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Madrid is a mini-United Nations

February 5, 2011

A fun article from today’s Marca, talking about the languages used in Madrid’s locker room.

Did you know that José Mourinho uses four languages on a daily basis to communicate with his players?  Our coach speaks five languages – Portuguese, Spanish, English, Italian and French – and Italian is the only one he’s not able to use with Real Madrid.

If Mou wants to speak with the Portuguese and Brazilians, he uses Portuguese.  This is also the language he opts for he speaks with his technical staff, unless Aitor Karanka is present (although I wouldn’t be surprised if Aitor ends up fluent in Portuguese by the end of the season).  If he wants to communicate with Lass, Benzema and Adebayor, he uses French.  And with the Germans, English is used.  With Jerzy Dudek, either English or Spanish would be sufficient.  And of course for the Spaniards and Argentines, the choice is Spanish, the same as when he wants to speak with the entire group.

Of those that don’t speak Spanish fluently yet, Benzema is improving quickly, and has even given interviews and press conferences in Spanish.  He no longer takes classes.  Lass, on the other hand, still does not speak Spanish.  And with regards to the Germans, Sami has been learning at a much faster pace than Mesut, and both of them still study with professors.

26 Comments leave one →
  1. IsaBella permalink
    February 5, 2011 11:12

    Una I have just noticed your note about e-mails, it’s hilarious!! 😀
    United Nations have six official languages, so we’re one behind 😉 I’m waiting to hear Mesut speaking Spanish although I love him either way.

  2. February 5, 2011 11:22

    well that was quick for him to learn.. but i guess its because French and spanish are kinda close.. they’re like brothers, and their mother and is Latin.. if u understand what i’m saying(:
    haha.. I really want to see Mesut speak spanish, with an german accent! Sami.. he’s the man..
    I’m taking spanish classes next year! And in 2 years ill go to Madrid and then i’m able to speak with all the Real Madrid players! YAAAY!
    I’m weird.. i know(: but whatever

  3. Moola permalink
    February 5, 2011 12:07

    I saw this today, and thought it was absolutely hysterical. I don’t know if you’ve already seen it/will like it in any case, but I had to share:

    • RealLisa permalink
      February 5, 2011 15:22

      What the hell..?! O.o

    • February 5, 2011 16:25

      LOL! Someone MORE obsessed with The Most Perfect Man in the World than I? This is hysterical, cutting cheese with your cheekbones, TOO much!!! 😀

    • señora casillas permalink
      February 6, 2011 03:08

      thank you for sharing that — i read the entire thing from beginning to end and just *howled*. it’s brilliant!

      and thank you, una, for all the wonderful work you do on this blog (and your other one). i also have read your entire blog from beginning to end and it is clear how much you truly adore every aspect of this team (although you’ll have to arm wrestle me for iker!) — fantastic work! gracias!

  4. jaa permalink
    February 5, 2011 12:34

    Happy birthday Cristiano Ronaldo !

  5. Mani Thangadurai permalink
    February 5, 2011 13:07

    Hasn’t the club ALWAYS been a ‘mini-United Nations’, Una? 🙂

    Anyway, let’s not forget that Mourinho cut his teeth as a translator for Bobby Robson while at Barcelona, so he’s going to be proficient in many languages. One thing which surprises and impresses me at the same time is that the German members of the side seem to be very fluent in English…a perfect reflection on how well they’re educated!

  6. Proudculé!!! permalink
    February 5, 2011 13:15

    Well Mou is a translator after all, right? Like they say: “Once a translator, always a translator!”

    Madrid, cabron, saluda el hexacampeon! Visca el Barca i Visca Catalunya!!!

    • February 5, 2011 15:03

      Even Barcelona club captain Carles Puyol said Mou was a good coach, not a mere translator, so isn’t it about time that their fans get over this? Unless they think their captain is wrong, of course.

      • Proudculé!!! permalink
        February 5, 2011 15:10

        He’s obviously a good coach. But an even better translator! Anyway, hope you sleep well tonight while being ten points behind! Good day!

        Boti boti Madridita qui no boti!!!

        • February 5, 2011 15:39

          Hey troll, you really don’t have to come here and talk shit you know. Don’t you have anything else to do with your life rather than coming to a Real Madrid site and trolling?!

        • February 5, 2011 16:49

          why do you bother to comment here knowing full well this is a real madrid fan site. Don’t give Barca fan a bad name by coming here to disrespect Una’s hard work.

        • sweetubi permalink
          February 5, 2011 17:28

          It the other way around bb, he just won The World Best Coach award and not the translator award.. 😉

        • Kate permalink
          February 5, 2011 17:36

          Seriously, could you stop trolling Una (and Barca)? I’m a cule (I read this blog because I’m also a La Roja fan) and I think it’s embarrassing when trolls/so-called fans insist on calling Mou a translator in a bad way. Pep speaks four languages too, does that suddenly make him a translator? And what’s so bad about translation, anyway.


        • Jenny permalink
          February 5, 2011 18:50

          You’ll jinx your club if you’re not careful! Be sure to knock on wood before every game!


        • Canederli permalink
          February 5, 2011 23:21

          I’m sorry, but this is just disrespectful. None of us here are going to a Barca blog and making snide comments. I have enormous respect for Barcelona as a team. They play beautifully. Just because I’m a Madridista, am proud of my team and want them to win doesn’t mean I have to troll other sites and tear the competition down. Una is always respectful of other teams and fair in her coverage . You owe her an apology and you need to grow up. The whole tone of this blog is friendly and there have been great comments by Cules here. Many of them have managed to have some really good discussion with us and not resort to this kind of knee jerk partisanship. You just make yourself look simple and foolish when you talk like this. I love *the game* – full stop. And although I have my loyalties, I can definitely see the value in other teams, players and coaches. Don’t hate, appreciate.

        • michelle permalink
          February 6, 2011 01:32

          awww culés are so cute. look at them adoring real madrid so much they have to keep up with your blog, una. 🙂

    • February 5, 2011 15:47

      Wrong place for you , an anti-madridista blog would be more suitable…. and this is me being nice.

  7. bbBenz permalink
    February 5, 2011 14:46

    Good boy Benz!

  8. Canederli permalink
    February 5, 2011 16:55

    Hola Querida is hilarious! It’s based on that the internet meme/tumblr about Ryan Gosling which casts him as the perfect boyfriend and always starts out with “Hey Girl…” If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s here:

    It’s hilarious – MTV had Ryan Gosling go to the site and read some of the posts out loud. He was cracking up.

    The Xabi version is hysterical (I completely lost it when I saw “Hola Khedira”)

  9. blitzen permalink
    February 5, 2011 17:46

    Lass Diarra has been with RM since 2008 and he still doesn’t speak Spanish? That can’t be right. And if it is, how can he get away with that?

  10. Lauren permalink
    February 6, 2011 12:18

    Oh wow it’s impressing that Mou speaks five languages. And I’m sure he speaks them fluently. But I think that the communication must be harder for Khedira and Özil than for the other ones because as far as I know Özil’s English is not that good. But I think he must have already improved.

  11. LaBlanca permalink
    February 8, 2011 19:17

    Mou once said when English is not enough to talk with the Germans Karanka helps him out with some German!!! What a team!!! Hes probably learnt it from Illgner????


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