25 year old Iranian speaks 19 languages

interesting video - from the comments on youtube there is some debate about it’s authenticity but it seems more or less legit. Now, is the title of “genius” that the tv station assigns him warranted? maybe - though I do wonder if there is an age/language number relation at which one is considered a genius. like is 10 languages at 60 years genius? is 5 at 30? who makes these numbers. All scrutiny aside if he does speak that many languages he very may have some inate ability -yeah I know people here love to think everyone is equal, but I still think, as the proverb goes “some are more equal than others” :slight_smile:

leaving aside sheer numbers, what’s the use of knowing so many languages? There are people in this world who do well even if they are monolingual, I would not consider him a genius, languages are just an infinitesimal part of human knowledge

adalbertolito - what if you are trapped in a room with a rabbi, a pope and an imam? what then?

ahahah! well at least I could talk with the pope!

I agree that the word “genius” is most likely not appropriate in this case. Dictionaries define genius with someone that has exceptional intellectual ability to transform something into an achievement for the benefit of human kind. It has been said that humans use in their lifetime only 5% of their full mental capacity. Therefore, speaking or learning different languages does not make me a genius but a more educated person with the faculty to speak and learn from many others around the globe.

As for this 25 year old Iranian, If it is true, I commend him for his dedication and only hope he puts this new ability to speak in 19 languages to enjoy them as he uses them.

mm the 5-10% thing is not fully true

err LingQ spoiled the link google “wikipedia 10% brain”

yuriythebest.- I could not open the lingq but in any case, we will never agree as to what percentage the human brain is used. That is why I merely said: “It has been said”. the truth of the story is we don’t exercise our intellectual enough. By the way, are there any numbers out there that show a percentage of people around the world that speaks over 10 languages, 5 or more, 2 or more, monolinguals, etc. Does anyone has an idea?

arenas it’s just a regular wikipedia link just google “wikipedia 10% brain”. As for people who speak 10 or more lanuages wikipedia has a list of those as well - there are about several dozen recorded people (including the venerable Steve Kaufmann). 5+ languages isn’t that incredible and, especially in africa where there are many dialects/languages per country it’s not uncommon for people to speak 5 languages.

“leaving aside sheer numbers, what’s the use of knowing so many languages?”

The use? I doubt that anybody “has to” be able to speak that many, unless he/she works as an interpreter of the UN. However, I don’t learn languages because of the usefulness, but rather pure enjoyment, e.g. I’d be happy if I could read literature in 19 languages. (or just half of them…).

yuriythebest, thanks this morning I looked it up at wikipedia, however, they are talking about brain usage as if one tiny little part of the brain (physically) was being used. What they don’t say is what capacity does the brain has or how much information could the brain store throughout a man’s life. My own belief, and putting it in layman’s terms is that the brain is like a sponge and the more liquid absorbs the heavier and it gets. The brain is similar in the sense that the more information you put in it, the more it will absorb.

I know we disagre but that is the beauty of this, to agree to disagree.

errata: disagree

Something I have noticed in all these people who speak 10+ languages is that they become somewhat arrogant or quite full of themselves (of course, not all of them), but I get that from this Iranian guy as well. This may be off-topic and worthy of a new thread, sorry for hijacking this one!

Falcao I have noticed the same from many people that just speak 1 language :slight_smile: Plus, if you do learn 10-20 languages you have the right to be self-satisfied and you can have every right to criticize those language learning methods coughtraditional educationcough that you deem ineffective.

yuriythebest, I meant the proportion of arrogance amongst polyglots is bigger than that of the rest of the population, at least that’s what it seems to me. Of course arrogance is everywhere and I’m not necessarily saying it is a “bad” thing, I just meant to point it out haha. After all that’s what I’m aiming for (being a polyglot, not arrogant, ha!) so I do have a lot of admiration for them.

I agree that by knowing several languages you have the right to be proud of what you have achieved, but don’t we all have the right to feel self-satisfied for whatever we have achieved, whether in language learning or anything else we have done? In my opinion, that applies to everyone, not only “polyglots”.

I do agree though, that after learning 10-20 languages you have the right to voice your opinion and criticize any language learning method you need ineffective. That’s a definitely well-earned right!!!

Everyone likes to feel special.
Most polyglots seem to be Men, or you just hear more about the male polyglots because they are cocky by their gender’s nature.
With a light sprinkling of modesty and nonchalance to make it appear effortless to them, as in the old “haha oh, this old thing?”

we can not access youtube, that is bad. Our government blocked the website.

hoo - you can use VPN/Proxy

Oh even through I learning only 1 language, I’ve spent many years to study it. How people can learn many language in shot time? Unbelievable, but it happens anyway.