TED Article/Talk From a Teen Who's Taught Himself 20 Languages

Helo pawb!

Here’s an interesting article from a kid who’s been teaching himself languages (as well as a link to his TED Talk at the bottom of the article):

He talks some about what speaking v. being fluent really means. The end of the article really resonated with me:

“But while I’ve come to realise I’ll never be fluent in 20 languages, I’ve also understood that language is about being able to converse with people, to see beyond cultural boundaries and find a shared humanity. And that’s a lesson well worth learning.”



Like, Timothy, I learnt masses of vocabulary by listening to songs. When I first started out learning the words and singing along to the radio without understanding anything. It was great though for building a dictionary into my head…


This man speaks like SSiwer. The idea is common. I like this so thank you for sharing. It lifted my motivation a bit on even higher level.

Diolch yn fawr.

Thanks for sharing this, Meg, it was interesting! I’m a new learner in the United States, and don’t know anyone who speaks Welsh. Shortly after I started SSIW (about a month ago), I bought several albums by Meinir Gwilym and Elin Fflur, to make myself a “Welsh immersion” program. Listening to the music has definitely made me much more comfortable with the sounds of the language, and I am already picking up a little vocabulary. I’m quite pleased to know I might be building a dictionary into my head!


Brits are not usually famous for their language skills, but at least one UK youngster* did something similar:



*He was still a youngster when he first became well known. Now a young adult.

Wow, impressive! I really liked this bit:

“By increasing the number of ways in which we can express ourselves with idioms, vocabulary, and grammar, we suddenly find ourselves with a choice, not just about how we speak, but also about how we think.”

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