ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Sofia Vergara, Bilingualism and Bi-culturalism

Updated on May 25, 2013

Back To Spanish-speaking Roots

NBC Latino has recently reported that Sofia Vergara, that sexy hot, multiple Emmy-nominated Colombian-born star of “Modern Family”, is renewing her connection to her Latin American roots and fans. She is doing so by filming a Spanish-language 8-episode mini telenovela to be aired in every Spanish-speaking Latin American country in the near future.

What I find fascinating about this is that Vergara has become another example of a very high level, bilingual, bi-cultural artist (as a producer and creator, as well as an actress, she certainly qualifies for that title).

She is working at the height of both Latin American and American entertainment culture, at the same time. That is the important point. It is not that she switched from a Spanish-language industry to America, and is now going back. She is working in both markets/linguistic areas simultaneously. She has completed her new Spanish-language telenovella while also undertaking a new production deal with the American network ABC to produce a new (English-language) comedy, a Kmart fashion line, and Cover Girl contract.


Shekhar Kapur Excelling Across Cultures

This reminds me of Shekhar Kapur, the Indian director, producer, and actor. He has produced and acted in some of the biggest Indian films with the biggest Indian actors, such as Dil Se with Shah Rukh Khan or The Bandit Queen based upon the life of the infamous Indian female outlaw, Phoolan Devi. (For those that don’t know, the Indian movie industry is the largest in the world, even bigger than Hollywood.)

At the same time he directed the internationally acclaimed historical biopic Elizabeth, which brought the actress Cate Blanchett to global attention and was nominated for 7 Oscars. He also directed Elizabeth: The Golden Age which was nominated for 2 Oscars.

Also, on another front, Kapur worked with Andrew Lloyd Webber in producing the musical Bombay Dreams which has been playing in London’s West End since 2002 and on Broadway since 2004. He continues to work at the highest levels in Western and Indian cinema.


Jet Li, International Action Man

Another bi-cultural, bilingual artist that comes to mind is the martial artist, producer, and actor Jet Li. He started out in Chinese and then Hong Kong cinema in such iconic movies such as the Shaolin Temple series and the Once Upon a Time in China series and then moved to Hollywood features such as Lethal Weapon 4 and Romeo Must Die. But he did not abandon his Chinese films, starring in 3 Chinese films as recently as 2011 and 2012, for example. Interestingly, his citizenship changed from China, to the US, and now to Singapore, an ideal mixture of the East and West.


Antonio Banderas: Up And Down Hollywood and Spain

The other bi-cultural, bilingual example that comes to the top of my head in Antonio Banderas, actor and director. A Spanish national, he started out in Spanish language films notably of Pedro Almodóvar, such as Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! He then broke into Hollywood, first through The Mambo Kings, Philadelphia, Interview with a Vampire, and then most importantly with Desperado. Banderas became a Hollywood A-lister by that point.

However, in 2006, Banderas directed the Spanish-language film, El camino de los ingleses, or Summer Rain, for which he won the Berlin International Film Festival Award. He also collaborated again with Almodovar in 2011 by starring in La piel que habito, or The Skin I Live In, while continuing with his high-level Hollywood projects.


Not Just Two Languages, But Excelling in Two Cultures

I’m sure there are more such bi-, even tri- (and maybe even quadri-?) cultural artists.

What is interesting about these people for me is not just that they can function in two societies and languages at the same time, but that they function at such a high level of achievement in both societies. That takes a special talent and gift, in my opinion.

As I have argued in other articles about learning another language, to be really effective and fluent, you need to understand the culture, history, and psychology of the societies which speak the language you want to learn, be it French, Spanish, Korean, Russian, Hindi, or what have you.

Most of the time we don’t realise how steeped we are in our own culture. It often takes a trip abroad to see how different our various worlds can be.

I am fascinated by these bi-cultural artists who have achieved at such high levels in more than one language zone. It is hard enough to become a star in one’s own language, let alone in another language. And then to retain your status at home – without being an “exile” or a “sell-out” – I think is quite admirable, and represents a great phase in the bridging of global cultures.

Poll Question

Do You Consider Yourself Bi-Cultural?

See results

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)