When you mention the name Novac Djokovic, most people will either have heard of him or know that he is the greatest tennis player of all time.
However, watching all his interviews after his wins in different countries, you might have noticed his attempts to speak their language. So, how many languages does Novak Djokovic speak?
The world sees Novak Djokovic as a polyglot, meaning he can speak 11 languages. He is fluent in Serbian, English, German, Italian, and French. Other languages he can either talk almost fluently or only phrases are Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Russian, Portuguese, and Italian.
Novak shows drive and passion not only on the tennis court but also in the world’s languages. He can speak better in some tongues than native speakers and is committed to becoming just as fluent in others.
Languages Novak Djokovic Speaks Fluently
Novak is a tennis player on the court but just as passionate about languages and learning to speak them. He is the number one athlete worldwide that knows so many languages. Although he cannot speak fluently in all of them, he can speak more languages than your average person.
His native tongue is Serbian, as he grew up in Serbia and lived there his whole life between traveling for international tennis tournaments. Serbian is quite a stunning language, and although you might not know it, listening to him speak it, you can feel his love and adoration for his native tongue.
The primary schools in Serbia require the student to choose two additional languages, and English is compulsory. Seeing Novak doing interviews all over and speaking English, you might feel he speaks it better than some hosts or interviewers. He makes jokes in English and uses flawless vocabulary.
The second language in primary school Novak chose, in addition to English, was German. It is pretty outstanding how well he speaks the language. He started with tennis and played professionally at a young age; he had the privilege to work with former German tennis star Borris Becker for three years.
In addition, he also attended a tennis academy in Germany, which gave him practice time to get fluent in the language.
It is one thing to make a speech in a foreign language, but to do a press conference where interviewers get to ask questions, and he has to understand and interpret the question and answer it correctly is a gift. He did this quickly in Paris after a tournament, showing his French side, which impressed the fans and showed that the French language is nothing foreign to Novak.
Another language Novak can speak comfortably, asking questions and answering them, is Italian. He speaks Italian so well, emphasizing the correct words, that you might wonder if he has any Italian in his bloodline.
Until 2013, Novak spoke quite broken Spanish, but the potential was there. As you should have guessed, in 2017, he successfully completed an interview by listening to and answering questions in Spanish.
Languages Djokovic Can Speak Or Understand A Little
Novak is working on some of these languages and is pretty close to being fluent in some. People in the Middle East were pretty impressed when Novak spoke a few phrases in Chinese, a challenging language to learn.
The crowd in China loves Novak for his effort in trying and doing great in speaking their language.
If Chinese isn’t surprising enough, he can even differentiate between Chinese and Japanese. Although he cannot say too much in Japanese, there are a few phrases he can repeat, and he knows their meaning.
He is a true believer in speaking to people in their native tongue. He feels it is a way of showing respect and earning someone’s trust.
A great attempt at a language he is still mastering was Arabic. He understood the question and although answering in Arabic was a little broken, it was not bad at all.
The Arabic interview was during a tournament in Doha in 2016, and who knows, he might be fluent in Arabic by now to the trend he learns new languages.
One of the languages Novak is still learning and would most probably master soon is Portuguese. He was learning from one of his friends back in 2016, and if he was adamant about learning it fluently from then, he might be pretty good at it by now.
In addition, he has a special love for the Portuguese Football club, S.L. Benfica, which might motivate him to learn their language more.
Russian is another language Novak shows interest in, although there are not many opportunities where he attempts to speak it. The one account, he speaks Russian with a group of people repeating a phrase together. Nonetheless, he has the accents and pronunciations on point.
This video shows different occasions where Novak speaks in 11 other languages.
Reasons Novak Can Speak So Many Languages
He doesn’t do it for fame; he is already famous enough. However, he feels he has an intuition for languages and loves learning new ones.
He never had the chance to go to university because he already became a pro in high school, which is his way of keeping that side of his love for learning alive.
Some might say it is easier for athletes traveling the world for competitions to learn the world’s languages; however, this is not the case in tennis.
All tennis championships’ primary language is English, and although there might be translations for the crowd, everything is in English. Thus, players won’t have to feel obligated to speak any other languages other than English.
On the other hand, Novak respects the countries he visits during championships and loves the chance to speak to his fans in their native tongue. He feels this is a great way to honor them and thank them for their support.
His family might not be able to speak as many languages as him, but his brothers can speak a few, and he feels it comes naturally to their family.
It looks like he targeted significant languages of the world, where most championships, grand slams, and competitions occur. It certainly gains him respect from the world’s fans and builds a more extensive support system.
Not only is Novak Djokovic a great and passionate tennis player, but he stuns us with his ability to speak 11 languages thus far.
In addition, to his speed of learning new languages, don’t be surprised when he holds the title of the best tennis player, together with the best multilingual athlete ever.