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I have spoken to Ziad Fazah

 Language Learning Forum : Polyglots Post Reply
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smallwhite
Pentaglot
Senior Member
Australia
Joined 3576 days ago

537 posts - 1045 votes 
Speaks: Cantonese*, English, Mandarin, French, Spanish

 
 Message 17 of 104
10 November 2011 at 7:43pm | IP Logged 
At the end of the day, I guess it doesn't really matter whether Ziad had to revise before being tested. 'Cos even if he didn't, then instead of threads discussing how dare he slacked off maintenance of his 59 languages, we'd just have threads criticising his pronunciation, how that trill R was in front of a consonant so it should have been a tap R instead, that he made 2 preposition errors between 1:34 and 2:52 in the video, that he mixed in a Taiwanese slang when he spoke mainland Mandarin, and that he forgot to agree the adjective in 4:56 with the noun in 3:42. And he claims to speak those languages!

Anyway, I share a link:
I am a link

I don't know what language this article is in but I understood it. My Spanish has gone rusty, and I was 5 paragraphs into this article when I realised that I was not reading Spanish. I hope I can still claim to speak Spanish.

Edited by smallwhite on 10 November 2011 at 7:44pm

4 persons have voted this message useful





jeff_lindqvist
Diglot
Moderator
SwedenRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 5177 days ago

4250 posts - 5710 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English
Studies: German, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Mandarin, Esperanto, Irish, French
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 18 of 104
10 November 2011 at 8:12pm | IP Logged 
The article is in Portuguese.
3 persons have voted this message useful



Leurre
Bilingual Pentaglot
Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3693 days ago

219 posts - 372 votes 
Speaks: French*, English*, Korean, Haitian Creole, SpanishC2
Studies: Japanese

 
 Message 19 of 104
10 November 2011 at 8:38pm | IP Logged 
smallwhite wrote:
At the end of the day, I guess it doesn't really matter whether
Ziad had to revise before being tested. 'Cos even if he didn't, then instead of
threads discussing how dare he slacked off maintenance of his 59 languages, we'd just
have threads criticising his pronunciation, how that trill R was in front of a
consonant so it should have been a tap R instead, that he made 2 preposition errors
between 1:34 and 2:52 in the video, that he mixed in a Taiwanese slang when he spoke
mainland Mandarin, and that he forgot to agree the adjective in 4:56 with the noun in
3:42. And he claims to speak those languages!



Hah, if only it were so complex. I'll settle for criticizing him for saying that he
speaks a language and then not be able to understand a question on the days of the
week.

3 persons have voted this message useful



H.Computatralis
Triglot
Senior Member
Poland
Joined 4572 days ago

130 posts - 210 votes 
Speaks: Polish*, French, English
Studies: German, Spanish, Latin

 
 Message 20 of 104
10 November 2011 at 9:53pm | IP Logged 
I have never been able to see any reason (other than publicity) why he keeps claiming to speak so many languages when it's obviously not the case. Why can't he just say that he used to speak these languages at some point in his life instead of claiming that he speaks them now? It's still quite impressive and certainly more honest.

Regarding the "review" thing I don't buy it either. If you have a good ear and know some related languages it's actually not too hard to pick up enough of a language to have a basic conversation after a relatively short time. Claiming to "speak" a language yet saying that you need to "go over" it before you can use it actively seems awfully suspicious to me.

11 persons have voted this message useful



translator2
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5187 days ago

848 posts - 1862 votes 
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 21 of 104
11 November 2011 at 9:02pm | IP Logged 
Sorry, I know there are people who admire him, but for me, the odd intonation and tone makes it impossible for me to listen to his English. It is like nails scratching a chalkboard. It is so bizarre, off-putting and non-human sounding that I cannot listen to him for more than a few minutes. Perhaps this is not perceivable to non-native speakers. It sounds like someone took small snippets of words and phrases from several different sources (tv shows, movies, etc.) and spliced them together. It's as though he learns how to pronounce phrases and groups of words in a context and never varies it. It is the spoken equivalent of the ransom note made from cutting out different size and shaped letters and pasting them together.



Edited by translator2 on 11 November 2011 at 9:14pm

7 persons have voted this message useful



Solfrid Cristin
Heptaglot
Winner TAC 2011 & 2012
Senior Member
Norway
Joined 3602 days ago

4143 posts - 8862 votes 
Speaks: Norwegian*, Spanish, Swedish, French, English, German, Italian
Studies: Russian

 
 Message 22 of 104
11 November 2011 at 10:42pm | IP Logged 
translator2 wrote:
Sorry, I know there are people who admire him, but for me, the odd intonation and tone makes it impossible for me to listen to his English. It is like nails scratching a chalkboard. It is so bizarre, off-putting and non-human sounding that I cannot listen to him for more than a few minutes. Perhaps this is not perceivable to non-native speakers. It sounds like someone took small snippets of words and phrases from several different sources (tv shows, movies, etc.) and spliced them together. It's as though he learns how to pronounce phrases and groups of words in a context and never varies it. It is the spoken equivalent of the ransom note made from cutting out different size and shaped letters and pasting them together.



I believe you when you say that you find it disturbing, I guess we just react to different things. Try listening to the average European English teacher's accent, and nothing would scare you anymore. My mother in law is an English teacher, and her accent is so bad that my girls cringe every time they hear her. Some of the accents of Spanish English teachers I have known have not been understandable.

I am not trying to make Ziad Fazah into a super hero. I just wish we would not strip him of his dignity or humanity. His definition of knowing a language may differ from mine, and from that of most people on this forum. He is still a polyglot who knows several languages, and knows or has known several others. If he had downplayed those he uses less, he would probably have received a lot more admiration.

We should also keep in mind, that although he has made videos of himself speaking some of these languages, and made claims not everyone can agree to, he is not opening 13 threads here on this forum, insisting that everybody declare him a genius, and getting mad if we don't. He goes about his business, and is happy to communicate with those who contact him, but he is not pushy in any way. I therefore hope that we can manage to treat him with respect. He knows more languages than I do, so if people can treat me with respect, they should be able to do the same to him.


Edited by Solfrid Cristin on 12 November 2011 at 12:18am

13 persons have voted this message useful



smallwhite
Pentaglot
Senior Member
Australia
Joined 3576 days ago

537 posts - 1045 votes 
Speaks: Cantonese*, English, Mandarin, French, Spanish

 
 Message 23 of 104
11 November 2011 at 11:56pm | IP Logged 
jeff_lindqvist wrote:
The article is in Portuguese.


Thanks, Jeff!
1 person has voted this message useful



translator2
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5187 days ago

848 posts - 1862 votes 
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 24 of 104
14 November 2011 at 8:43pm | IP Logged 
I love accents! If only he would just pick one and stick with it.


Solfrid Cristin wrote:
translator2 wrote:
Sorry, I know there are people who admire him, but for me, the odd intonation and tone makes it impossible for me to listen to his English. It is like nails scratching a chalkboard. It is so bizarre, off-putting and non-human sounding that I cannot listen to him for more than a few minutes. Perhaps this is not perceivable to non-native speakers. It sounds like someone took small snippets of words and phrases from several different sources (tv shows, movies, etc.) and spliced them together. It's as though he learns how to pronounce phrases and groups of words in a context and never varies it. It is the spoken equivalent of the ransom note made from cutting out different size and shaped letters and pasting them together.



I believe you when you say that you find it disturbing, I guess we just react to different things. Try listening to the average European English teacher's accent, and nothing would scare you anymore. My mother in law is an English teacher, and her accent is so bad that my girls cringe every time they hear her. Some of the accents of Spanish English teachers I have known have not been understandable.

I am not trying to make Ziad Fazah into a super hero. I just wish we would not strip him of his dignity or humanity. His definition of knowing a language may differ from mine, and from that of most people on this forum. He is still a polyglot who knows several languages, and knows or has known several others. If he had downplayed those he uses less, he would probably have received a lot more admiration.

We should also keep in mind, that although he has made videos of himself speaking some of these languages, and made claims not everyone can agree to, he is not opening 13 threads here on this forum, insisting that everybody declare him a genius, and getting mad if we don't. He goes about his business, and is happy to communicate with those who contact him, but he is not pushy in any way. I therefore hope that we can manage to treat him with respect. He knows more languages than I do, so if people can treat me with respect, they should be able to do the same to him.



1 person has voted this message useful



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