Does Denzel Washington speak Spanish?
September 17, 2008 11:48 PM   Subscribe

Does Denzel Washington speak Spanish?

"Man on Fire" was on TV tonight. Denzel Washington has a lot of lines in Spanish, which he delivers with a gringo accent that's actually quite fitting for the character. And hey, this glass house-dweller isn't about to throw stones. Am simply curious whether anyone knows if he speaks the language or just spoke the words for the film.
posted by donpedro to Writing & Language (5 answers total)
No mention of it in here, as far as I could tell--but I only skimmed a few pages. He is a very good speaker, with an ear for language, so it could simply be a natural talent for mimicry.
posted by eralclare at 8:19 AM on September 18, 2008

I'm fairly certain that he's got a few lines of Spanish in Training Day as well. Maybe check that out and see if his accent is the same?
posted by dogwalker at 8:36 AM on September 18, 2008

Do you have a link to a clip or audiofile of him speaking? I (or the other native speakers around here) could probably tell whether he actually speaks the language or not.
posted by signal at 6:46 PM on September 18, 2008

I don't have a video/audio clip, sorry. For what it's worth, it's obvious even to me (a nonnative who's lived in Spanish-speaking countries for four-plus years) that in the movie, his character's thickly accented Spanish is not perfect, perhaps not intended to be. Kind of interesting is that in a couple of scenes he makes mistakes and then corrects himself. For example:

Denzel: "¿Quién es la voz?"

Woman he's interrogating: "No sé. No sé."

Denzel: "No sé -- no sabes."

Dunno what else to say. Maybe check out the movie? Jerky cinematography, but nice shots of Mexico City landmarks such as the Torre Latina, Parque México and Popocatéptl.
posted by donpedro at 10:20 PM on September 18, 2008

I found a clip here (he starts speaking around 2:45).
I'm not sure, his tone doesn't sound realistic. But it's true, he corrects himself:

¿Eres miembro de la Hermendad? ¿De la Hermandad?
posted by clearlydemon at 7:51 PM on September 19, 2008

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