21 Latino Celebrities Who Don’t Speak Spanish
There’s nothing worse than being in a crowd of family members and friends and realizing that you’re the only one whose Spanish is too rudimentary to keep up with the conversation. Whether you speak Spanish or not, Latino culture is about so much more than the languages that we speak- it’s about our shared heritage, and the way that we celebrate it together. In fact, there are tons of well-known Latino celebrities who don’t speak any Spanish at all. Some of them have even recorded albums or performed roles in Spanish! Let’s check some of them out below.
1. Eva Longoria
Actress Eva Longoria recently posted on Instagram about rediscovering her roots in Asturias, Spain, as part of the PBS special Faces of America. However, even though her family traces its roots back to Spain for generations, the Latina hottie speaks only basic Spanish.
Born Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, the singer known only as Selena was responsible for the increased popularity of Tejano music in the United States. However, she was never fluent in Spanish- she just learned the lyrics of her songs.
3. Selena Gomez
Texan-born Selena Gomez, who is of Mexican descent, was actually named for pop singer Selena. She also does not speak Spanish- although she asked for a Rosetta Stone language course from Santa last Christmas. She’s most nervous about her accent, but has been able to pick up the vocabulary pretty well.
4. Demi Lovato
Another young Texan-born Latina pop star is Demi Lovato, who was born Demetria Devonne Lovato. She’s won both an ALMA, and a Latin American Music Award, but does not speak Spanish.
5. Naya Rivera
Original Glee star Naya Rivera has spoken openly about her lack of Spanish knowledge, and how she’s only able to speak a handful of phrases. She says she wants to learn so that she can speak Spanish to her children.
6. Carlos Pena, Jr.
Born to a Spanish and Venezuelan dad and a Dominican mom, Carlos Pena Jr. (who now goes by Carlos Roberto PenaVega) was born in Missouri, and did not grow up speaking Spanish. With the help of wife Alexa Vega, he’s trying to learn.
7. Cameron Diaz
Descended from a long line of Cuban cigar rollers, Cameron Diaz doesn’t speak Spanish but has close ties to her heritage through her dad, Emilio Diaz.
8. Mark Consuelos
Mark Consuelos, who regularly post adorable photos with wife Kelly Ripa, was actually born in Zaragoza, Spain, to an Italian mom and a Mexican dad, but moved to the States before he learned how to speak Spanish.
9. Christina Aguilera
This talented, part-Ecuadorian songstress has a Spanish-language album (2000’s Mi Reflejo), but doesn’t fluently speak the language. She was recently featured as a guest on Alejandro Fernández’s song “Hoy Tengo Ganas de Ti”.
Even though he released a full Spanish album earlier in 2018, Miguel has been singing in Spanish since 2015. He’s been practicing the language since 2012, but isn’t exactly fluent.
11. Bella Thorne
Bella Thorne is a triple-threat- she can sing, act, and she’s an author. The part-Cuban model still understands Spanish (it’s what her parents spoke to her when she was little) but doesn’t use it much anymore.
12. Jessica Alba
Born to Mexican-American and Dutch-French parents, Jessica Alba never learned Spanish because her grandfather made the decision to teach his children only English. She recently hired a private tutor, and has made an effort to watch Spanish-language TV and movies to improve her vocabulary.
13. Ryan Guzman
Step Up star Ryan Guzman was born in Abilene, Texas, and recently announced he was expecting a baby with his girlfriend, Brazilian actress Chrysti Ane. Guzman’s dad is Mexican-American, but he doesn’t speak Spanish.
14. America Ferrera
Ugly Betty actress and activist America Ferrera proves that you can still be a positive Latina role model without speaking Spanish. Born in Los Angeles to Honduran parents, Ferrera actually went by her middle name, Georgine, until she started acting professionally.
15. James Roday
Psych actor James Roday, who was born James Rodriguez, grew up in Texas, and recently said in an interview that he would be celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month by brushing up on his Spanish.
16. Melissa De Sousa
Panamanian-American actress Melissa De Sousa commented to Latina magazine that she feels terrible that she didn’t grow up speaking Spanish. As an adult, she’s taken lots of classes, and has practiced extensively to try and become fluent.
17. Emilio Estévez
1980s Brat Pack member Emilio Estevez is the son of actor Martin Sheen, who was actually born Ramón Estévez, and is of Galician Spanish heritage through his father. Emilio never learned his grandfather’s native tongue, but remains close to his deeply religious family.
18. Charlie Sheen
Emilio Estevez’s brother, Charlie Sheen, is the only one of the family of actors who took their dad’s stage last name as his own. Two and a Half Men actor Charlie Sheen was born Carlos Irwin Estévez. Although he owns a bar in Mexico, Sheen doesn’t speak Spanish, but he has said that he thinks he would be able to learn it.
19. Evelyn Lozada
Basketball Wives’ Evelyn Lozada, who recently gave birth to a baby boy, was born in the Bronx, and has said that she has Puerto Rican ancestry. Although her favorite cuisine is Spanish food, and she loves to go to the club to dance salsa or merengue, she is not fluent in Spanish.
20. Stacey Dash
Actress Stacey Dash (who all millennials will remember from Clueless) is currently learning Spanish, in hopes that it will help her secure more acting roles- and so she can teach her children her mother’s tongue.
21. Lana Parrilla
Another starlet that’s currently learning Spanish is Lana Parilla, who is half-Puerto Rican on her father’s side. She says that her Spanish improved when she moved to Spain a few years ago, and was able to use it every day, but since then it’s deteriorated. She makes a point to practice regularly with her friend, actor Esai Morales.