tutors and learners from all over the world.

You type in your desired target language, pick a tutor, and then you can set up one-to-one video sessions. It’s great if you want personalized lessons in real-time, but don’t have language tutors in your area, or need flexibility in your session times. 

If you’re looking for a language-learning app that you can use on the go and that you can access at any time, then you should check out Pimsleur.

Built based on scientific language-learning principles, the whole point of Pimsleur is to get you to speak your target language as soon as possible, using practical words and phrases that you’re actually likely to use out in the real world. 

If you want something a little more casual, try Drops, a vocabulary-building app that will have your word bank stacked up in no time! Memrise is also one of my favorites, especially if you want to build up your vocab super quickly using flashcards.

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If you want to learn a language faster than ever, I highly recommend reading Benny Lewis’s book on how to learn a language in JUST 3 months.

If you love organization and learning grammar topics, I haven’t found anything better than Kwiziq French and Kwiziq Spanish.

You can take a free quiz that places you on the CEFR scale from A1 to C2 and then gives you more quizzes based ONLY on what you need to work on! Here’s the Spanish Quiz and here’s the French Quiz.

It’s powered by AI and I only wish they also had Italian ’cause it’s the only thing that has convinced me to study grammar.

Learn to Love Languages Like Natalie Portman!

So, it seems like Hollywood A-Lister and Oscar-winner, Natalie Portman loves to learn languages, and can speak a vast amount of different tongues to varying levels.

From her bilingual upbringing in English and Hebrew to her learning languages on set in France, Spain, and Germany, to trying her hand at Japanese and ASL, it’s clear to see the impact that languages have on Natalie Portman’s life. 

As an actor who travels the work and lives in a whole range of different countries and cities, being able to pick up languages through immersive living is an invaluable skill that Portman uses frequently!

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