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How Many Languages Does Shakira Speak? (With Videos)

Shakira is a world-renowned Colombian singer and songwriter. She is one of the most successful Latin American artists in history.

You may be wondering how many languages does Shakira speak? She has had huge success and has released music in several different languages 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 Shakira speaks, how fluent she is in them and how she learnt them.

What Languages Does Shakira Speak?

Shakira speaks 6 languages to varying levels. Shakira speaks Spanish, English, Arabic, Portuguese, Italian and French.

Does Shakira Speak Spanish?

Yes, Shakira speaks Spanish natively.

Shakira was born on 2 February 1977 in Barranquilla, Colombia. Her mother, Nidia Ripoll Torrado, is Colombian. Her father, William Bebarak Chadid, is Lebanese, however he has lived in Colombia since he was 5 years old.

As Shakira grew up in Colombia where the national language is Spanish, she can speak Spanish to a native level.

You can hear Shakira speaking Spanish during an interview in the video below:

Does Shakira Speak English?

Yes, Shakira can speak English fluently.

Shakira actually released her first album in 1990 when she was just 13 years old. This album, titled ‘Magia’ was entirely in Spanish. 

She wanted the album to be translated into English so it could reach a wider audience and so decided to learn English herself so she could have full control over her songwriting. 

She additionally wanted to release future albums in English and being able to speak the language would allow her to write the songs herself.

Shakira said herself that the reason she managed to learn English fluently was because of her hard-working and motivated nature. 

When discussing her English language learning journey, Shakira said ‘I had the need and the urgency to express ideas, feelings, thoughts. I had to express all those experiences that I was going through in another language’.

How Well Does Shakira Speak English?

Shakira speaks English to a high level.

Not only has she written and recorded albums in English, she regularly gives interviews in English.

Check out Shakira speaking English in the video below. This video shows an interview with TIME magazine.

As you can see in the above video, Shakira speaks incredibly good English. She is able to express herself easily and makes no grammatical errors.

She also mentions that when she started writing music in English she could barely speak the language and needed the help of a dictionary. We can see Shakira has clearly come a long way since then and speaks English perfectly today.

You can see how far Shakira has come with her English skills in the video below which shoes Shakira speaking English back in 1998. 

She hadn’t been learning English for very long at this point so wasn’t anywhere near as fluent as she is now but still managed to get through an interview in English which is super impressive.

Does Shakira Speak Portuguese?

Yes, Shakira speaks Portuguese fluently.

Shakira learned Portuguese whilst on a concert tour in Brazil during her teenage years. As the national language of Brazil is Portuguese, she picked up the language whilst spending time there. 

Shakira has also recorded Portuguese versions of some of her most well-known songs.

How Well Does Shakira Speak Portuguese?

Shakira can speak Portuguese to a high level. 

She has used her fluent Portuguese skills many times in public including giving several interviews and even using it on the singing talent show ‘The Voice’ to talk with Brazilian contestants on the show.

Check out Shakira speaking Portuguese in the video below during an interview about the film ‘Zootopia’ in which she voiced a character.

As you can see in the above video, Shakira can clearly speak Portuguese well as she understands everything the interviewer is saying. 

She was able to respond with ease and can express herself well in the language.

Does Shakira Speak Italian?

Yes, Shakira speaks Italian.

Shakira learnt Italian by immersing herself in Italian culture whilst traveling through Italy.

It’s likely that Shakira developed an interest in learning Italian as she does have some Italian ancestry on her mother’s side.

How Well Does Shakira Speak Italian?

Shakira can speak Italian to a good level. She has been seen speaking in Italian in interviews and at concerts.

You can hear Shakira speaking Italian in the video below:

From the above video, we can see that Shakira speaks enough Italian to hold a conversation. She is even seen refusing a translation earpiece. 

Whilst her Italian isn’t as fluent as her English or Portuguese, she can still speak good Italian.  

She understood the hosts with ease and was able to reply coherently and get her ideas across.

Does Shakira Speak Arabic?

Yes, Shakira speaks some Arabic.

Shakira comes from a diverse background. Her father, William Mebarak Chadid, is Lebanese. He was actually born in New York City to a family from Lebanon. His family moved to Colombia when he was 5 years old.

The name ‘Shakira’ is actually an Arabic name and means ‘grateful’. Her Arabic heritage is clearly important to her and she has previously said that Arabic music holds a dear place in her heart. 

In fact, Shakira’s iconic belly dancing and ‘hips don’t lie’ song is inspired by her Middle Eastern heritage. 

When she was 4 years old, her father took her to a Middle Eastern restaurant where she heard Arabic music for the first time and saw traditional belly dancing. 

She said she got up on the table and started dancing and that’s when she knew she wanted to be a performer. 

How Well Does Shakira Speak Arabic?

It’s unclear exactly how well Shakira can speak Arabic as she’s never given an interview in Arabic.

It seems that Shakira probably isn’t fluent in Arabic as in the below video she begins speaking in Arabic but quickly reverts back to English. This video is from when she visited Lebanon in 2018.

In 2007, she did sing in Arabic on stage in Dubai. You can hear Shakira speaking Arabic during this performance in the video below.

It has been noted that Shakira has a Lebanese accent when speaking Arabic in this video which makes sense seeing as her father is Lebanese and she likely learnt some Arabic from him.

Does Shakira Speak French?

Yes, Shakira can speak French.

It’s unclear where Shakira learnt to speak French but she has given some interviews in French in the past. She has also sung in French both for recorded music and live concerts.

How Well Does Shakira Speak French?

Shakira speaks French to a good level. She has admitted herself that she isn’t fully fluent but she can certainly hold a conversation in French. 

Check out Shakira speaking French in the video below. Bonus: you can see her singing in French too!

Shakira certainly can speak and understand French to a decent level.

How Does Shakira Speak So Many Languages?

It seems that Shakira has always had a keen interest in other languages from a young age. She actually grew up listening to music in several different languages including English, Arabic and Spanish. 

She has even sung her songs in numerous different languages over the years. Including the languages listed above, Shakira has also performed songs in German, Catalan and Latin.

You can hear Shakira singing in 8 different languages in the video below: 

Shakira’s linguistic abilities may be attributed, in part, to her high intelligence. In fact, Shakira has an IQ of 140. 

Anyone with an IQ higher than 130 is described as ‘very gifted’ and just 2.1% of the world’s population fall into this category. 

This may help explain Shakira’s incredible gift of languages coupled with her motivation, determination and high work ethic.

​​Her active philanthropist activities may also have had a huge impact on her motivation for wanting to learn multiple languages. 

Shakira has been heavily involved in humanitarian work and even founded her own charity, which she funded herself, to help provide schools for poor Colombian children. She is also a global representative of UNICEF. 

It may surprise you that Shakira speaks 6 languages. It surprised us too!

It’s clear that Shakira has an amazing gift when it comes to languages. She’s super confident and it’s great to see her giving so many interviews in different languages.

Thanks for reading this post which answers the question ‘how many languages does Shakira speak?’.

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