NATHAN Ake’s versatility on the field is well documented.

During the closing weeks of the 2018-19 season the Dutchman was shifted out of his regular position in the heart of the defence to fill in at left-back and in the centre of midfield as injuries ravaged the Cherries squad.

But it is also off the field where Ake is looking to add some more strings to his bow.

Already fluent in English and his native Dutch, the 24-year-old is constantly on the lookout for ways to improve his multilingual skills.

He told the Daily Echo: “Me and my girlfriend, we like to speak different languages.

“I can speak French a little bit, Dutch, English and now we’re trying to learn Spanish.

“We just thought once or twice a week we can just do something else. We like languages and Spanish is a nice language.

“My family speaks French so that’s why I picked that up.

“We wanted to do something new and Spanish is another language, so why not?”

And Ake doesn’t have to look too far should he want some extra tips in his new pursuit.

Colombian team-mate Jefferson Lerma arrived at Vitality Stadium from Levante last summer and is also going through the process of learning a new language with his grasp of English still only basic.

Cherries’ two all-time record signings paired up together in central midfield for the final two league games in 2018-19, but Ake says the language barrier is no issue during a match.

Asked if he tried out his language skills to converse with Spanish-speaking Lerma on the pitch, Ake said: “No, I would’ve had to think too quick. I’m not so far (through learning) yet.

“Jefferson communicated the way he’s been doing it the whole season, communicating with your hands and things like that.

“Obviously he knows how to play the game. He knows small words like left and right, those kind of things, so you can just speak English to him in those kind of situations.

“He’s learning (English), you can see that.

“Sometimes he’s trying to speak and it’s funny as well, but he’s learning for sure.

“Sometimes he tries to say sentences that don’t make sense or things like that, but it’s good that he’s trying at least.”

He added: “To come all the way here without knowing English and just come into the team like that and just play without any problems, I think it shows the kind of character he is and he just gets on with it.

“He’s learning so hopefully he knows it soon.”

The past 12 months have certainly been memorable for Lerma.

Ahead of becoming Cherries’ most expensive purchase at £25million, the tough-tackling midfielder competed at the 2018 World Cup with Colombia, featuring in every match including the last 16 penalty shoot-out defeat by England.

He then became a regular in Eddie Howe’s side, making 32 appearances during his debut season in England and scoring twice.

And there is no rest for the 24-year-old now, as he is currently competing for his nation at the Copa America in Brazil, with Colombia set to face Qatar this evening (10.30pm).

Discussing Lerma’s first season with Cherries, team-mate Ake said: “I think he’s done very, very well. I think in every game he’s always showing his energy, his work-rate and the will to win.

“Even though he can’t speak English, he’s always trying to help people, he’s always happy around the club and he’s been fantastic this season.”

He added: “He’s an energetic player anyway so he adapted very quickly to the Premier League I think.”

With a few months to try and help nurse some players back to fitness, Howe will hope he can keep Ake in a more familiar defensive role come the first game of the 2019-20 campaign against Sheffield United in August.

But should he be tasked with teaming up alongside Lerma again, Ake would no doubt relish the challenge.

He said: “I hadn’t played there (midfield) in a long time, but I enjoyed it. It’s good for me to learn different positions and to see what I can do better.

“I think Jefferson always shows a lot of determination. He works so hard. It’s good to play with him.

“It was something new for me again.”