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Can Brad Pitt Speak German?

Wardaddy peeks inside from the top of a tank while shouting at his platoon. “Bible, what country we in? Germany, they speak German! Can you explain to him it’s a tool of war?” 

Believe it or not, the Fury star has yet another appealing quality that may be a secret to many of his fans. Though his past roles have required hints of German dialogue, does he merely recite lines, or can Brad Pitt speak the language fluently when not in character?

Brad’s Background

While he has taken on the role of an American Nazi-hunter during WWII in various films, including Inglorious Basterds, Brad Pitt himself seemingly has roots that stem back to Germany. 

The star was born in 1963 in Oklahoma and was brought up by his parents in Springfield, Missouri. Although Brad has always been an American citizen – and his family has been settled in the United States for generations – his documented roots are listed as mostly English. 

Regardless, Brad shed some added light on his ancestral background in an interview on Inside the Actors Studio. He states that his history is “Irish-Scots, Germans who settled in the area… Native American Indian… I know we have some Seminole, and some Cherokee Indian, in us.”

Although his bits of German descent may be small, Brad’s stellar performances speaking the language are proof that they might potentially have a more notable effect on his life than they lead on.

Can Brad Pitt Speak German?

Many celebrated actors portray various languages during character performances for films and television shows, and Brad is no exception. In addition to his role that required speaking French in Allied, Brad’s character Wardaddy portrays numerous bouts of German throughout the film Fury. It is no secret that Brad is an incredible actor; however, the question of whether or not the star is fluent in German still stands.

According to an article by DW, Brad can most definitely speak German. The star himself stated in an interview reported by the Kölner Express, “I like the language. I even find it beautiful and melodic, if you pronounce it not too loud and hard.” While he does understand and speak the language, Brad claimed in an interview with Munich Daily that he hopes to polish up his German skills. 

In 2014 Brad was nominated for the German award for Sprachwahrer by the well-known “Deutsche Spachwelt” publication. The annual award – otherwise titled “Keeper of the German Language” – is voted on by the public and presented to one nominee who has shown outstanding services to the German language. The reasoning behind his nomination is not explained but is in accord with the Fury release in 2014 – a film in which he spoke German throughout. 

When & Why Did He Learn?

Both when and why Brad initially learned German is unclear. Brad has spoken the language at least before his 2014 nomination for the Sprachwahrer Award. However, little information is public about the timing of his original German education.

At the Berlin, Germany, premiere of World War Z in 2013, the actor said, “We love this city; we’ve got a lot of friends here. We come here a lot so it’s always a good excuse to get here.” His regular visits to the country – including the shooting of Inglorious Basterds in 2009 – may pose the potential reason as to why he decided to learn the language. 

Additionally, between the six children that Brad Pitt shares with fellow actress Angelina Jolie, seven languages were being learned and spoken in their home as of 2016. Jolie described in an interview that her children utterly love learning about different cultures. With German being one, Brad may have potentially aided in his children’s linguistic abilities and learned alongside them. 

Conclusion

So, can Brad Pitt speak German? In short, yes, he can. The actor has successfully portrayed German character dialogue, and even possesses the skill on his own time. Between his frequent trips to Germany, his children’s cultural fascination, and his Sprachwahrer Award nomination, Brad can speak the language. He evidently speaks it quite well.

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Author

  • Ashtin is an American freelance writer and aspiring editor. She is a recent graduate with a bachelor’s degree in English, and is currently studying editing at the University of Chicago. Alongside her freelance work, Ashtin pursues the hobby of creative writing. She has a regular yoga practice, a deep love for mystery novels, and a fascination for all things true crime.

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