Celebrities Who Learned English as a Second Language

When learning English, you may be under the impression that you have to speak perfectly to survive in the U.S., U.K., or other countries where the language is native. Think again. Consider just a few movie stars whose first language is not English. Many famous actors and musicians gained international success because of their ability to learn English well enough to be successful in other countries. With perseverance and hard work, you can thrive in an English-speaking country with a proper grasp on the language. Consider a few of the most famous and successful international celebrities.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of the most well known movie stars in the world. Schwarzenegger was born in Austria in 1947. He got his start as a body builder in Europe, going on to win Mr. Universe by the age of 19. Between training sessions, he began learning English. He had dreams of moving to America as a boy, and in 1968, he relocated to the States with only a minor grasp on the language. As soon as he moved stateside, he began to learn English by taking classes and accent removal lessons. Though he struggled to get acting jobs over the next decade, he gained international success with the film, Conan the Barbarian. Over the past 30 years, he has starred in numerous internationally successful films, and in 2003, he was even elected as Governor of the State of California.

Salma Hayek

Actress Salma Hayek was born in Mexico in 1966. She started her acting career in Spanish television in Mexico before moving to Los Angeles in 1991 to pursue an acting career in America. Because of dyslexia, she struggled with learning English. Though her dyslexia made her efforts to learn English much more difficult than it is for most, she now speaks the language fluently and has starred in a number of hit Spanish and English-language films.


If you ever get discourage during your quest to speak the language fluently, just consider people who faced unlikely odds and because successful. No matter what your current skill level may be, just continue to persevere, and you are bound to be another success story!


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