Being a multiple grand slam and Olympic champion, Venus Williams is a legendary athlete alongside her sister Serena. So, with her being a global phenomenon, what languages does Venus Williams speak, and how many languages in total?
With the WTA tour taking her to all corners of the world, there are a considerable amount of language barriers that Venus may have had to overcome.
Having been playing professional tennis for the last 27 years – an honestly unbelievable feat considering how many of those years were as world number one – it’s safe to say Venus has traveled around the world multiple times.
Let’s dive in and find out how many languages she speaks!
What Languages Does Venus Williams Speak?
Venus Williams speaks a total of five languages: English, French, German, Chinese, and Italian.
Growing up in Florida, English is her first language. At school, she learned French and German giving her a taste for language learning. After leaving school and becoming a professional tennis player, Venus learned Italian and Chinese. Impressive, right?
These languages display a varied, global attitude, as well as someone who knows the importance of being able to speak to people in their native language. They’re also the same languages that her sister Serena is listed as knowing and understanding.
Which Language Does Venus Williams Speak Best?
Obviously as English is her native language, it’s Venus Williams’ best language, but out of the four other languages that she knows, Venus considers Italian to be her best language, and the one she likes to speak the most.
In a recent interview, Venus said that although Italian is her best language, the surprising language that she knows a decent amount of is actually Chinese. With Mandarin being the second most widely spoken language in the world, it’s certainly a good language to learn!
Here’s an interview Venus did in Italian (her best language!):
When she was recently prompting her father’s biopic, King Richard, she also gave multiple international interviews in fluent French. So, it’s safe to say that Venus Williams is a huge polyglot.
Is Venus Williams Good at Learning Languages?
Despite the sheer amount of languages that Venus Williams knows, she doesn’t claim to have a gift when it comes to learning languages. In fact, she said she struggled learning languages in the beginning, but over time she gained confidence and fluency.
So, if you don’t think you have a gift for languages, stick with it, and eventually, you may be able to speak as many languages as this great tennis champion!
If you want to learn a new language, Duolingo is a great place to start, as are sites like iTalki which help you practice conversational skills with native-speaking tutors and helped me become fluent in Italian!
Why Does Venus Williams Know So Many Languages?
There are probably a few reasons why Venus Williams knows so many languages. Growing up, both Venus and Serena knew the importance of knowing multiple languages if they were going to be professional tennis players and live their lives on the tour circuit.
Moving around the world and living out of a suitcase since her teenage years, Venus would have learned languages to communicate with other players on tour, at different events, and with the international press and fans along the way.
With modern sports stars, you have to be able to communicate with people across the world.
As there are major clay court grand slams, the surface that Venus grew up on, in both France and Italy, this might be a key reason why she’s fluent in both languages.
Also as the WTA tour was growing to have more events in China and East Asia, being able to communicate while playing there would’ve been a huge bonus for Venus, especially with the fans and the media. It’s also just simply a sign of respect for the culture and the people who live there.
Why Should You Learn Multiple Languages?
Even though it can be difficult and time-consuming, learning a language or two is a great way to become a global citizen. Especially if you’re planning on traveling a lot or moving overseas, being able to speak another language opens up so many new opportunities.
After all, not all of us have access to interpreters like sports stars or famous people, and in order to understand a culture and get a feel for a destination, learning a language is a must. So, if you’re planning on traveling, get that phrasebook out or download Duolingo and get to work. You can thank us later!
So Venus Can Speak 5 Languages, Ready to Learn One of Them?
So, all in all, Venus Williams can speak and understand a grand total of five languages: English, French, German, Italian, and Chinese. Despite English being her native language, Venus prefers to speak Italian and is surprisingly decent – her words – when it comes to Chinese.
Having lived and played all over the world for almost three decades, it’s no wonder that this great champion is also multilingual!
Are you interested in learning any of the languages that Venus Williams speaks? I’m currently working on French and spending a ton of time on the LingQ app, which has all 5 of these languages available!