Romelu Lukaku is a professional football player who has played for several high-profile football clubs including Inter Milan and Chelsea.
You may be wondering how many languages does Lukaku speak? He has lived in several different countries it’s natural to wonder if he also speaks multiple languages.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. This post will go into detail on what languages Lukaku speaks, how fluent he is in them and how he learned them.
What Languages Does Lukaku Speak?
Lukaku speaks 8 languages to varying levels. Lukaku speaks French, Dutch, English, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, German and Lingala.
Romelu Lukaku’s First Language
Romelu Lukaku has 2 first languages, French and Dutch.
Lukaku was born in Antwerp, Belgium in 1993.
Belgium is a multilingual country with 3 official languages – Dutch, French and German.
Dutch is spoken by 56% of the population, French by 40% and German by 1%.
As Lukaku was born and raised in Belgium, he speaks both Dutch and French natively but can also speak and understand German well.
Lukaku can speak regular Dutch as well as the Flemish dialect of Dutch which is common in Belgium.
As Antwerp is located in the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, Lukaku attended a Dutch-speaking school which is why he speaks Dutch as a first language.
He was raised speaking French at home as this is one of his parent’s native languages. French is also a common language in Belgium so he likely had French classes at school too.
His parents are both originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) where French is one of the most commonly spoken languages.
French is used in government and education in DR Congo so his parents would have spoken French fluently.
You can see Lukaku speaking Dutch in the video below:
You can see Lukaku speaking French in the video below:
Does Lukaku Speak English?
Yes, Lukaku can speak English fluently as he has lived and worked in the UK for most of his professional career.
Although English isn’t an official language in Belgium, 55% of the population can speak it.
English is commonly taught in Belgian schools from a young age so this is where Lukaku first learned to speak English.
In 2011, Lukaku joined the English Premier League club Chelsea and moved to the UK.
Over the next few years, Chelsea loaned him out to other English clubs including West Bromwich Albion and Everton.
Then in 2014, he signed a contract with Everton and in 2017, he moved to Manchester United.
He was then signed again by Chelsea in 2021, but they soon loaned him out to Inter Milan.
After living in the UK for many years it’s no wonder Lukaku became so fluent in English. He speaks the language just as well as a native and only has a slight accent.
You can see Lukaku speaking English in the video below:
Does Lukaku Speak Italian?
Yes, Lukaku can speak Italian fluently as he has lived and played in Italy for several years.
Lukaku first joined the Italian football team Inter Milan in 2019 and played for them until 2021 when he returned to Chelsea.
After just 1 year at Chelsea, they decided to loan him back to Inter Milan in 2022 on a one-year contract.
After just 2 & a half months in Italy, Lukaka was already comfortable speaking Italian as he was seen giving an interview in Italian on the football club’s official TV channel.
Check out Lukaku speaking Italian during this interview in the video below:
As you can see, after less than 3 months in Italy, Lukaku could already speak pretty fluent Italian.
Since then we’ve seen him giving regular interviews in Italian with his Italian skills just getting better and better.
Lukaku also once told Football Italia that his brother plays in Italy so he often watches the games on Sky Italia.
He said that this allowed him to pick up some Italian so it’s likely he knew a bit of the language before he first arrived in Italy.
Does Lukaku Speak Portuguese?
Yes, Lukaku can speak Portuguese fluently as he has had several Portuguese teammates over the years who taught him how to speak it.
Whilst playing for his first club, Anderlecht, in Belgium, Lukaku had several Brazilian teammates who all spoke Portuguese natively.
He started learning the language and picking up some words and phrases from them early in his career.
Lukaku once revealed that his teammate Jose Bosingwa helped him to learn Portuguese during his first season at Chelsea.
More recently, he has been working on improving his Portuguese by practicing with Jorginho and Thiago Silva, two of his Chelsea teammates.
Why does Lukaku speak Portuguese?
Many people question why Lukaku learned to speak Portuguese as he’s never played for a Portuguese team.
Lukaku’s teammate Jorginho once revealed that Lukaku decided to learn Portuguese to communicate with his teammates.
There were actually several Chelsea players that spoke Portuguese natively at the time including David Luiz and as Lukaku is such a talented linguist, it was easy for him to pick up the language.
Lukaku shocked everyone at the World Cup when he gave an interview in Portuguese as nobody knew he could speak the language.
Check out Lukaku speaking Portuguese in the video below:
Does Lukaku Speak Spanish?
Yes, Lukaku can speak Spanish as he learned it in school.
Lukaku first learned to speak Spanish in school as Spanish is a commonly taught language in Belgium.
Although Lukaku has never played for a Spanish team, he has had several Spanish-speaking teammates over the years and, similar to Portuguese, he wanted to be able to speak with them in their native language.
His Spanish skills have helped him form a friendship with Lautaro Martinez, an Argentinian football player who also plays for Inter Milan.
You can see Lukaku speaking Spanish in the video below:
Does Lukaku Speak Lingala?
Yes, Lukaku can speak Lingala which is a common language spoken in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where his parents are from.
Although Lukaku was born in Belgium, his parents are actually Congolese.
His father, Roger Lukaku, was born in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo).
He was also a football player and moved to Belgium to play for the Belgium football club FC Boom at age 23.
He then spent the majority of his football career playing for various Belgian football clubs, eventually settling there and starting a family.
Several different languages are spoken in DR Congo including French, which is largely used in government and education, and Lingala as well as several others.
Many people confuse Lingala as being a dialect of Swahili however this is wrong. Lingala is a completely different language.
Lukaku said once in an interview that he often speaks Lingala at home with his family and, although he has a Belgian passport, he was raised in a Congolese household.
He identifies strongly with his Congolese roots stating that he eats Congolese food and listens to Congolese music.
He mainly uses this language to communicate with his Congolese family members however it has also come in useful in his football career.
When he played for Everton, one of his teammates, Yannick Bolasie, also spoke Lingala as he is Congolese.
Bolasie revealed that he and Lukaku used to speak Lingala to each other on the pitch to confuse the other team.
He said it gave them an advantage because there aren’t many players that speak it and it’s a very quick language.
Why Does Lukaku Speak So Many Languages?
Major football teams always sign the best players in the world and these players often come from different countries.
It’s not uncommon for a football team to have players with 4, 5 or even more different native languages.
Lukaku told Bleacher Report that it’s important to him to be able to fully express himself to his teammates who often speak a variety of different languages.
He said that it was important that they understand him perfectly in regards to football giving an example of if he wants the ball, he needs to be able to tell them where he wants it.
He prefers to learn other languages as he says there are subtleties in each language and you just can’t convey the same message in another language as well.
It may surprise you that Romelu Lukaku speaks 8 languages. It surprised us too!
We’re super impressed that Lukaku can speak so many languages and with 8 under his belt, that makes him the most multilingual football player.
Thanks for reading this post which answers the question ‘how many languages does Lukaku speak?’.