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Off the Crossbar: Former Bayern Munich great Bastian Schweinsteiger is balancing a multilingual family

Marrying a foreigner can be tough.

2022 French Open - Day Twelve Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Footballers (especially in European football) have the need to learn another language when hired by teams abroad, often with varied results. While it is obvious some difficulties with the language may arise for the player, it is even stranger when it happens in your own family. Former Bayern Munich player Bastian Schweinsteiger is no stranger to the situation, as reported by Tz.

Since 2016, Schweinsteiger is married to Serbian former tennis player and Grand Slam event winner Ana Ivanović, who was crowned at the 2008 French Open. Together, they have two sons, who are growing up with three languages; since Ivanović does not speak German (she is in the process nonetheless), the couple’s common language is English. When each of them are alone with the kids, they use their own native language, either German or Serbian.

This all gets more complicated when Schweinsteiger’s grandparents, who come from a region where most of the people speak the Bavarian language. As Ivanović puts, “That’s a problem for me. I’m just beginning to understand German, and then they come with Bavarian.”

It sure is a linguistic mess, but hey, at least those kids are going to grow up multilingual.

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