What Language the Jolie-Pitts Speak at Home


I had the rare opportunity to speak with my sister-in-law last night. She lives in California and for some reason we seem to have a difficult time calling each other due to the 3 hour time difference. Whenever she goes to call me it’s too late, and I tend to call her when she’s working, which doesn’t work!

Anyway, she was telling me about my nephew, who is 9, and how his school is going. He’s in what is known as a dual-immersion program, which means that they speak a mixture of Spanish and English in the classroom. She said that his teacher was shocked at how well he was speaking Spanish, since my sister-in-law and her husband speak no Spanish at home.

This got me to thinking about the Jolie-Pitt family and about what they speak at home. About a year ago or so, Angelina Jolie mentioned in an interview that Maddox Jolie-Pitt spoke excellent French, and that they watched French cartoons and television shows whenever they were in France. Angelina said that she and Brad had to brush up on their French to keep up with him.

Being that the family travels so much, and the children are immersed in such different cultures, I wonder what language they speak when they’re at home! Do you think they speak English? French? Or do you think they speak a mixture of languages?

I think it’s wonderful that the children are being given the opportunity to truly see the world, but I am curious about the little things, like what language they all speak. What language do you think the Jolie-Pitt family speaks when they’re at home?



Filed under Angelina Jolie, Maddox Jolie-Pitt

17 responses to “What Language the Jolie-Pitts Speak at Home

  1. stratoula

    Nice discussion Randi!!!Mainly I think they speak English,since Brad and Angie don’t speak Frence very well.But I think that when they are in France it could be possible to speak some Frence as well.Cause I think since they are there it’s a great opprtunity for all of them to improve their Frence.And we should not forget that Brad and Angie encourage all their adopted kids to speak their native languages,so maybe they speak them too sometimes!Wow that’s many languages,don’t you think?

  2. mslewis

    I don’t know about Brad but Angelina speaks French very well!! She was heard to speak French to a diplomat while at a UN conference and, in the recent pics from Ajaccio, she appears to be conversing with the locals and I assure you, from personal experience, that the locals in much of France will refuse to speak English, especially in a non-touristy place like Ajaccio!!!

    My sister and her family spent several years in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) where French is the major language. Her children learned to speak excellent French but they always spoke English at home. I would assume the Jolie-Pitt’s would be the same way, especially if Daddy Brad is not as proficient in the language as the other members of the family.

    On the other hand, the children may speak French with each other while they are playing. But, who knows??? Little kids are like sponges . . . they can learn languages faster than any adult. I think it’s wonderful that Brad and Angelina insist that their adopted kids know each of their native languages and also that all the kids learn French. In fact, I would not be surprised if Maddox, Pax and Zahara taught some of their languages to Shiloh!!! That would be fun and interesting!!

  3. MsLewis – I also love that they’re learning languages at such a young age. We never did and I’m horrible with any language aside from English now, even though I live right on the Quebec border!

  4. angela

    i think they speak different languages. haha.
    but since they are planning to settle in France, i think there’s a big chance that the kids will be able to speak French as they grow older. kids tend to learn faster and since they are staying in France now and they watch french cartoons. it’s a good place to learn french because of the environment and the people.

  5. Kristen

    I think that they probably speak a mix. I think it’s fantastic that they encourage the children to pick up languages now. I wish I had the opportunity to become bilingual at an early age.

  6. isacutie

    I do think they’re probably speaking a mix, but mostly English, since Brad said he’s not all that good. But he is taking lessons, didn’t he say, so it’s also probable that they’re trying to speak French at home.

  7. Kati

    Nice discussion topic, Randi! I think that they speak both English and French. But maybe they speak mostly English now that Knox and Viv are learning to speak. They should – in my opinion – learn English first and then little by little start to study French. But I´m sure that Mad, Pax, Zee and Shi all speak an interesting mix of both languages. The great thing is that there are many words in these two languages that are written in the same way but are pronounced a little bit differently. I think that the kids speak mainly English with their dad since Brad doesn´t speak French yet. But maybe he´ll learn since the family plans to have a permanent base in France.

  8. kimmy

    love this discussion.. well, i think they spoke dual languages.. English and French. But i think they are more comfortable speaking English since the kids are still developing their French skills, but Madz is speaking French very well now.

    and to think Angie and Brad is still encouraging the 3 kids to never forget their culture and language. Madz still knows his kmher right? and Pax still know vietnamese.. so the JP kids are a multi-lingual kids.. 😀

  9. neer

    I love this topic a lot. Thank you.

    I think, their main language at home is English & French is secondary. Maybe for easy communication, they use English but I guess they also practice French, or maybe they have a certain day allotted for each language. Let’s say, today is English day, tomorrow is French day, the next day is another. Whatever style or method that fits them, it’s beneficial to the whole family.

    In the Philippines for instance, English is not the first language but the medium of instruction in schools is English & the official letters, memos & other forms of communication in work, business, private or government offices etc are done in English. Most TV shows, newspapers & publications are also in English. At home, we speak our dialect & English but I have noticed, in our everyday conversation or even in SMS messages, English is what being practiced.

  10. Kristen

    Neer – I really like the point you made! I can see Brad and Angie declaring a “French Day” and everyone works on practicing their French. I am sure lots of giggles come from that!

  11. 007

    (A slightly belated…) Welcome back Randi! 🙂
    I like the new site – less cluttered.

    — Must be primarilly English. Don’t think Brad or Angie are that good at French to carry out conversations. I think it sort of just rolls on automatically. The children say some words or scentences in French sometimes… the parents answer the best they can, or try to learn from the children.

    I grew up with Swedish, German, English and French at home. When I learned Italian and Greek at school, I’d just automatically use it at home sometimes, and my parents just maneuvered it in naturally. Don’t think there’s an elaborate plan behind it – just comes naturally.

  12. stratoula

    off topic:
    ^^^077,you speak Greek!!!Wow…I’m from Greece!!!I’m surprised because it’s the first time I hear that someone is learning Greek.I hope you like my native language!!!

  13. Jacqueline

    isn’t it great reading other peoples’ ideas- you learn so much from others :))
    I too so-like Neer’s suggestion- a brilliant idea for any family learning languages together- that’s just got to be so much fun in the J/P’s household!! And especially since ‘dad’ is struggling the most- I’m imagining the jokes Angie & the older children play on him, saying stuff in French they KNOW he won’t understand . . . . . . !!!
    It’s said that speaking the ‘native’ language of the country you’re in is the biggest sign of respect to the locals, and knowing just how much Angie & Brad are respectful & caring towards others, it’s obvious that together they will continue to strive in this pursuit. maybe they have ‘signs/ labels’ in French put on the furniture, fixtures & fittings- I read about this suggestion once: la porte (door); la fenetre (window) etc. (btw, I’ve just found a translation site for English/French for anyone interested: http://french.about.com/library/bl-collins-ef.htm ).
    I have been too ‘long-winded’ as usual, BUT- yes, I do think the JP’s speak French at home as much as is appropriate to do so (at least while they’re in France). I read that, after English, French is the language most people try to learn- it’s such a beautiful sounding language 🙂

  14. anastasja

    Nice topic Randi!

    I think all the Jolie-Pitt kids will speak French fluently because of their school, however they are using English at home now 🙂 I think it’s wonderful that all the JP kids will become bilingual.

    Oh, btw – you can vote for your favourite and least favourite public appearance of Brad and Angelina. My site is in Polish, but all of you are very welcome to vote and share your thoughts in comments:


  15. isacutie

    BTW, I love that photo of Maddox and Angie you’ve got on this post. I wonder what she said to make Maddox laugh so hard. 🙂

  16. Kati

    isacutie – I also love that pic of Angie and Maddox. I actually have that issue of W where that pic was published. Whenever I have a bad day I just look at that pic and it makes me feel a lot better. Mad look really cute in that pic.

  17. 007

    S t r a t o u l a — not fluently, but ok. (I still swear in Greek sometimes 😛 )

    It’s a soft, beautiful language 🙂

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