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May 1, 2012 by 4 Comments

As you may know, I went to New York recently.  This was not a planned holiday for me, though I did get to see some great things! 🙂  The main reason for my trip was to take part in the 16×9 show on Global TV in Canada.

As part of the show I met up with Tim Doner in New York City.

I am sure most people reading this blog entry have heard of Tim following the article about him in the New York Times and his TV appearance on the Today Show in the United States.  For those of you who don’t know Tim, he is a talented young man (just 16), eager to learn many languages.  His language ability and repertoire are as varied as they are impressive.

Here is Tim speaking in Farsi at just 15 years old:


You can check out his YouTube channel to see more videos of him speaking in other languages he has studied: PolyglotPal

Carolyn Jarvis of 16×9 invited me to meet Tim in New York and to film our meeting together for the show.  The 16×9 team organised interviews with us both and also discussed the phenomenon of polyglots with various linguists and language learners, including Michael Erard (author of “Babel No More”) and Steve Kaufman (founder of “LingQ”).

The show will air on Saturday 5th May 2012 at 7pm (AT|ET|MT|PT) in Canada.  If you are not in Canada and you would like to see the show, it will appear on the 16×9 website  a day or two later.

The experience has already led to some really interesting meetings for me, which I would like to share and explore with you in coming posts.

I hope you will find it interesting and enjoyable to watch.  Most of all, I would like to see this work add to an ever-increasing awareness of not only polyglots, but also language learning as a whole.  It should also serve to direct people interested in language learning to the many support channels open to them within our growing online community.

If you sign up for italki and buy a coupon for language lessons through them, you can use the Promo Code below at checkout to get $5 OFF your order! So a $10 coupon costs you just $5! Use Promo Code: RICHARD

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This post was written by Richard


  • Ryan says:

    Very cool! I’m looking forward to seeing it.

  • Jimmy Mello says:

    Hello Richard,
    How are the things? I have watched your interview in Canadian TV, and it was absolutely fantastic, congratulations! Finally people are getting more interested in language learners and polyglots. By the way, How are your studies of Hungarian using Pimsleur Method? I haven´t seen nothing in your blog since then, I am little late in my studies, today I should be on the day 17th but in fact I reached only the lesson 14th, I have posted some things about the language and I have prepared I set of Flashcards based on the vocabulary of lessons 1 to 3, the most difficult for a beginner. If you have a spare time take a look:
    Best wishes.

    • Hrutman says:

      I completely agree and I think more and more peploe are learning this, thanks to Steven Pinker, was it?, I’ve seen more and more peploe spouting that 10,000 hours figure, that is it takes about 10,000 hours of dedicated practice/study to achieve mastery of any skill or ability. I’m not the least bit surprised at this figure. Additionally, the author (I think it was Pinker but I’m not sure, could have been Malcolm Gladwell) asserted that the only primary difference between peploe who master a skill and peploe who don’t is that the masters put in the necessary time, that’s it. I would generally agree.I’ve seen language teachers and bloggers attempting to address this problem in a sort of roundabout way (not to say it’s incorrect, I agree with it) by telling peploe that motivation matters more than anything, that your reason for wanting to learn the language is what really matters: how bad do you want it? What this does is it gets the person to become sufficiently motivated such that they’re consistently putting in the necessary TIME every single day, which does the trick. Ta-da.Cheers,Andrew

  • For some reason, since I started the planning of my university documentary about language learning, I’ve seen an influx of coverage of language learning and in particular, polyglots. The whole subject of speaking a foreign language has fascinated me since I was a child and I’m glad I’ve found this wealth of knowledge and more importantly, people on the interwebs.

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