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New York teenage prodigy speaks 20 languages!


BWL
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If you think learning a foreign language is hard, wait till you watch this clip. Tim Doner, a 17-year-old New York teenager has managed to teach himself 20 languages! Yes, 20!!!

He speaks many languages which are totally unrelated and very different from each other typologically like: Mandarin, Russian, Hindi, Farsi, Kiswahili etc.

It's absolutely amazing watching him going to various ethnic areas in New York and speaking to the people there in their native tongues!

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That's so impressive, I'm pretty jealous. It's profound how close to understanding someone's culture and way of life you get to when you learn their language. I wish him the best. If I could learn just a quarter of the language he knows I'd be happy with myself.

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It's absolutely amazing watching him going to various ethnic areas in New York and speaking to the people there in their native tongues!

Yes, the scenes in which he is interacting with people in their own language are a real joy to watch. 

I found the whole video from start to finish to be so enjoyable and inspiring.  In fact, I didn't want it to end!  Someone should do a feature-length documentary on him.

I also found his discussion on how he learns languages to be quite illuminating, and likewise what he had to say about learning the history and culture of people through the language.  It's quite profound.

I looked up that quote by Nelson Mandela that he mentioned:  "If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart."

His talent and his sensibility are absolutely wonderful.

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What is this? I mean, this guy is amazing. I am going to favorite this video man! He knows more language than BWL!

Maybe wowgtp , but who knows hehe :=)

Anyway, there is always someone who knows more than you do. ALWAYS. Most probably in year or two you will see a 15 year old hyper-polyglot that already speaks 25 languages  :grin:

However, this video is definitely inspiring and I have to admit, this guy ROCKS!

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Very inspiring story. It's no doubt that Tim Doner is an intelligent guy, its a big deal to know 20 languages at such a young age. Its a big advantage to live in a city that has so many different nationalities and different languages spoken, after all New York's has a very ethnically diverse population.

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Twenty hours a week? Guess I'm out. I was kind of wandering elsewhere on the Internet while I had it playing on my tv. They don't actually say what his learning method is do they? I know they showed him sitting at the desk listening to something online and writing something down, but that could be basically anything. Any ideas on the site it was?

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A friend of mine married with a German man being herself native French speaker but while both understand each other languages, they adopted English to talk to at home and Spanish to talk out there in real life because they live in a Spanish speaking country.

When my friend got pregnant with twins she had language concerns, but all readings said the babies would learn naturally with not hassle nor mixing and matching, and they did.

Today, her children are about to turn 3 years old and speak the four languages fluently and she has been encourage to teach them other languages while they are still this young.

I believe the guy in this video had to have a similar formation, though it is obvious that some of us are more skilled to learn a second (third, etc) language than others.

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Wow, this guy is truly amazing!  He's indeed a prodigy!  Learning a single language is hard enough, I can't even imagine how this guy managed to learn 20 different languages!  He's just 17, imagine what kind of things he is going to accomplish later?  This kind of people are the kind of people that should be considered celebrities and a true example to follow.  It's great he rather spend his time doing something so useful and enriching.

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  • 1 month later...

I too think he is amazing and inspirational.  How great to be able to just walk in and communicate with so many cultures.  He must have a brain that is "wired" in such a way that he can master such diversity in the various languages.

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I wonder what's happening inside his head so that he can organize so much information, it's probably read and memorize. What can he do knowing so many languages, the possibilities are endless...

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That's crazy cool!  :amazed:

Oh my god! I always thought it'd be super cool to know heaps of languages secretly, and if I ever got into a spot of international gang trouble, I could surprise my friends with a dash of Russian or German or some other international language.

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That's amazing, I wonder how he does it. Whenever I see people like these, I wonder if what they can do is possible for the common person if only he or she would devote the same amount of time on it. I'm guessing it's a little bit like drawing, though, in that some people just can do it naturally, and some people need to really work at it but never might achieve the same level as someone who was born talented. Either way, his talent is impressive.

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