Last December, I took a trip to Paris. I turned on the TV in my hotel room and saw Bradley Cooper being interviewed in French.He was responding to questions in what seemed like fluent French. Since I don’t speak the language myself, I can’t say how good he was. But he spoke quickly and confidently, the interviewer seemed to understand him fine, and he seemed to understand the interviewer as well.
So how did he learn French?
Well, it was kind of a simple progression.
According to an article in People, he was first inspired to learn it as a kid, after watching Chariots of Fire:
“There’s a scene where a guy was speaking French and I thought, ‘Man, that sounds so cool.'”
Cooper went to Georgetown to get an English degree and also studied French. During college, he went to France on an exchange program and lived with a family in Aix-en-Provence for six months.
So, pretty straightforward:
- He had an interest
- He took some classes
- He got six months of in-country, daily exposure
How long did it take him? Can’t say for sure. I’m assuming that he took at least one semester in college, so with the six months in France we can guess that it took him a minimum of a year to become fluent.
But I’ll go out on a limb and say he took at least two semesters in college and probably some classes in high school as well. So it probably took him at least two years – and possibly longer – to get to the point where he was comfortable giving television interviews.
Pretty awesome. I don’t see why a guy who has looks, money, a dream job, talent, and charm needs to know French too and make the rest of us look that much worse in comparison, but whatever makes him feel better about himself, I guess.
By the way, check out Limitless, which Cooper was in and was pretty awesome.
Also, if you haven’t yet, check out his French interview below. You can read some of it translated here on Oprah’s website.
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