How Many Languages Does Rafael Nadal Speak?

Published 06/01/2021, 8:38 AM EDT
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 15: Rafael Nadal of Spain talks during a Kia Key handover ceremony at Federation Square ahead of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 15, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images)

Rafael Nadal is a winner of numerous Grand Slams and titles on the ATP Tour. Given his fame and title count obviously, he has traveled around the world and hence adapted himself by learning a lot of other languages other than his own Spanish or Catalan.


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Which language does Rafael Nadal speak natively?

Nadal was born in Mallorca, which is part of the Balearic Islands. Mallorca has two official languages, Spanish and Catalan, hence Nadal speaks those two languages very well. Moreover, Nadal has attempted to learn more languages as he has progressed in his career. Now, Nadal can speak English, French, and Italian apart from his local languages.


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Rafael Nadal of Spain during a Kia Key handover ceremony at Garden Square in Melbourne Park on January 15, 2017, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images for KIA)

Rafael Nadal’s English

From the age of 15 as Nadal started traveling the world, he learned English. And for a major part of his career, it has been a hard task. Given his accent, he is aware of the problems he has with speaking English. Nadal is fairly confident with the language however sometimes his accent makes the language a bit tougher to grasp for native English speakers.

Earlier at Australian Open 2016, Nadal candidly gave a hilarious reply about his English and his remarks on learning the language. Nadal said, “For me was much more fun before. I don’t care about what I was saying and this I only had a few words and that’s it. Was good fun but was not good.”

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Does Rafael Nadal speak French?

Nadal is fairly adept at speaking French even though he is not as fluent as his rival Novak Djokovic. Given that he is a 13 time champion at Roland Garros, Nadal has spoken French in patches; he’s had to given the many times he has lifted the trophy in front of the French crowd.

At the 2015 French Open, Nadal spoke in the post-match interview after his second-round victory over Nicolas Almagro. He did very well, as the Paris crowd was ecstatic. However, after his third-round victory over Stefano Travaglia at the 2020 French Open, Nadal was stammering in French as he gave his post-match interview, later Nadal and the crowd had a fit of laughter as Nadal said he didn’t have the inspiration to speak in French that day.

Rafael Nadal’s proficiency in Italian


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Moreover, Nadal is a 10-time champ at Italian Open and he has equipped himself with good Italian speaking skills. He has spoken Italian at a lot of interviews associated with the tournament. After his last Italian Open triumph in 2021, Nadal gave a few interviews in Italian.

Rafael Nadal celebrates with the trophy after winning his final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Nadal’s Italian does have his distinctive Spanish accent however, he is fairly comfortable in speaking the language which is evident from his hand gestures and facial expressions.


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Bhavishya Mittal

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Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.