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How did Nadia Nadim learn to speak 11 languages? Footballer's life explored

Leigh McManus June 23, 2021
nadia nadim languages
Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

How did Nadia Nadim learn to speak 11 languages? People want to know more about the Afghan-Danish footballer after a recent feature described her as a role model.

Who is Nadia Nadim?

Nadia Nadim was born on 2 January 1988 in Herat, Afghanistan, where she was raised by her mother and father, a general in the Afghan army, together with her four sisters.

“When I was young, I got the heart-breaking news that the Taliban had executed my father. After that, my family decided to escape Afghanistan, as it was not a safe place for a family of six women,” Nadim wrote on her website.

Nadia Nadim of Denmark looks on during the women’s international friendly match between Spain and Denmark at Municipal Stadium in Santo Domingo on June 15, 2021 in Madrid

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The youngster and her family were destined to seek refuge in London with relatives. Using forged Pakistani documents, they went through Italy from Pakistan.

Thinking they had arrived in London when the doors of the truck swung open, the family realised they were somewhere entirely different.

Nadia said: “After a few days, we were all turfed off the truck, expecting to see Big Ben. We did not. All we saw was trees. We asked a passer-by and found out the bus had dropped us in Denmark.”

That’s where she discovered football, when she saw girls training near her refugee camp close to Copenhagen.

Its also where she began her professional career, playing for B52 in Aalborg. Nadim made her Champions League debut in September 2012, scoring both goals in a 2-1 win against Scottish champions Glasgow City.

The 33-year-old made her debut for the Danish national team as a young prospect at the Algarve Cup in 2009, and has since represented her country almost 100 times.

Nadia is a Muslim and is studying to be a reconstructive plastic surgeon at Aarhus University for a career after football. “Show your daughter a role model, show her Nadia Nadim!” wrote one person in a viral tweet.

One of her sisters is a doctor, two are nurses and one works with disabled people. They all still live in Denmark.

How did the Danish footballer learn to speak 11 languages?

As well as an impressive football resume, storied life and burgeoning skill in surgery, the former PSG forward also speaks 11 languages.

Nadim, who appeared on the ITV Football Football Show on Monday and is on the channel’s punditry panel for Euro 2020, says she is “constantly in the process of taking on new challenges”.

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Nadim playing for Paris Saint-Germain during the D1 Arkema match between Paris SG and Dijon on June 4, 2021 in Paris, France

She speaks 11 languages, according to some sources. The Manchester Evening News wrote a feature on Nadia when she signed for Manchester City in September 2017.

The publication stated at that point she spoke nine languages. Those were Danish, English, German, Persian, Dari, Urdu, Hindi, Arabic and French.

Nadim, who now plays football in the US, speaks Dari because it’s her native language.

She speaks Urdu because she was smuggled into Denmark through Pakistan, where she had to stay for months while a smuggler looked for passports that matched the profiles of Nadia and her sisters, she told Mark Pougatch on the ITV Football Football Show.

“I pick up languages really quick,” she told the host.

The striker also speaks Danish, as she is a Danish national, French, because she played professionally in France, and other Middle Eastern languages.

She told Pougatch she speaks seven of those languages fluently and is proficient in Swedish and Norwegian because of their similarity to Danish.

Nadia Nadim’s net worth and relationship explored

Nadim grew up poor because the Taliban wreaked havoc in Afghanistan.

“What I’ve been through as a kid forged me into this person I am. I really enjoy winning and I want to succeed no matter what because I don’t want to go back to where I was as a kid being poor,” she told RFI last year.

Nadim of Paris Saint-Germain warms up before the match between Paris SG and Dijon

Nadia said working as a doctor is her way of paying back. But she joked in the same interview that as a doctor she was probably going to make “tonnes of money”.

She made the joke because although she said she is “living well”, the huge gap between women’s and men’s football means she isn’t raking in millions.

Idol Net Worth estimates her finances at about $4 million (£2.8 million). Dating Celebs says Nadim is currently single.

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Leigh is a 26-year-old journalist from the north of Ireland. He studied International Journalism at Liverpool John Moores University, where he earned a 2:1 grade. He has worked for Mail Online and has experience with the Liverpool Echo, Irish Mirror and SWNS. Leigh is also a huge music fan and has his own show on a community radio station.