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Ziad Fazah - The Complete Video

 Language Learning Forum : Polyglots Post Reply
56 messages over 7 pages: 13 4 5 6 7  Next >>
Lizzern
Diglot
Senior Member
Norway
Joined 5786 days ago

791 posts - 1053 votes 
Speaks: Norwegian*, English
Studies: Japanese

 
 Message 9 of 56
28 August 2009 at 4:56pm | IP Logged 
Ugh I couldn't watch it all. SQUIRM.

I honestly don't know the reasoning behind why he would go ahead with translating people's questions and whatnot, if he didn't understand what they said, KNOWING that there was somebody RIGHT THERE who would call him on it and expose him as a liar/idiot instantly. No hesitation at all. NONE.

I don't get it. Either he genuinely believes he understood them right, or he has a complete lack of understanding for the kind of embarrassment he's put upon himself for not just fessing up and saying, eh, I didn't actually understand that, I used to know that language though. Neither of which is a good sign...

The thing is, he would've probably been able to pull it off if he'd said he's forgotten a lot of the languages he's learned (assuming he ever actually learned these languages) and would have difficulty understanding or speaking them. Some people would still think he was a jerk (and understandably so) for going around saying he speaks 58 languages, but it's not like it should be news to anyone who has a degree of familiarity with language learning that just because we understood and could speak a language at a certain level at one point doesn't mean we will forever maintain the same level of ability (unfortunately).

I once had a good reading ability of biblical Hebrew, a decent understanding of spoken and written Hungarian, heck at one point my German was pretty alright. But it would be beyond foolish of me to claim I could speak these languages now. Obviously.

I don't get it...

Liz

Edited by Lizzern on 28 August 2009 at 4:58pm

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snoppingasusual
Quadrilingual Hexaglot
Groupie
Lebanon
Joined 5444 days ago

49 posts - 65 votes 
Speaks: Arabic (Egyptian), French*, English*, Arabic (Written)*, Arabic (Levantine)*, Spanish

 
 Message 10 of 56
28 August 2009 at 5:29pm | IP Logged 
Dear reader,

I think all of us suffer from this delusion. Should I bash someone for making grammatical errors? Should I bash anyone for not composing a correct sentence in the multilingual lounge? No, for all of us are prone to make mistakes. I shall support my hypothesis with an example: When I was young, I used to play a game on Facebook called Who has the Biggest Brain?. I used to have a record of four thousand points. After taking a break for a few months, I came back and realized that after nine consecutive challenges, I was only at a record of 2439 points. Does this make me a failure in the game, even though I had a record in it in the past? No, for I still had something in the game, even though it was in the past. However, this is not the case here. In history, no one can corroborate that you once had something. People who see the present will say that the claim is a lie, while there was no one who could justify the past.

But, since he seems to have some sort of knowledge of the languages he claims to speak, then we can validate that he actually knew a myriad amount of languages in the past. However, this method is surely not one hundred percent correct, and thus we go to another theory: him having a Russian phrase that might be identical to a Croatian phrase, and thus he misinterpets it.

All in all, we cannot validate his claims, and we are just spouting random theories and judgements in places we should not interfere.

I am sorry if this offensive; I did not intend to make it so. I am just getting my point across: do not bash the people who are incapable, and make yourself look better by working hard and being modest. I admire all of you for your passionate love of languages, and you can all be better than Ziad Fazah by studying and being humble.

Regards,

Snoppingasusual.

Edited by snoppingasusual on 29 August 2009 at 4:31am

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karaipyhare
Tetraglot
Groupie
Paraguay
Joined 5462 days ago

74 posts - 150 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese, Spanish*, English, Guarani
Studies: German, Italian, French, Mandarin, Japanese

 
 Message 11 of 56
28 August 2009 at 5:55pm | IP Logged 
That video is really embarrassing. I've also read this post here http://ardentagnostic.blogspot.com/2009/03/ziad-fazah-man-wh o-does-not-speak-59.html
where there's an excerpt of one of his books, namely an English course. The phonetic
explanation is HORRIBLE, I always objected the use of what I call "native
transliterations" of foreign languages (that is like saying "this word in English is
pronounced like = [put here letters that pronounced together in your language sound
somewhat similar to the English word]) I HATE that method, it shows a total lack of
phonetic knowledge, it's a childish way to learn.

He's a fallen idol for me now
Maybe he read something about the language's grammar or structure, like any lingophile
does. But he's far from being able to "speak" a language. He's no more than a
charlatan.

PS: I laughed sooo much at the way he seemed to hand-comb his bald-patch when he's
getting nervous.
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Russianbear
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 6652 days ago

358 posts - 422 votes 
1 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, Ukrainian
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 12 of 56
28 August 2009 at 5:58pm | IP Logged 
snoppingasusual wrote:
However, this method is surely not one hundred percent correct, and thus we go to another theory: him having a Russian phrase that might be identical to a Croatian phrase, and thus he misinterpets it.


We have Croatian/Serbian speakers on this forum, so maybe they can confirm whether the Russian question sounded anything like a Croatian phrase. Also, the man who asked the question looked much more Russian than Croatian, and given the number of speakers, perhaps it would be more reasonable to expect Russian and to first think of Russian rather than Croatian. In any case, even, if the Russian question sounded potentially similar to a Croatian phrase, it is not like Fazah came up with a meaningful answer/reply to it.

Anyway, he comes off better in this longer version, because the shorter version that was linked to before only showed his errors/failures, while this one seemed to have a couple of the things he did get right.

Edited by Russianbear on 28 August 2009 at 6:01pm

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snoppingasusual
Quadrilingual Hexaglot
Groupie
Lebanon
Joined 5444 days ago

49 posts - 65 votes 
Speaks: Arabic (Egyptian), French*, English*, Arabic (Written)*, Arabic (Levantine)*, Spanish

 
 Message 13 of 56
28 August 2009 at 6:09pm | IP Logged 
That is not what I meant. I was just using that as an example; he could simply have mixed it with another language. The point is, it's laughable when people make fun of others, while they are far from perfection themselves.

Edited by snoppingasusual on 28 August 2009 at 7:30pm

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Walshy
Triglot
Senior Member
Australia
Joined 6819 days ago

335 posts - 365 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, German

 
 Message 14 of 56
28 August 2009 at 7:01pm | IP Logged 
snoppingasusual wrote:
That is not what I meant. I was just using that as an example; he could simply have mixed it with another language.


Could he rightly claim fluency in the two languages, if that were the case?

snoppingasusual wrote:
The point is, its laughable when people make fun of others, and they are far from perfection themselves.


No, it's not. In a debate, that is known as an "ad-hominem" fallacy.

In short, the abilities of the people criticizing Mr. Fazah's claims are irrelevant, becaus they are not going around making similar claims and making money from them.


Edited by Walshy on 28 August 2009 at 7:03pm

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mlewan
Newbie
France
lewan.chez-alice.fr/
Joined 6137 days ago

9 posts - 12 votes

 
 Message 15 of 56
28 August 2009 at 7:30pm | IP Logged 
Point one. Laughing at people who do not want to laughed at, is not nice. One thing is to point out actual mistakes, shortcomings and exaggerated claims - to laugh at them is anyhow not polite.

Point two. I think Ziad Fazah came out worse in the long video. In the short version, one could still imagine that one did not get the full picture, and that the full picture contained some explanations for his mistakes. However, apart from the Arabic part, I think the full picture was as bad as the shortened one. The Finnish part was not that bad, as he managed to pronounce some phrases correctly - however, they were still irrelevant to the question.

Point three. Psychologically, I do not wonder about Ziad Fazah's claims. I have met other people who exaggerate their own skills. I probably do so myself to some extent. What I do wonder about is all the people who so ardently supported him in the past. What were their reasons to testify his incredible abilities?

Point four. If anyone wants to update the Wikipedia article with a link to the Youtube video, feel free to do so. I have tried to do so in the past, but the impolite comments by some anonymous editors have made me give up on the article.
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translator2
Senior Member
United States
Joined 6796 days ago

848 posts - 1862 votes 
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 16 of 56
28 August 2009 at 9:49pm | IP Logged 
RE: The wikipedia article: "...he asks to be told which languages he will be required to speak and the general topics that will be discussed..." No doubt so that he can make a better "guess" at what is being said and pre-prepare a general response.



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