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29 November 2023

Being multi-lingual is tough on Federer

Roger Federer of Switzerland talks to the media at a press conference ahead of the 2011 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 15, 2011 (GETTY IMAGES)


Multi-lingual Roger Federer says his language skills have made for a more varied life although it means he has to give extra interviews.

The Swiss all-time great eased into his eighth consecutive Australian Open semi-final in Melbourne on Tuesday and yet again had to fulfil lengthy post-match media commitments for the world's press.

It is not uncommon for Federer to stay behind after his main press conference and answer questions in several languages for a variety of media in newspapers, radio and television.

And Federer performs it all with his customary aplomb, courtesy and patience.

"I know what I have to do in the tennis world. It's become a lot. I wish it was less sometimes," Federer said.

"Sometimes I wish I never told anybody I learned French or something like that.

"I'm happy to speak it. It's a language we speak in Switzerland. I'm proud to have learned that language. At least I can communicate and have friends as well from that part of the world."

Federer, who has a South African mother, said he grew up speaking English and Swiss German.

"That (being a polyglot) comes at a cost, sure. But I don't mind it. I try to have fun with it," he said.

"I have different humour in all the different languages, which is kind of fun for me, too. Getting to know myself through different languages is actually quite interesting for me.

"I really enjoy it, even though it sometimes takes a bit more time out of the day. It's not every day I have to face the music like this, so it's not so bad."