(Synaesthetic) Perception - Feel My Vision

This is an advanced English podcast on synaesthesia (also spelled synesthesia), or the mixing of the senses, as in “hearing colors” or “tasting sounds”.

tinyurl: http://tinyurl.com/3nrtmx2

"This is a rebroadcast of the first podcast in the MayhemRadio series Recreating Reality, from our very own contributor Rose. First uploaded a year ago, this provides an excellent ground work for many of the concepts and ideas which Rose has touched on over her last two segments.

In this podcast she examines the phenomena known as synaesthesia and what it means to the philosophic idea that reality is in the eye of the beholder."

Interesting link.

Does anyone here have synesthesia? I wonder if it would have any possible effect on language learning. Probably not, but maybe if you hear blue when you hear a certain word or something, you would be able to remember it more easily.

I think Daniel Tammet (is that his name?) has synesthesia.

I should add, the guy who I just mentioned managed to learn Icelandic in a week and remember pi to something like 22,500 decimal places.

The Australian polyglot Stu Jay Raj claims to have synaesthetic experiences (albeit without using the term), and apparently he’s also a talented jazz musician.

He talks about it in this part of an interview on the Thai talk show “Joh Jai”, but the whole interview is actually quite interesting.

Part 5 - Stu Jay Raj - Hearing in Colours

Oh, I think I remember hearing about that guy before I even started learning languages, James123. Do you really believe the Icelandic thing?
I’ll research it more.

Not really. I don’t understand how anyone can get enough exposure to a langauge in a week, to then be considered fluent. I’d say it was probably just advertising.

Perhaps “normal” individuals cannot become “fluent” in a week, but I think everyone is capable of learning much faster than is commonly accepted.

It’s simply the fact that most individuals do not push their limits and/or have more or less unstructured learning habits.

Also, keep in mind that Daniel Tammet (allegedly, of course) dedicated himself to the sole act of learning a language for an entire week.

How many people have ever done that, and if one hasn’t, how can one claim what is or is not possible?

I remember watching Daniel speaking icelandic. It seems to me that the scene was heavily edited to make it look like he was conversing well.

I also remember seeing him speaking French. He was kind of at the intermediate level.

I think at one point he was trying to sell his language learning method. But of course it wouldn’t make much sense, since he is supposed to possess an abnormal ability.

Ah, found the site: http://www.optimnem.co.uk/tutorials.php

I wonder what could be his sales pitch. Something like “I have this abnormal ability, let me teach you…”?

I dedicated myself to learning Chinese. I did nothing but, just about, for months on end. I had 3 hours a day of classes, and spend most of the rest of the day listening, reading, and practicing and studying. It was a lot of work for a long time. Nine months to my British Foreign Service Exam.

One week is barely enough to discover the strangeness of the new language, and perhaps to say a few things. At least for most ordinary people, like me, I think.

But Tammet does offer videos of himself being interviewed. I do not speak Icelandic but the Icelandic speakers seemed genuinely impressed. I have not seen him in French.

I do not have synaesthetic abilities and personally do not really believe in such things as far as most people are concerned. I do not exclude the possibility that this works for some exceptional people.

This ability might allow him to possess extraordinary memory. But isn’t learning a language much more than just memorizing stuff?

BTW, I can recite PI to 100 decimals at one point in my life. I can still recite 50 decimals now (sometimes better when drunk). But no one I know (including my wife) has been impressed by this. They all think that I am weird.

“He was kind of at the intermediate level.” - He seemed pretty comfortable in the interview there. I consider myself to be intermediate in French, and I wouldn’t be as comfortable as he was (and I didn’t understand quite as much as he appeared to either, there were a few key words there that I missed).


search Steve’s blog and his Youtube channel. He has had a post and a video on Daniel Tammet’s most recent book which I read after watching the video. I didn’t find the book too relevant to language learning though.

Edwin, 100 decimal places! The most I’ve ever done it to is 9, but now can only remember it starts off with 3.14. Two places is enough for me to remember!

Daniel Tammet is astounding, but as has already been mentioned, he’s got an unusual brain. We can marvel at the things the human brain is capable of, but he’s autistic and has problems that arise from that. He may be able to learn languages faster than we can, but there’s a terrible price he has to pay.

@Edwin, you always seem to be commenting on how well people don’t speak. It’s widely known that he can speak pretty well, and has a natural gift. The point isn’t really whether he is intermediate or advanced.

@roan: Please provide your evidence that I “always seem to be commenting on how well people don’t speak”.

I do not recall that all my comments are negative. For example, I recently praised Robert’s abilities in speaking several language: http://www.lingq.com/learn/fr/forum/1/10099/

Even like Benny, whom I question about his claims and methodology, I cannot recall making any negative comments on his speaking abilities.

When people post themselves up speaking foreign languages for the sake of showing their language abilities or promoting their products, methodologies, or claims, they are implicitly inviting people to comment on their language abilities.

@Peter: I think I was watching a video dated 2007: - YouTube

Centigua’s video was dated 2009. So apparently he has made quite an advance in 2 years. It was quite impressive to present the result of his calculation in a foreign language. I myself can recite Pi to 50 decimals in 10 seconds in my native language. But even for English, I have to mentally translate each decimal individually.

Oops, that video was dated 2009 too. I meant this one: FRANCE24 - FR - ENTRETIEN DANIEL TAMMET - YouTube


I live in China and the internet here is no fun, Youtube and many other video sharing websites and social networking sites are being blocked, so no, I havn’t been able to watch these clips.

It is a time ago I read DT’s book and I have to say that it never grabbed me and I didn’t finish all of it.

@Friedemann: I am thinking of opening a tuduo account to clone any video clips from Youtube which are of interested to the LingQ member, so that people in China can view them.

But first, I need to get through the maze of ads on their website.