In an appearance on the Ellen Degeneres show during the , actor Chris Hemsworth, best known for his role as Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (also, freakishly gigantic arms), lamented the fact that all three of his kids and his wife are bilingual while he himself only speaks English. Hemsworth explained that this situation leads to him being confused a lot and feeling kind of out of the loop. Is Elsa Pataky, the actor’s wife, trying to teach him? Sure, but it doesn’t sound like it’s going well.
“My wife will be telling them [their kids] off and I’ll be standing there like, ‘That’s right!’ ” he told Degeneres before explaining that afterword he’s usually asking his wife “‘What does that mean?’”
According to the actor, when Pataky isn’t giving the kids a hard time in Spanish, her efforts are focused on telling him off in her mother tongue. “When I hear the Spanish directed at me, it’s usually unfortunate, controversial, aggressive situations,” he said. “So I’m just thinking, ‘What is she saying right now?’ and ‘What’s my comeback to this?’ When we’re fighting, basically—which is never! If she gets angry enough she’ll drop the English façade.”
Hemsworth definitely isn’t alone. The number of bilingual children in the US has been on the rise for some time. In 2016, the number of American kids who spoke more than one language was roughly 22 percent. That means that more than 12 million kids are now speaking more than one language at home.