Mark Sanchez proves it’s never too late to learn another language.
The Mexican-American NFL player didn’t grow up speaking Spanish at home, but decided to learn the language as an adult in an effort to connect with his roots, as well as with his Latino fans.
“I felt a little embarrassed that I didn’t know the language, number one,” he explained in an interview shared on WFAA sports reporter Mike Leslie’s Facebook page Monday. “And even more embarrassed that I couldn’t communicate to the Latino population who’d been so supportive. Win, lose or draw, they’re some of the best fans I’ve ever had. So it was something that was kind of eating away at me.”
So Sanchez took it upon himself to upgrade his Spanish-language skills a few years ago.
“So I learned from these Spanish tapes,” the quarterback, who was recently signed by the Dallas Cowboys, shared in the interview, which you can watch above. “One year I lived about 30 minutes from the facility in New York, and I would drive back and forth, so one tape was an hour ― every tape was an hour.”
Sanchez also took several trips to Mexico, which he said helped. “After that, you just feel more and more comfortable speaking the language.”
In July, Sanchez conducted an interview with the Associated Press both in English and in Spanish, during which he said he was glad he made an effort to learn Spanish, and touted the benefits of bilingualism in an accompanying video.