Even after the dissolution of the Spanish Empire in 1976, many Americans still speak Spanish today and it is considered an important second language to many US citizens.
It’s thought that Kristen Bell cannot speak Spanish. In fact, the actress cannot speak any second languages, although she does have ties to Poland, Germany, England, Ireland and Scotland.
Read more below about the Spanish language in America and Kristen Bell’s heritage.
Spanish in America
There are 22 Spanish-speaking countries in the world and 572 million people who speak Spanish. What’s more is that 477 million of these are native speakers. This means that Spanish is spoken in 7.8% of the world, making it the second most widely spoken language, after Mandarin Chinese. Spanish is also the most popular second language learned in the United States.
The widespread of the Spanish language is down to the Spanish Empire, also known as the Hispanic Monarchy or the Catholic Monarchy, one of the largest empires in history. Founded in 1492, at it’s highest point in the 18th century the Spanish empire ruled over the New World, the Asian archipelago of the Philippines, what they called “The Indies” (Las Indias), and territories in Europe, Africa and Oceania.
The empire wasn’t dissolved until 1976. Their strongest hold during their reign was America, which is why the language is still widely spoken there today.
Watch the video below to find out more about the Spanish Empire on author John Green’s YouTube channel, CrashCourse.
Kristen Bell’s Heritage
Kristen Bell was born 18 July 1980 in Huntington Woods, Michigan. Bell was raised in Michigan by her mother Lorelei (Frygier), a nurse, and her father Tom Bell, a television news director.
Kristen has Polish ancestry on her mother’s side, and German, English, Irish and Scottish on her father’s. She has never learned any second languages nor has she lived outside of the United States for an extended period of time, but Bell did move from hometown Michigan to New York City in 1998 to pursue her dreams of becoming an actress and to study for a Musical Theater degree at the Tisch School of the Arts.
Learning Sign Language
In an interview with Us Weekly about being a mom Kristen begins by telling her audience, “if you’re being mom shamed, you’re allowing yourself to be mom shamed, just don’t.”
Kristen has proven time and time again to her fans that she is a wonderful mom and is known to give out lots of good advice to other new moms, most of which she has had to learn first hand.
She even has her own sustainable baby care company called Hello Bello, which sells diapers, baby shampoo, organic laundry detergent, gummy vitamins and more.
Later in the video, when asked for toddler tips Kristen admitted to teaching her little ones sign language so that they could communicate to her what they wanted. Bell told the interviewer, “sign language was huge for us, my girls got really into it…and it was incredibly helpful with tantrums.”
Sign language does not have any linguistic relation to the countries within which they arise. As well as this, American Sign Language is recognized as a foreign language in the United States, and therefore a second language for anyone who can use both ASL and speak any other language.
American Sign Language is the predominant language of Deaf communities in the United States and Canada, and involves using movements of, primarily, the hands and face to communicate.
It is used by approximately 250,000 to 500,000 Americans (and some Canadians) of all ages, and can be taught to infants less than one year old, as Kristen has proved. So, even though the actress only speaks English, there are at least two other people in the family that might be bilingual.