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Fluent in 11 languages
Thread poster: XXXphxxx

XXXphxxx  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:35
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Feb 21, 2012

Even if he is reading off an autocue I find his accent pretty darn impeccable in the languages I can judge in. Lucky lad.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17107435


 

Frankie JB
France
English to French
+ ...
Impressive young polyglot Feb 21, 2012

Thank you for sharing Lisa!

Quite impressive performance, esp. at this early age. Maybe the new Mezzofanti?

As far as I can judge with relevance:

-His Greek sounds perfect (he confirmed he was a "true bilingual"),
-His French is a bit unnatural (Swiss accent? French is normally much more romantic!)
-His German sounds ok but maybe naive (short time)
-His Italian sounds ok too but naive, (btw it's "perché" not "porque";)

As a matter of fact, the reason he may sound "naive" in French, German and Italian is because seemingly he hasn't practiced in context, just learned language as a closed/virtual system... or maybe the reason is just that he is repeating/reading a memorized/written speech...!

Very impressive too to hear how a voice changes according to the language.
Pity he doesn't do justice to French in this respecticon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2012-02-21 10:42 GMT]


 

XXXphxxx  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:35
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Okay, 'impeccable' might be overstating it Feb 21, 2012

However, I'm judging him from the standard of the average British 20 year old who would struggle to order a meal in French.

 

linguandre Russo
Italy
Local time: 06:35
English to Italian
+ ...
Interesting, but... Feb 21, 2012

His Italian is not that good, honestly.
Anyway, giving a little speech in eleven languages does not mean having a C2 level in all of these languages, also because he has not studied the grammar of some of them. Learning a language in the country where it is spoken makes you fluent, not grammatically impeccable (or almost).

Then, we have two sentences to judge from, so next to nothing. And knowing a language means also to understand it (reading and listening comprehension) and to write it without too many mistakes.

Despite all this, still quite impressive, although maybe a bit useless...


 

Mailand  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:35
Italian to German
+ ...
... although maybe a bit useless ... Feb 21, 2012

that was my second thought, too (after: impressive). But then: does the learning of languages, the pleasure to comunicate always have to have a "use"? I don´t think the young man applies for a job as an interpreter (have to admit I didn´t go into what exactly he is applying for, because there is a "background" here). Reading the title of the post there was also a hint of "oh, another "savant sauvage" , but the young man seems quite "normal" to me, personable, could even be a "cool type" to young people, and therefore a sort of role modelicon_wink.gif. He says at one point "I wanted to be able to talk to people" - and that is what it´s about. In an online dictionary I found this for "fluent": "able to express oneself readily and effortlessly", a couple of sentences does not make this plain to us, but "fluent" does probably not imply"without an accent" and "elegantly".

 

Anna Spanoudaki-Thurm  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:35
Member (2009)
German to Greek
+ ...
Impressive Feb 21, 2012

... although his greek is also clearly not native. He did not make any mistakes, but "something was wrong". Let's say, I would not trust him to translate into greek.
Still, this is cool!


 

David Hayes  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:35
Member (2009)
French to English
Impressive, but ... Feb 21, 2012

I thought it was a very solid performance, especially for a 20 year old! I can only judge the quality of the French, which only got a passing look in. It is clearly not the strongest of his 11 languages and he did not sound like a native speaker. "Personnalité", for example, was pronounced with a definite English twang.

But give the guy a chance - he's a student and so is in the full-time occupation of learning more and gradually improving. I'd like to see him again in about 10 years' time.


 

Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
But not bad at all Feb 21, 2012

linguandre wrote:

His Italian is not that good, honestly.


Just a bit naive like his French, as far as I can judge.

Thanks for sharing, very interestingicon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2012-02-21 13:05 GMT]


 

linguandre Russo
Italy
Local time: 06:35
English to Italian
+ ...
Other comments... Feb 21, 2012

Even if he applied for a job as an interpreter I do not think he would be more likely to be chosen than someone who can translate perfectly from only one language. He would not be chosen for translating from and into eleven languages, so I do not see how useful it is to be such a polyglot.

Also, it is virtually impossible to have a native accent in more than one or two languages. He should have learned them all when he was little, not now, if he wanted to have a perfect (in the sense of native) accent.

Anyway, it is important that he has mentioned that he wants to "talk to people", to communicate, because that is why languages exist. And of course I would personally like to know more than just two languages in order to be able to communicate with people from different nationalities.



P.S.: yes Angie, not that bad either. But we should have longer excerpts to listen to to judge more precisely.

[Edited at 2012-02-21 12:55 GMT]


 

Vadim Kadyrov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 07:35
Member (2011)
English to Russian
+ ...
His Russian Feb 21, 2012

is quite far from what is spoken in Russia, still, German seems to be OK

 

Laura Gentili  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 06:35
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Very strong accent Feb 21, 2012

In Italian and Hebrew his foreign accent is very strong.

Laura


 

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:35
Flemish to English
+ ...
Kato Lomb Feb 21, 2012

Reminds me of the first simultaneous interpreter in the world: Kato Lomb, who earned money with sixteen languages (Bulgarian, Chinese, Danish, English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Ukrainian). She learned these languages mostly by self-effort, as an autodidact. Her aims to acquire these languages were most of all practical, to satisfy her interest.

 

XXXphxxx  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:35
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Are we not splitting hairs? Feb 21, 2012

Goodness me, what a negative bunch we are! He's 20, he's having fun, he's not claiming that he speaks any of these languages perfectly but he's doing an excellent job of it and if I were his teacher or mother I would be mighty proud - 'nuff said.

 

missdutch  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 06:35
Member (2010)
English to Italian
+ ...
You nailed it, Lisa. Feb 21, 2012

Lisa Simpson, MCIL wrote:

Goodness me, what a negative bunch we are! He's 20, he's having fun, he's not claiming that he speaks any of these languages perfectly but he's doing an excellent job of it and if I were his teacher or mother I would be mighty proud - 'nuff said.


Translators can be a negative, bitter, acrimonious bunch.

Just to make an example: how many threads do we have here about simply bad/funny and bad/preposterous and bad translations? Loads.
And how many about good/excellent/virtually perfect/OMG-it-changed-my-life translations?
That's right, none.

I very much admire this remarkable, talented young man. What he's achieved so far shows he's intelligent, hard working, disciplined and driven, and I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours.


 

David Hayes  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:35
Member (2009)
French to English
Impeccable Feb 21, 2012

I suppose people took literally your opening claim that at least some of the accents were impeccable (i.e. without flaw or error). As somone less gifted than this student, I am completely incapable of judging ten of his languages. For the eleventh, which I designate as French, I am competant and have already given my reaction.

There are Brits who can speak French to absolute perfection (a random example that comes to mind is the actress Charlotte Rampling, whom I was not convinced was English until I researched her biography a bit). I am judging this guy by these high standards, and not against the average (non) ability of a typical linguistically challenged British student. The guy has, after all, won a competition and is thereby inviting critical comment on his ability.


 
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