How is Jose Mourinho’s English?

Episode 42 – BEATLEMANIA!
June 25, 2017
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June 28, 2017
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How is Jose Mourinho’s English?

In his first interview in England, Jose Mourinho called himself the ‘Special One’, but is his English so ‘special’?

Let’s have a look.

To make a correct decision about his English, I will judge him on the criteria needed to pass the IELTS exam (but obviously we’re just looking at his speaking, I don’t really know anything about his writing, listening or reading skills!), then at the end I will give him a final score.

To give someone a mark for speaking, it is broken up into 4 categories:

  • Fluency and Coherence
  • Lexical Resource
  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy
  • Pronunciation

So these are the exact 4 parts that we will use to judge Mr. Mourinho’s English!

Fluency and Coherence:

Probably his strongest point. If you watch this first interview in England HERE in 2004, he had a lot of difficulty with this and was often pauses between words to choose the correct one, but now he is able to speak with much more fluency.

This is proof that practice makes perfect – so take every opportunity you have to speak English!

Overall Score: 7.0

P.S. Look at the very bottom of the article for a BIG mistake related to when he called himself a ‘special one’ in his first interview.

Lexical Resource:

Jose has a good command of English and uses all basic vocabulary well, he obviously knows football terms very well (he even invented a football term which is now standard in English football when he said a team came and ‘parked the bus’ which I football means ‘the team only came to defend’).

However, he can still make errors with word choice. He made one VERY big error, which cost him his job at Chelsea.

After a defeat to Leicester he said that his players had ‘betrayed’ him, as you can see HERE  in this video (watch from 1.20 – 1.30). If you watch it carefully, you can see that Jose was having difficulty to choose the word – you can almost see his brain thinking to try and choose the correct one.

Something like ‘they let me down’ would have been much more appropriate, but obviously this is a difficult phrasal verb (which means ‘disappoint’). Unfortunately for him, his use of phrasal verbs is not so great, so he instead chose the word  ‘betrayed’ which is much stronger and really doesn’t sound too good and is very offensive.

I’m sure he won’t make that mistake again though, as Chelsea sacked him the next day!

Overall Score: 6.5

Grammatical Range and Accuracy:

Not great. He uses the present tense far too much. He will often use it when the past simple is needed, as he will often do an interview AFTER the match and say ‘we play very well’ when this should obviously be ‘we PLAYED very well.

He has great problems with the present perfect (and also present perfect continuous) and again uses the present simple instead. He often says phrases like  ‘he knows since March’ as he says in THIS video (he also makes another present perfect error in this video).

Present Simple + For / Since is a basic mistake, Jose. We all know that FOR / SINCE take the present perfect.

He can also have difficulty with verb patterns, sometimes putting the infinitive after a verb like ‘enjoy’. In a recent interview he said ‘I am used to win’ – if you say something arrogant like that… just make sure it’s correct next time!

Overall Score: 6.0

P.S. The correct sentence of the phrase should be ‘I am used to WINNING’.


Generally good. He still has a strong Portuguese accent, but it rarely / never affects his ability to communicate.

Overall Score: 6.5

Conclusion and Overall Mark

You may call yourself the ‘Special One’, but your English is DEFINITELY not special considering you have lived in England for many years.


Recommendation for Jose to improve his English

Dear Jose, I recommend that you buy yourself a good grammar text book and study, but most of all, you should listen to Rock n’ Roll English as you will hear lots of RnR grammar and vocabulary which you obviously need – you can find it HERE my friend!

And if you need any extra help, you can call me for some lessons, I will give you a special price 😉

P.S. Jose called himself ‘a special one’, but this makes NO sense – it should have been ‘I am special’ or ‘I am THE special one’.

I'm Martin. I'm an English Teacher. That's about as interesting as it gets.

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