From: New Zealand Registered: 2011-07-08 Posts: 113
I like Honyaku Joshua's posts... Surely diversity of opinion (and posting style) is welcome.
I am impressed by Alex Rawlings. Even if his skills are somewhat exaggerated (which is probably not something he does himself): He is ONLY 20 He DiD win a prestious competition He DID get to go to Oxford.
I assume the judges knew what they were doing. He must have worked hard. I find it difficult enough keeping up with Japanese.
HonyakuJoshua seems like the type of guy that might invite himself to parties to boast about himself. No offense but just admire the 20-year-old's commitment and motivation to do what he's even done so far. Don't overanalyze it too much. It's not like he won the competition so that he could say HonyakuJoshua respected him.
The person is gifted he has a skill that none of us has. Am I impressed by his skills? Yes. Do I admire his "commitment and motivation"? No. However, I do admire his humility. When I originally saw this post it just didn't interest me. We are all just as committed to our studies as he is. We all have our own motivations for studying languages. We are all admire different things.
From: The Netherlands Registered: 2011-02-07 Posts: 120
After reading through most of this thread it seems like it has been heavily derailed by an individual that appears to be jealous of the attention the young man from the youtube video is getting. I have some international friends and they confirmed that his pronunciation for most of the languages is pretty spot on, and apparently his afrikaans sounds almost native like (his dutch is somewhat off though but still correct). Of course I myself don't believe he has an equal amount of fluency in all of those languages, but I find it impressive nontheless. If anything this to me is proof that people can learn many languages to an advanced level if they apply themselves and thus invigorates my dedication towards learning Japanese.
That's odd that his Afrikaans would be almost native-live but his Dutch would be a little "off." I thought they were closely related languages.
I know very little about Afrikaans or Dutch but Swedish and Danish, two closely related languages, sound completely different. The vocabularies overlap to a very large extent, but the difference in pronounciation is ridiculous
As a Dane I'd second that. I can read Swedish without any problems at all, but it is almost unintelligible to me when spoken because of the difference in pronunciation (one of my friends has a Swedish dad who speaks Swedish, and my friend always laugh at our conversations because it is so obvious that I pretend to understand him and reply seemingly randomly). I could easily imagine that Dutch and Afrikaans is the same.
Last edited by Isbilenper (2012 February 25, 3:53 pm)
From: The Unique City of Liverpool Registered: 2011-06-03 Posts: 572 Website
My understanding from talking to people from India is that no outsiders learn the local dialects. Everyone speaks some combination of Hindi, English, and Punjabi so you would only need three languages to interpret pretty much everything in India.
There's no need for any 100-dialect superstars when everyone is somewhat multilingual. Without solid evidence, I would assume the same situation holds in other areas with many dialects, hence the prominence of Mandarin/Cantonese in China, French in Africa, etc. (I don't think Spanish in South America is the same, I believe the original languages have largely fallen into disuse.)
More particularly, without solid evidence, I wouldn't believe the existence of a super-polyglot just because an area happens to have many dialects. Such a person may exist, or they may not, but the dialects don't prove anything about such a person's existence.
Sorry to necropost but in the book babel no more there are references to multilinguals in the amazon and india who speak six languages and the anthropologist Arthur Sorensen is quoted as saying that everyone knows three four or more languages in the north west of the amazon along the Vaupes river. i am trying to find the article. I thought i had read something like this before.