Learning the language of their country of residence helps people integrate better and enjoy more stability, and a language expert has revealed how two Nigerian internationals are faring on that front
Girondins de Bordeaux’s language expert Annabelle Creuzé has revealed that the Nigerian duo of Samuel Kalu and Josh Maja are among the foreign players she has been working with at the club to improve their knowledge and communication in French.
Kalu joined Bordeaux three years ago from Belgian top division side KAA Gent for €8.5 million, signing a five-year contract.
The 23-year-old attacker has since risen to become one of the French club’s most influential players and a constant name in the starting eleven when fit.
But the Aba-born attacking midfielder has reportedly never spoken French on the training ground or at press conferences since his arrival at the Girondins.
However, his international teammate Maja has shown more effort in understanding the French language.
Born in England, the 22-year-old one-cap Super Eagles striker only moved to Bordeaux in January 2019 and has improved his communication with his teammates.
Bordeaux’s official interpreter and translator Creuzé has pointed out that the Nigerian players’ personalities play a vital role in their assimilation of the language.
“Kalu is very shy; it’s part of his personality,” Creuzé answered WebGirondins when asked why the Nigerian midfielder has not spoken French after three years in France.
“Toma Basic and Josh Maja are great friends, and both put a lot of effort into learning the language. I try to play games and even speak in their language to show that I, too, can make mistakes in pronunciation, but that’s okay; they are there to learn.
“Personality really does (make footballers give) everything to learn as quickly as possible. You have to give them the confidence they need.”
Kalu played some part while Maja was missing on the opening day of the French Ligue 1 when newly promoted Clermont Foot stunned Bordeaux.
Les Girondins face an even more challenging task when they make the trip to Marseille this weekend.