Girl from Czech Republic speak 48 languages include dead languages

Idea for podcast with Steve Kaufman: Girl from Czech Republic speak 48 languages include dead languages Polyglotka Eva Spekhorstová mluví osmačtyřiceti jazyky - Novinky


I call bullshit

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Not a genius, but not a bluff either.


And these are the resources she - that is, Eva Maria Spekhorstová - uses:

• Busuu (app)
• Talk to Me in Korean (series of actual books in physical form) - a series of 6 thick books!! She shows the books on the screen and you can see she is really engaged!
She also uses the app LingoDeer for grammar explanations in Korean. She uses LingoDeer for Japanese too.
• LingoDeer (app)
• Bunpo (app)
• Duolingo (app)
• Living Language (books for learning different languages)
• Turkish Basics (website; linked in the description)

Interesting that she says that Korean or Japanese grammar is very much more complex than Chinese.

She loves physical books and uses them for Greek and Hebrew. Such a genuine girl!

As you say, SergeyFM, she’s very much real!


You people will believe anything if you think a person can learn 40 languages fluently in 4 years.


@SergeyFM: for the record, I’ve just listened to the video and I can say she is very impressive. I’ve listened to her also in Spanish, Italian and French and I can say she’s incredible. In Italian she sounds almost like a native, she did just one tiny mistake but the way she speaks is very natural. I was impressed more on the way she speaks, almost like an Italian young girl, or teenage girl, considering she was speaking 22 languages at that time. I would give her credit even if that language was the only one she knew, considering she’s young.

Of course, we don’t know how much longer she can hold a conversation and how much deeper but still. I’m not even able to speak German in the way she speaks it, so kudos to her.


Yeah, she’s probably learnt 40 to 80 of language “riffs” like musicians do, just for the sake of impressing others, but is unable to talk really.
I can make such a trick with up to 120 different ‘riffs’ in 2 years, especially if I don’t have to actually learn the languages, only the sounds of chosen phrases.

I did something like that with English for fun, before I even started A1 stage. In 2 days I learnt by ear this story about Martin Luther King Jr:

imitating the narrator like a melody. For an ex-musician it’s not that hard, for 10 years I had to do it every day.

Fortunatly, I’ve passed this ‘fake it never really make it’ phase long ago. You’re never gonna succeed in general sense of a language and in growing your vocabulary even in 4 years, if you have to parrot 40 others.

My guess is she’s a good parrot, like myself, but not a polyglot. But she, probably, succeed in self-promotion, because here we are, discussing another youtube “polyglot”.

She said in the article: Apart from those where I have already reached C1-C2 level, which are Czech, English, German, Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch, I am learning all the others in parallel. Most recently, I have added Akkadian, which is taught as part of the archaeology course I am studying," the girl says.

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She also was in National talk show: (years ago) 3. Eva Spekhorstová - Show Jana Krause 12. 5. 2021 - YouTube National tv and many podcast

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I suspect a lot of these techniques are at play.


When I have a look at the video again, one thing I don’t like is the fact that she is never looking at the camera.

It’s not that she doesn’t have the language skills, but it’s still a bit of a bummer for me. On the other hand, I know how difficult it is to make videos, and I can relate to that.


Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying she isn’t working hard or completely “faking it”. The video I linked is a mix of techniques that will actually improve your language ability and ones that will make it appear better than it actually is. And intentionally or not, I’m sure nearly all of them are in play.

When I look at the list of languages someone in this thread said she speaks at a C1-C2 level, all are part of the Sprachbund. This dramatically reduces the time it takes to reach that level relative to a list that was: English, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Hebrew, Finnish, Latin. If it takes me 4.000 hours to reach C2 in Mandarin, why not use that same 4.000 to reach “C1/2” in 7? (Not saying I have any personal experience in that or anything…)

If you want to make headlines saying you speak 100 languages, there are a lot easier ways to do it than achieving near native level in even one L2. If you made it full-time job to study 40 languages in parallel, that would give you an hour a week, which is already more time than nearly anyone interested in learning an L2 actually commits.

At the end of the day, I personally find these sort of headlines as “missing the point” of language acquisition. Steve once said in a video it’s like wanting to get a membership card into a new culture, and that resonates with me a lot. We don’t have time to adopt 50 different sets of holidays and customs into our lives.

I won’t police how people spend their time, but to me, this is a completely different activity to what most people are after when they try to learn an L2, but presented as though it’s the same for headlines and clicks.


@SergeyFM: When I have a look at the video again, one thing I don’t like is the fact that she is never looking at the camera.

Keep in mind that this could be quite common for whoever is not get used to the camera. They do this because they look at themselves in the monitor of the camera instead of looking at the lens of the camera. That’s why she is probably looking just by that side. You might see many inexperienced Youtubers doing that. She is not reading, she is just talking looking at herself. Imho.


Can´t tell how good she is but her Norweigian was alright, problem being from this video we can´t see if she is looking at notes. If people don´t have that much to do I can imagine they can learn a lot of languages, but how good they actually are I can´t be sure. Need to see someone in the situation. There are really talented people however, like that guy who learned Icelandic in 7 days for a TV show.

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We don’t have time to adopt 50 different sets of holidays and customs into our lives.

Only something as practical as Sabbath, when speaking about unpaid extra hours on the work or some of the family responsibilities :slight_smile:

Bwa hahahaa. Hey, I’m got some land on the moon for sale you might be interested in!

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Just for the record. She really doesn’t seem as some sort of scam. There’s no other profit apart from a little bit of attention for several years. It might be, as @noxialisrex pointed out

“missing the point” of language acquisition. Steve once said in a video it’s like wanting to get a membership card into a new culture.

So probably she’s not after knowing all the languages fluently, but some of them she knows better than others, some of them on the A1 level. In terms of pronunciation she’s really good, she definetely has good memory, but is spreading her efforts too widely.

So don’t be jealous, you’re a good boy too and you can do the same if you want to :smiley:

Hm, I lost interested in her after ca. 10 secs when she started saying in one of her vids that Busuu was so “cool”…

Her SLA tool selection (see Maria’s post below) sounds more like that of a not very experienced language learner…

Stewart would probably say in this context: “C1-C2 fluency, my ass…”

Re “C1-C2” level: Do you even “know” what that means?


“C1, she probably knows from the languages 8000words.”
Well, native speakers usually use conventionalized word groups, not individual words. And there are tens of thousands of them. We have discussed this repeatedly in this forum…

“But her father is Dutch a her mother Czech and the parents talk eachother in German. She was surrounded by these languages.”
OK. Then she has basically three native languages (more or less): Czech, Dutch, and German.
And as Toby and you insinuated, if she mastered one Romance language (let’s say Italian or Spanish at a B2-C1 level), then it wouldn’t be too hard to learn other Romance languages at least orally at a B2 level as well - because these are “low hanging fruits” (it’s the same for Dutch and German, for instance).

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t say that she’s fake (or something like that), but there’s a “huge” difference between everyday (B2) oral fluency and a C1 - C2 / C2 level in a language. And without extensive testing, we’ll never know.

Re “Busuu” (that I know quite well because I tested it extensively with five different languages a few years ago): apart from the writing forum (which is actually a very “nice” feature), it’s more or less a digital version of a modern text book approach. If an SLA learner thinks that’s “cool” (or revolutionary or…) for SLA, then he or she is just a fool…
and then add “Duolingo” to the SLA tool mix - oh boy! :slight_smile:

Sorry, when it comes to SLA (tools, practices or theories), I doubt that this girl can teach experienced language learners anything that is even remotely interesting.

Be that as it may, I prefer to focus on the coming AI war (Microsoft / ChatGPT vs Google /Bard) or an NLP course from Stanford, that’s “far” more exciting than someone who is dabbling in countless L2s :slight_smile:


I think we’re underestimating the power of her synesthesia. Without that, she’d probably be hosed. She’s also young, so she presumably has a lot of disposable time compared to those of us who are older with kids and jobs and whatnot. The article pretty clearly talks up her skills beyond what they probably are, and she herself says she’s a beginner in a bunch of her claimed languages, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that someone with synesthesia could be pretty familiar and at least a little conversant with a large number of languages. I mean, Wouter Corduweiner (sp?) is conversant in nearly 30, right?

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