'He's nailed German in a week': Eric Dier startles fans with new accent after move from Tottenham to Bayern Munich

25 January 2024, 15:06 | Updated: 25 January 2024, 15:22

Eric Dier
Eric Dier. Picture: Getty

By Kit Heren

Eric Dier has surprised football fans by appearing to speak in a German accent in an interview after his first appearance after moving to Bayern Munich.

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England defender Dier, 30, made the loan switch to the Bundesliga giants in January after falling out of favour at Tottenham this season.

Dier, who is known as a linguist, having spent part of his childhood in Portugal and learned Spanish to speak to various teammates at White Hart Lane, appears to have taken to his new surroundings already.

He came off the bench on Wednesday to make his debut for Bayern - where former Spurs teammate Harry Kane moved over the summer - in a 1-0 victory over Union Berlin.

Dier told an interviewer for Sky Sports that it was "a very proud moment for me obviously to make my debut for this club. It's a very proud moment for me and my family and obviously I really enjoyed it."

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He added: "I really enjoy playing here and I'm happy to have made my debut here at this stadium.

"So I'm really happy with how I've settled and obviously to make my debut and hopefully I can continue to help my team."

Some people responded to the clip by joking that he sounded like he was putting on a German accent, while still speaking in English.

One joked: "Fair play to him. Nailed the language after a week!"

A second added: "He's been there 3 mins 47 secs and he's already got a German accent."

Others compared him to former England manager Steve McClaren, who notoriously spoke in a Dutch accent in an interview while he was managing Netherlands side FC Twente.

One person commented: "Does Eric Dier always talk that way or is he the next victim of the German accent syndrome."

Another added: "Eric Dier with a bit of the "Steve McLaren in The Netherlands" in his post match interview at Bayern."

Eric Dier
Eric Dier. Picture: Getty

Asked how the Bundesliga differs from the Premier League, Dier said: "It's difficult for me to say after only 45 minutes. I'm sure I will start to understand.

"Obviously the crowd is a little bit different. The atmosphere is different. Not better or worse. They're just very different atmospheres. In terms of the football, I need more games to understand better. 

"But obviously, from what I've seen just watching on the TV and just watching the game last weekend, every team is technically very good. 

"They all try to play quite a lot. And there's a very nice style to the football here but as I said, I need more games to understand better."

Eric Dier
Eric Dier. Picture: Alamy

Speaking English in a foreign accent while abroad seems to be a recurring theme for English footballers.

As well as McClaren, former footballer Joey Barton also raised eyebrows when he appeared to speak in a French accent when playing for Marseille.

There may be some science behind footballers adopting foreign accents while playing overseas.

Dr Karen Douglas, a professor of social psychology, said that people often adapt their accent and intonation to their audience, in a phenomenon known as "speech accommodation".

People mostly do this "to make themselves understood and make themselves more likeable," she told the BBC.

Kim Stephenson, another psychologist, said this approach may be rooted in a sense of self-consciousness that they do not know the language of the people they are speaking to.

He told the corporation: "The trouble is what usually happens is the English don't have much idea of how other languages actually work, so what tends to happen is that in France you end up sounding like 'Allo 'Allo!, in Italy like Chico Marx, etc."

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