Serena Williams is a professional tennis player who has won 23 Grand Slam titles making her one of the most successful tennis players of all time.
You may be wondering how many languages does Serena Williams speak?
Her tennis career has taken her all over the globe so it’s natural to wonder if she also speaks multiple languages.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. This post will go into detail on what languages Serena Williams speaks, how fluent she is in them and how she learned them.
What Languages Does Serena Williams Speak?
Serena Williams speaks 4 languages to varying levels. Serena Williams speaks English and French. She also speaks a little bit of Italian and Spanish.
English is her first language as she was born in Michigan, US in 1981 to an English-speaking family. She grew up in both California and Florida.
Serena’s parents were also both born in the US so her first language was naturally English.
Does Serena Williams Speak French?
Yes, Serena Williams can speak French.
Serena has wowed us with her impressive French skills several times over the years when giving interviews in French at the French Open tennis tournaments.
Serena first started to learn French as a teenager during her schooling but she has worked on improving her French more in recent years.
We didn’t see her speaking it publicly until 2013 when she won the French Open for the second time and spoke some French during the trophy ceremony.
Check out Serena Williams speaking French in the video below:
It turns out that Serena was more nervous about speaking French than actually playing the tournament as she confessed to the press afterwards ‘it’s way, way more nerve-racking than playing tennis’.
Serena’s main motivation for learning French was because she wanted to win the French Open and speak French when she won.
Additionally, she learnt the language to pay homage to her heritage.
Serena told ‘The Fader’ that in most African countries, the main language outside of their local languages is French or English so she decided to learn it for this reason.
It also appears that Serena has a love for French culture too as she actually purchased an apartment in Paris near to the Eiffel Tower.
Serena and her family stay in the apartment whenever they are in Paris which likely provides a great opportunity for Serena to practice her French skills.
How Well Does Serena Williams Speak French?
Serena Willians speaks French to a conversational level but isn’t fully fluent.
Serena’s French was analyzed by internet polyglot Olly Richards on his YouTube channel.
Olly describes Serena’s French as ‘okay’. He commented that she’s clearly not fully fluent but he was impressed that she was able to give an entire interview in French.
Check out exactly what Olly Richards had to say about Serena’s French in the video below:
Additionally, we know that Serena isn’t fluent because in an interview she gave on French TV, she had to ask a French speaker what the French word for ‘fear’ was.
She also slipped in a few English words here and there when she didn’t know the French word.
This video was analyzed by Pearl, a native French speaker who runs the YouTube channel ‘My French Story’, who noted that Serena has a strong American accent when she speaks French.
Pearl also said that Serena speaks quite basic French and only uses simple words but mentioned that Serena still gets her message across which is the most important thing.
See Pearl’s full analysis of Serena’s French in the video below:
It looks like Serena is also teaching her daughter, Olympia, how to speak French as she recently shared a cute video on Instagram of her and her daughter baking together.
During the video, Serena switches between English and French and her daughter is also seen responding in both languages!
Check it out in the video below:
Did you know? Serena’s sister, Venus Williams also speaks French pretty well.
Does Serena Williams Speak Italian?
Yes, Serena Williams speaks Italian.
Serena was seen speaking Italian at the Italian Open when she was asked some questions by an interviewer in Italian.
Serena noted during the speech that she only speaks ‘a little’ Italian however she was able to deliver a message in Italian impromptu to a large crowd.
Check out Serena Williams speaking Italian in the video below:
Although it is clear from this video that Serena isn’t fluent in Italian, she clearly can speak the language a little bit.
She fully understood the interviewer’s questions and was able to give a relevant response in Italian.
Serena showed off her Italian skills for a second time in a different interview where an Italian interviewer asked if she would speak Italian to her fans in Italy.
Serena was happy to do it and answered several questions in Italian confidently.
Check it out in the video below:
Does Serena Williams Speak Spanish?
Yes, Serena Williams speaks some Spanish.
Reportedly Serena Williams can also speak a bit of Spanish however we haven’t seen her speaking it publicly yet.
As Serena grew up in California and Florida which both have large Spanish-speaking communities, it’s hardly surprising that she managed to pick up some of the language.
What Are Serena Williams’s Views On Learning Languages?
It’s pretty clear that Serena Williams thinks learning languages is super important, not only because she’s learned several languages herself, but also because she’s teaching her daughter multiple languages.
Serena’s daughter, Olympia, speaks English and some French thanks to her mom but also some German too.
Serena’s husband, Alexis Ohanian, is half German and his mother’s native language is German so he’s also ensuring that his daughter grows up speaking this language.
Children tend to learn languages pretty easily as their brains are less developed and more elastic.
Serena is obviously aware of this so is taking every opportunity to teach her daughter other languages to give her a head start in life.
It may surprise you that Serena Williams speaks 4 languages. It surprised us too!
We’re super impressed that Serena found the time to learn several languages as she’s been playing tennis from a young age.
Thanks for reading this post which answers the question ‘how many languages does Serena Williams speak?’.