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Video Wili Melnikov - 103 languages

 Language Learning Forum : Polyglots Post Reply
37 messages over 5 pages: 13 4 5  Next >>
jimbo
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 Message 9 of 37
17 November 2010 at 1:23pm | IP Logged 
Vlad wrote:
My estimation is, that even if you were a born 3-4 lingual, had the best immersion possibilities
while you were a child and would do nothing else, but learn and practice languages for the rest of your life, you still
could not get over 25-30 languages in your late 70ties.


Live forever or die trying!
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Fasulye
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 Message 10 of 37
17 November 2010 at 4:45pm | IP Logged 
It's a huge pity that I don't speak or understand any Russian, because I would like to understand the information that is given about Melnikov in the video which presents him as a polyglot. What I can understand is that one question to him is asked in Danish, but he isn't capable of replying in Danish. (EDIT)

Fasulye

Edited by Fasulye on 17 November 2010 at 6:24pm

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slhdn
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 Message 11 of 37
17 November 2010 at 6:29pm | IP Logged 
lol, the accents ..
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Vlad
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 Message 12 of 37
17 November 2010 at 7:13pm | IP Logged 
I translated the parts related to his language skills:

Special capabilities are often a result of stress, trauma, the result of waking up from a coma or any other physical impact on the brain. After suffering from a head injury, Willy Melnikov not only began to speak 103 languages, but also started to write poetry in them.

Willy has many acquaintances all over the world and he can talk to all of them in their own native language.

After his 10th grade, Willy was accepted to a Veterinary academy and later sent to Afghanistan. As a 23 year old, Willy Melnikov suffers a grave injury to the left part of his brain. During the operation, his heart stops and the doctors proclaim him as clinically dead. Unexpectedly, after 7 minutes, Willy’s heart begins to beat again.

3-4 years after his injury in Afghanistan, a phenomenal memory and the desire to learn awakens in Willy. Melnikov starts to work as a (I didn’t understand the word), he studies astrophysics and entomology, and tries his luck as an artist, actor and poet, but the main thing is, he learns 103 world languages to perfection.

Question: Do you feel to be a Superhuman?
Answer: *Laugh* Of course not. Not even in a nightmare would I dream of such a thing.

Willy easily agrees to any testing of his knowledge. He is now on his way to meet 3 foreigners and does not know, which languages he will have to speak.

Interview:

Japanese:
Have you ever been to Japan?

Willy: For me it is more interesting to travel in time, rather than in space.

Tomoko: I was very surprised, that he has never been to Japan, he yet speaks Japanese so well.

Patrice, student from Côte d'Ivoire: The Baule language is very rare, why did you decide to study it?

Willy: I decided to study Baule, because I used to study together with people from Côte d'Ivoire. And for me it was interesting. (now a part that I don’t get where he says: than people breathe in your country/what people breathe in your country??)

Patrice: Our language is not a language that can be studied in school or university, and yet a person from Russia understands it, we were communicating and I liked it very much.

Sigga: How long have you been studying Danish?

Willy: I am sorry, I speak Icelandic. I can understand Danish well, but it is difficult for me to speak it.

Sigga: He was speaking Icelandic almost all the time. It was difficult for me to understand. But I think he could be understood.

Willy could not remember how to speak Danish, that’s why he rather spoke Icelandic, which belongs to the same language group.

Willy: One should not perceive polyglots as walking biocomputers, as if it would be enough to move the cursor over the correct file, make a mouse click and the language would be learned. No, it’s not like this, even though I would like it to be this way.

Willy thinks, that there are no people incapable of learning foreign languages; only ones learning techniques should be different.

Willy: I never approach languages through grammar. I start with dialogues. It is absolutely possible, within 5, 8, 9, 10 months, to absorb ….. 6 languages and know them perfectly, when it comes to speaking and writing. It really is possible to know them. *I didn’t get all the words in this sentence*

What is it that makes the brain of Willy Melnikov so different from others? Willy’s brain has been injured, his left *** part has been damaged – the place where the speech center of the brain is located. The human brain is a universal system and should one part stop working a different part starts to support its function. Possibly because of the fact that Willy’s speech center has been moved from the left hemisphere into the right-creative one, he became a lot more absorbing towards languages.

Willy: For me the criteria for one to “know” a language is the ability to write poems in it, depending on the situation and/or mood. It’s difficult to say whether it is a gift or a curse. It is difficult to say. You know, it all depends on the eyes and ears of those who are listening to me and who are looking at me at the given moment. There are those, who consider this a gift from God, and there are not few of those who consider this to be the proof of my pact with the devil.
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litovec
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 Message 13 of 37
17 November 2010 at 7:19pm | IP Logged 
Fasulye wrote:
It's a huge pity that I don't speak or understand any Russian, because I would like to understand the information that is given about Melnikov in the video which presents him as a polyglot. What I can understand is that one question to him is asked in Danish, but he isn't capable of replying in Danish. (EDIT)

Fasulye

Short summary. He was shelled in the head during Soviet military involvement in Afganistan. Afterwards, he was able to learn things fast and effectively. The journalists conducted the experiment that he faces 3 foreigners which native languages were not known to him in advance. The Japanese girl was very happy this his Japanese, the guy from Africa seems to be happy too, he failed, however, to speak Danish ("He forgot Danish at this moment" states the journalist), but said some phrases to her in Icelandic.
To the journalist's question "Are you a superman?", he was very confused and said "Of course, no!"
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Arekkusu
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 Message 14 of 37
17 November 2010 at 8:26pm | IP Logged 
Vlad wrote:
After suffering from a head injury, Willy Melnikov not only began to speak 103 languages, [...]

Poof, just like that!

Vlad wrote:
[in Japanese] Willy: For me it is more interesting to travel in time, rather than in space.


Hmmm... I didn't get that at all. Actually, he even said "nihon no" which would mean something like "Japan's" and that didn't even show up in the Russian translation.

Vlad wrote:
It is absolutely possible, within 5, 8, 9, 10 months, to absorb ….. 6 languages and know them perfectly, when it comes to speaking and writing. It really is possible to know them.

Learning at that pace, it would still take you about 10-15 years to reach 103, not to mention that learning a language for a month can only expose you to a small subsample of the language that "speaking it to perfection" would hardly apply. This regimen would also leave no time to practice languages you spent one month studying, years before.

Vlad wrote:
There are those, who consider this a gift from God, and there are not few of those who consider this to be the proof of my pact with the devil.

Right...

But after all this, one interesting question remains -- why stop at 103? Did he get tired of it all?
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Fasulye
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 Message 15 of 37
17 November 2010 at 9:33pm | IP Logged 
Vlad, thanks a lot for providing me and other non-speakers of Russian with a translation/transcript of this Russian video.

The contents of this video together with qualified comments of forum members like for example Iversen (commenting on Melnikov's Icelandic) give a sharp contrast.

Fasulye

Edited by Fasulye on 18 November 2010 at 8:50am

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Doitsujin
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 Message 16 of 37
17 November 2010 at 11:19pm | IP Logged 
I looked at his 30 languages video and according to the TV subtitles he speaks German at 0:32, but it doesn't sound like German at all. What language was he really speaking?


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