Michael Portillo is a British journalist, presenter and former politician.
You may be wondering how many languages does Michael Portillo speak? He has a multicultural heritage so 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 Michael Portillo speaks, how fluent he is in them and how he learned them.
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What Languages Does Michael Portillo Speak?
Michael Portillo speaks 2 languages fluently. Michael Portillo speaks English and Spanish.
English is his first language as he was born in Hertfordshire, England in 1953.
He was also raised in England and attended several English-speaking schools so naturally his first language was English.
Although he has a mixed heritage, during an interview Michael Portillo once stated ‘I’ve no doubt at all that the thing I am most is English’.
He also mentioned that he was brought up in England and has been strongly influenced by that sense of being English.
Does Michael Portillo Speak Spanish?
Yes, Michael Portillo can speak Spanish as he is actually part Spanish as his father was originally from Spain.
Portillo has a Scottish mother and a Spanish father, Luis Gabriel Portillo.
Luis Portillo was born in Ávila, Spain in 1907. During the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, Luis supported and worked for the Republicans.
After the Republicans lost the war and dictator General Franco came to power, Luis fled to the UK.
He then lived in the UK in exile for the rest of his life eventually settling down and starting a family.
Although Michael Portillo has lived in the UK his whole life, he was registered as a Spanish citizen at age 4.
His Spanish passport named him as ‘Miguel Portillo Blyth’ in accordance with Spanish naming customs where both parents surnames are listed.
Additionally, Michael’s father spoke to him in Spanish as a child so that Michael would become fluent in Spanish.
Michael has also noted that he has a large family in Spain and no doubt he uses Spanish to communicate with them.
Michael Portillo is clearly very proud of his Spanish heritage as he’s filmed several TV programs journeying across Spain and exploring his father’s past.
He is also the British chairman of the Anglo-Spanish organisation Tertulias which organizes meetings between the UK and Spain.
How Well Does Michael Portillo Speak Spanish?
Michael Portillo speaks Spanish to a good level.
He has recorded several TV shows in Spain including ‘The Pyranees with Michael Portillo’.
In this documentary, Michael is seen conversing with villagers and locals in fluent Spanish. He then translates what they said instantly for the camera so he clearly speaks the language well.
Additionally, Michael is currently listed on the Celebrity Speakers website where you can actually book him to give a speech at your event.
On the website it states that he can present in either English or Spanish.
Check out Michael Portillo speaking Spanish in the video below:
Did you know? Jeremy Wade can also understand Spanish but he can’t speak it at all.
It may surprise you that Michael Portillo speaks 2 languages. It surprised us too!
It’s great to see that Michael Portillo was raised to speak both of his parents native languages, English and Spanish.
Thanks for reading this post which answers the question ‘how many languages does Michael Portillo speak?’.