What Languages Can Anderson Cooper Speak?

Anderson Cooper is one of the most well-respected newsmen and accomplished journalists not just in America but in the world today, but did you know that he suffered from a learning disability at a young age? The CNN anchor was diagnosed with a mild form of dyslexia as a child, which caused him to have difficulty reading. "Some people grow up in homes where sports are important; I grew up in a home where reading and writing had great value. As a child, I had a problem reading," he said in a piece for Oprah. "I had a mild form of dyslexia where I would see some letters backward, and I had to go to a special reading instructor."

During a speech for The National Center for Learning Disabilities in 2010, Cooper said he was incredibly fortunate to have access to a specialist doctor who had helped him manage his dyslexia. He also stressed the huge role schools play in helping kids with learning disabilities just like himself. "To a child with learning disabilities, as you know school can be an incredibly isolating place. It can be a place that's incredibly frustrating and frankly overwhelming," he said. "The good news is that there are great schools out there that are able to provide the necessary resources and the support to students with LD."

Of course, his being dyslexic did not hinder Cooper from thriving in school, and he even graduated from an Ivy League university with a political science degree in 1989. It also did not stop him from learning several foreign languages while still in school, making Cooper a bit of a polyglot. 

Anderson Cooper studied German, Vietnamese, and Swahili

Although he insists that he doesn't speak any language other than English, Anderson Cooper studied German from middle school through high school and during his freshman year of college. However, "I didn't really practice it after my first year of college," Cooper explained on his news program "Full Circle" in 2021. "And I haven't had much opportunity to use it. So I'm embarrassed about that."

Aside from German, Cooper also briefly studied Vietnamese at the University of Hanoi in Vietnam. "I studied [it] for six months, and I was short of conversational a little bit," he said. "I mean, I can kind of get along and order food on the street. But again I didn't practice it after I left and I wouldn't speak Vietnamese at all." That, and Swahili — one of East Africa's most common languages — for about a year in college, although he has since forgotten it as well. "So I don't really think I do speak languages. It's one of the greatest failings of my life. I wish I did," he said.

But, per Vanity Fair, there is one other language that Cooper can speak, and surprisingly fluently: Spanish. The CNN anchor apparently practiced Español in his interview with Mexican drug lord Sandra Ávila Beltrán for "The War Next Door" segment of his news program "60 Minutes" in 2009. As noted by the publication, Cooper flawlessly switched to Spanish once he established that Beltran wasn't fluent in English. "It was as impressive as it is interesting," wrote Vanity Fair's Claire Howorth.

Anderson Cooper wants his sons to learn foreign languages as well

Anderson Cooper's verbal versatility is one skill that he would like to pass on to his sons Wyatt Morgan and Sebastian Luke. "Absolutely. I think it's great for kids, especially at Wyatt's age to try to, you know, learn a second language," Cooper said in the same episode of "Full Circle", which aired months before Sebastian's birth. "He then pointed out that Wyatt has been exposed to two languages since his birth: English and French. "Wyatt's other dad speaks in French to him and I speak in English to him," he explained. "We'll see what happens."

Per The Sun, Wyatt and Sebastian's other father, Benjamin Maisani, is French. He moved to New York from his hometown of Corsica, France to study Arts and opened his own bar Eastern Bloc in 2005, where he and Cooper would later meet. 'The pair started dating in 2009 but only went public with their relationship in 2015. They have sadly since separated, but remain great friends and are in fact still living under one roof. "It's awesome. It's probably an unusual setup, but I knew he would be a great dad, and he is," Cooper told People in 2021.

Despite having gone their separate ways, the former couple welcomed their second son Sebastian in February, which Cooper proudly announced on his CNN show "Anderson Cooper 360." "Wyatt and now  Sebastian are being raised by me and my best friend and former partner Benjamin Maisani. We're co-parents," he said. "Wyatt calls me 'Daddy' and Benjamin his 'Papa.' We're a family."