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I spoke to Ziad Fazah

Printed From: How-to-learn-any-language.com
Forum Name: Polyglots
Forum Discription: Discussion about real-life polyglots, their achievements and their learning techniques.
URL: http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=7651
Printed Date: 18 November 2018 at 11:41pm

Posted By: Keith
Subject: I spoke to Ziad Fazah
Date Posted: 16 October 2007 at 8:14pm

I talked to Ziad today! He's a great guy and very sincere. I didn't want to take up too much of his time because it is in the evening for him and he must be tired but he didn't sound tired and he kept talking and talking.

One thing I can confirm is that he knows Dave.

This time was in English. Maybe next time I will listen to him in Japanese.

Anyone that wants to hear what he sounds like and is too afraid to contact him can listen to my conversation http://muscle.vox.com/library/post/a-conversation- with-ziad-fazah.html - here .


Replies:
Thanks for posting this Keith. He is an interesting guy, but he didn't provide any answers about how he was able to learn so many languages so quickly, except to say he has a gift. And it just strikes me as weird that he says he can speak all the languages of the world.

I know people wondered what his criteria are for knowing a language. He said that knowing a language requires knowing its structure and 3000 words.
newyorkeric on 16 October 2007


Keith wrote:
I talked to Ziad today!


Thanks for sharing that experience with us.
luke on 16 October 2007


Fascinating. Thanks for sharing!
apparition on 16 October 2007


newyorkeric wrote:

He said that knowing a language requires knowing its structure and 3000 words.


Far less than what a five-year old native speaker knows.


Linguamor on 16 October 2007


If he can speak like that to people in 50+ languages, then that's a great feat. We need people to try to call him in other languages, too.

No, he's not perfect and there are a lot of 'techniques' (its nicer than calling them 'tricks') that he employed to make the conversation smoother for him, but hey, his English is not too bad.

He said something about deeply knowing a language (referring to himself, I presume) is talking on the phone for 30 minutes 'flawlessly' and I laughed a little. Maybe his definition of flawless comes from a different dictionary than mine... :-)


apparition on 16 October 2007


Great American accent!
I moved this excellent thread to the Polyglots room.
administrator on 16 October 2007


apparition wrote:
If he can speak like that to people in 50+ languages, then that's a great feat. We need people to try to call him in other languages, too.

No, he's not perfect and there are a lot of 'techniques' (its nicer than calling them 'tricks') that he employed to make the conversation smoother for him, but hey, his English is not too bad.

He said something about deeply knowing a language (referring to himself, I presume) is talking on the phone for 30 minutes 'flawlessly' and I laughed a little. Maybe his definition of flawless comes from a different dictionary than mine... :-)



The part about talking for 30 minutes is at approximately 18:05 on the recording. He didn't use the word 'flawlessly.' Here is what I hear:

"because speaking the language deeply, if you talk on the phone half an hour in-interruptly and infeasingly then you hold the language. You are the holder of the language. If you say, 'Hello. How are you? It's hot. It's cold.' You don't know anything at all. You are really a bluffer. Because the language at least, you must know, in terms of vocabulary, around an amount of 3,000 words; Besides the structure of the language."


Keith on 17 October 2007


administrator wrote:
Great American accent!
I moved this excellent thread to the Polyglots room.


It doesn't sound American at all to me, there's something more British in his accent.
kinoko on 17 October 2007


I haven't heard the recording yet (so apologies in advance in case it's mentioned there) but did you tell Ziad Fazah that you would be recording your conversation?
patuco on 17 October 2007


Thanks! He did sound a little paranoid, but still really fascinating. The accent definitely sounded like he was going for American.
Topsiderunner on 17 October 2007


Keith wrote:

The part about talking for 30 minutes is at approximately 18:05 on the recording. He didn't use the word 'flawlessly.' Here is what I hear:

"because speaking the language deeply, if you talk on the phone half an hour in-interruptly and infeasingly then you hold the language. You are the holder of the language. If you say, 'Hello. How are you? It's hot. It's cold.' You don't know anything at all. You are really a bluffer. Because the language at least, you must know, in terms of vocabulary, around an amount of 3,000 words; Besides the structure of the language."



I must have heard that wrong. My apologies!
apparition on 17 October 2007


Keith, thanks for your effort.

kinoko wrote:
administrator wrote:
Great American accent!
I moved this excellent thread to the Polyglots room.


It doesn't sound American at all to me, there's something more British in his accent.

Thick American accent, definitely not British. He does sound like he lives in the US for years!
edwin on 17 October 2007


His accent is pretty good. I would definitely have assumed that He lived in the U.S. for 10+ years. In fact, his accent actually seems to be at a somewhat higher level than his grammar proficiency. Not saying that his grammar was poor, just that his accent was pretty good.
mcjon77 on 18 October 2007


Why do people insist on speaking English with him... what's the point? We've heard that he speaks English well many times now. Come on Skype-guys, try him in 10 languages at least!
jirpy100 on 18 October 2007


Guys I really don't understand why you keep attacking this person and are so skeptical and suspicious about him. Whether he speaks (or claims to speak) 10 or 20 or 50 languages.. is what he does, but I don't see why that should be a reason to start proving him wrong and deliberately looking for the slightest evidence of mistakes in his speech.

I wonder if some of you can speak any foreign language the way he speaks English. In my opinion, his English is very good as well as his American accent. The connection wasn't the best, that might've taken some points off, but still his command of the language was very good. Needless to say he lives in Brazil right now and not the USA.

If you would speak Mandarin or Hindi the way he spoke English on the phone right now..I don't think anyone could say that you’re not fluent..or anything in that sense..

As for his alleged fluency in other languages..If he speaks only 10 languages the way he speaks English, he is remarkable. I would never think of using him as a 'lab rat' and start testing him through different people in different languages and recording his voice, just to prove him right or wrong..

just my two cents..

Vlad on 18 October 2007


Vlad wrote:
Guys I really don't understand why you keep attacking this person and are so skeptical and suspicious about him. Whether he speaks (or claims to speak) 10 or 20 or 50 languages.. is what he does, but I don't see why that should be a reason to start proving him wrong and deliberately looking for the slightest evidence of mistakes in his speech.

I wonder if some of you can speak any foreign language the way he speaks English. In my opinion, his English is very good as well as his American accent. The connection wasn't the best, that might've taken some points off, but still his command of the language was very good. Needless to say he lives in Brazil right now and not the USA.

If you would speak Mandarin or Hindi the way he spoke English on the phone right now..I don't think anyone could say that you’re not fluent..or anything in that sense..

As for his alleged fluency in other languages..If he speaks only 10 languages the way he speaks English, he is remarkable. I would never think of using him as a 'lab rat' and start testing him through different people in different languages and recording his voice, just to prove him right or wrong..

just my two cents..


In the same vein, I can't quite understand how people can let someone's claims stand unchecked. While it is charitable to say "Even if he only know a fraction of what he claims, etc., etc....", it's not automatically an attack to ask for more proof and comment on the languages we can hear him speak. This is a language learning forum, after all, where we all discuss fluency, what it means, etc. It's a learning process!
apparition on 18 October 2007


I think this thread is for those who are really interested in Ziad, the languages he can speak or not speak (or how well he speaks them), and the techniques he uses. I believe some of us might also want to know him personally too.

For those who keep on saying things like 'the guy speaks 10 or 20 languages is already good enough for me. I don't care', your point is taken (in fact, many times in the old Ziad thread), and this thread is not for you.

Having said them, if anyone wants to comment on Ziad's language skills, please do so with respect. I believe we are doing well so far in this thread.
edwin on 18 October 2007


If someone claims to speak 50 languages fluently - an implausible claim, I would say - the truth of that claim becomes an issue. If the claim cannot be substantiated, the claim can be justifiably dismissed.

Linguamor on 18 October 2007


If the issue is 47 vs. 50, then it is petty. If it is 20 vs. 50, it is credibility.

Just my $.02 worth.
manny on 18 October 2007


Well this is propably not a good start for a new user, but I'm not doubting Fazah but rather the users on this forum/thread. If everyone here speaks so many languages why can't anyone phone Fazah in something other than boring old English?
jirpy100 on 18 October 2007


jirpy100 wrote:
Well this is propably not a good start for a new user, but I'm not doubting Fazah but rather the users on this forum/thread. If everyone here speaks so many languages why can't anyone phone Fazah in something other than boring old English?


I've observed this with amusement as well. A quick scan of the old thread and this new one shows dozens of languages Ziad could be tested in by people who doubt his abilities in these languages. What's so hard about punching his name into Skype and having a five-minute chat to confirm or deny your beliefs in his abilities to speak a language you know?
FSI on 18 October 2007


I agree about not treating him like a lab rat; he is a human being, and from what I can gather from already having spoken with him, a very sincere and friendly one as well.

That said, I also agree with those who want to find more out about his language abilities, and indeed, I think that he has a lot he could bring to the table. When I get my other languages up to snuff that I'm learning, I intend on visiting with him in them, both to see how well he (and I, truth be told) fare, and also just to chat with the guy in another language other than English. His German and Spanish are both very good, and so I'm looking forward to speaking French, and Norwegian, and whatever else I hopefully learn.

Just remember, there is more to him than languages, the same with all of us. I, too, was just interested in speaking about languages with him at first, but really, he has a lot to say about tons of topics.
Journeyer on 18 October 2007



It might be intimidation, from the inspired to the critical and everyone between.
I personally would like to thank all the people that contacted Ziad and posted the results. From DaveM to Keith each one has written that Ziad was a friendly person to talk to. I listened to the conversation and the results about Ziad sounds accurate.

Unfortunately, I can only speak English fluently and choppy novice Bisaya, Esperanto and Spanish. If I called it would be another Ho Hum English conversation again.

Maybe now others won't be so intimidated to give Ziad a call for a friendly conversation. (In another language)
alang on 18 October 2007


jirpy100 wrote:
Well this is propably not a good start for a new user, but I'm not doubting Fazah but rather the users on this forum/thread. If everyone here speaks so many languages why can't anyone phone Fazah in something other than boring old English?

LOL...

Don't worry. After a while being in the forums, I learnt not to take those claims seriously. Very soon, you will get used to it.
edwin on 19 October 2007


To my ears, Ziad sounds quite arab!!
HTale on 20 October 2007


Just talked to Ziad on the phone today. He did sound very nice. I messed up the time so I was one hour late. It was not very convenient for him, but he still talked to me for a few minutes.

We spoke English most of the time, but then we still had a short exchange in Mandarin. He admitted that his Mandarin is rusted since he has not spoken it for 20 years.

I have arranged another time to speak with him next week. I hope to get some inspiration from him on language learning.
edwin on 20 October 2007


How would you say his Mandarin was? Even if he was rusty, did you feel he was competent in it, or could be with some brushing up? Or was the exchange simply to brief to really know?
Journeyer on 20 October 2007


He asked me a few questions. So it was hard to justify that he understood my answers. The questions were very general, such as "Have you been to China?" and "Do you have friends in China?"

He did mess up a few words, but overall he sounded very confident, and I could figure out what he was trying to say. He would sound fluent to those who don't know the language.
edwin on 20 October 2007


Well, for a limited test, that is something. The first time I spoke with him, I spoke a little Norwegian, and although he didn't reply in Norwegian (to my relief), he correctly identified it as Norwegian as opposed to Swedish or Danish. But I wasn't at the time qualified to really speak with him in it, so no definitive answers.
Journeyer on 20 October 2007


jirpy100 wrote:
Well this is propably not a good start for a new user, but I'm not doubting Fazah but rather the users on this forum/thread. If everyone here speaks so many languages why can't anyone phone Fazah in something other than boring old English?

I’ve sent him a couple of e-mails in English with no response.
I asked for a short chat in Russian.

Fyodor on 21 October 2007


Fyodor wrote:
I’ve sent him a couple of e-mails in English with no response.
I asked for a short chat in Russian.

When did you send him the email?

I sent him last Friday, and I got my response back on the same day.
edwin on 21 October 2007


edwin wrote:
Fyodor wrote:
I’ve sent him a couple of e-mails in English with no response.
I asked for a short chat in Russian.

When did you send him the email?

I sent him last Friday, and I got my response back on the same day.


First message:

04.04.2007 13:36
To ziadyfazah@yahoo.com.br
cc

Subject Chat in Russian

Dear Mr. Ziad Fazah,

I heard a lot about you and your ability to speak languages.
...SKIP...
********************************************
Second message:

02.05.2007 17:50
To ziadyfazah@yahoo.com.br
cc

Subject Fw: Chat in Russian


Please be so kind to answer.
Thanks.
*******************************************

I'm afraid that my Siberian i-net is too slow for the Skype, but I'm going to try it on this week. If he is not interested in Russian, then we can try Swedish

Fyodor on 22 October 2007


Did he use Pimleur? What did he used to learn languages?
Guests on 22 October 2007


I'm quite sure that Pimsleur wasn't around back then (at least not in the current format, and not for that amount of languages). In the http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?T ID=289 - Ziad Fazah you can find some info.
jeff_lindqvist on 23 October 2007


I have sent an email to this guy some minutes ago.
The language I had choosed to write to him was German.
What I hope is that I can talk to him in Serbo-Croat.
Then we will se if he could speak it.
Bojan on 10 November 2007


German is one of the 6-7 languages Ziad told me he can never forget. The others are Arabic, French, English, Portuguese, and ... I forgot. But German for sure is on his list.
edwin on 10 November 2007


edwin wrote:
German is one of the 6-7 languages Ziad told me he can never forget. The others are Arabic, French, English, Portuguese, and ... I forgot. But German for sure is on his list.


Maybe Greek or Spanish?
Bojan on 11 November 2007


I'm sure Mr. Fazah is aware of the skeptics out there. There's certainly nothing wrong with wanting to see how well he speaks. But when people contact him to chat in order to test his skills, that is the same as treating him as a lab rat. I am sure he does not appreciate that and refuses to answer anyone who gives off the vibe in their contacts with him. Not saying that anyone has, but it's something to consider.

"Prove yourself to me. You can't say that you're good until you've proven it to me." Not an inviting proposition for ANYONE.
jstele on 11 November 2007


I just listened to the podcast and found that Fazah does not have an American or British accent at all. He actually sounds like some native Spanish speakers do when they speak English, but he has more of a Portuguese lilt in his accent.


jstele on 11 November 2007


He does have a strong American accent, though not native.

I have already talked to Mr Fazah 3 times. He seems willing to talk to people in their own languages.

Bojan, if you don't want to give him the impression of testing him, what you might want to try is to speak to him in English first, then tell him that you are a German native-speaker. I am sure he will speak some German with you.
edwin on 11 November 2007


edwin wrote:
He does have a strong American accent, though not native.

I have already talked to Mr Fazah 3 times. He seems willing to talk to people in their own languages.

Bojan, if you don't want to give him the impression of testing him, what you might want to try is to speak to him in English first, then tell him that you are a German native-speaker. I am sure he will speak some German with you.


Yes, but how can I get him on the phone?

Bojan on 11 November 2007


Bojan,
    You can email him first and arrange a time.

BTW,
    Any Thai or Vietnamese native-speakers out there who wants to speak with Ziad. I promise him that I will help him to find someone from this forum.

edwin on 11 November 2007


And which email should that be?
Bojan on 11 November 2007


Bojan wrote:
And which email should that be?

What do you mean? I thought you have emailed him, no?

Just ask him if he is available for a phone conversation. If so, arrange a time. Remember to be genuinely sincere about that.
edwin on 11 November 2007


Yes, but this mail seems to be wrong, since he hasn't answered yet.
Bojan on 11 November 2007


Give it some time. He might be busy with students, or have something else going on.


Journeyer on 11 November 2007


edwin wrote:
Bojan,
    You can email him first and arrange a time.

BTW,
    Any Thai or Vietnamese native-speakers out there who wants to speak with Ziad. I promise him that I will help him to find someone from this forum.


Stuart Jay Raj is pretty close. He's lived in Thailand for 9 years, has a Thai wife, and uses it at home 80% of the time, I think.

THAT would be a cool conversation to hear! Write to him on his blog.
apparition on 11 November 2007


I'm amazed that anyone still takes him seriously. He's a fraud.

I watched the video. I understood every word of the Spanish, the Chinese, and the Russian, as well as most of the Finnish (and I would have guessed the Greek correctly, but never mind). His cocksure explanations of what was said were completely wrong: he simply made something up each time. He very clearly did not understand those languages even at a rudimentary level. And note that he didn't *produce* a single word in any of those languages; he merely pretended to "interpret" them.

Scott Horne on 11 November 2007


And I like the guy.
If it was not for HIM, we would have nothing to talk about.
And the world would be a much duller place to live and die in.
? on 14 November 2007


Scott Horne wrote:
I'm amazed that anyone still takes him seriously. He's a fraud.


I think so too; I watched the video on Youtube and Fazah failed to understand at least the Finnish and the Russian phrases.. he clearly understood only ONE WORD of each! :/
bela_lugosi on 16 November 2007


edwin wrote:
Bojan,
    You can email him first and arrange a time.

BTW,
    Any Thai or Vietnamese native-speakers out there who wants to speak with Ziad. I promise him that I will help him to find someone from this forum.

I'm not a native Thai speaker, but I'd be glad to talk with him for a while.
leosmith on 16 November 2007


I just wonder why he appears in such shows if he only speaks a small share of the languages he claims to know.

It'd be okay if he says he can only understand these languages in writing to some extent, for example. But as it seems he claimed to speak each of those languages at least at basic fluency sometime. Otherwise he would have been able to point out that he'd never claimed to do so, I guess.

He received respect without having proven it until that show, was it worth being left with egg on the face? I am sort of disappointed since I thought him to be a sincere genius, and a very likeable one since as far as I read he'd never made a big deal of himself. No matter how many languages he really speaks and how ingenious he is, his reputation suffered a lot.
Henryk on 17 November 2007


He gets away with it because people will seldom check his claims. Even here on this site, a lot of people still take him seriously despite his thoroughly dishonest performance on that TV programme. How likely do you think the average man in the street is to raise doubts about his ability to speak all those languages?

He didn't even have the honesty to admit that he didn't understand those languages; he pretended to have understood everything. What a charlatan! Yet many people go on believing his outlandish claims, despite the solid evidence against them (and even against his integrity).

Scott Horne on 17 November 2007


Scott Horne wrote:
Yet many people go on believing his outlandish claims, despite the solid evidence against them (and even against his integrity).


Who are the "many people"?

As far as I know, most people in the forums are sceptical about him being able to speak 59 languages now or in the past. But many know that he can speak a few at least. Some don't really care, and take him only as a nice guy.

I think the main purpose of this thread is to discuss how to contact Ziad. As for his language skills, there had been a long discussion in another thread, which is locked now. The party is over.

edwin on 17 November 2007


Why are people so eager to cover up this guy's fraudulent claims? I don't care whether "he can speak a few at least": he claimed 58, and that claim was a whopping lie. He had the gall to sit there and feign comprehension of what was said when he knew perfectly well that he hadn't understood a bit of it. I have absolutely no respect for him.

Scott Horne on 18 November 2007


Maybe he knew them at one time (he supposedly had learned them when he was a very young man) and had forgotten the majority of them over the years. Then again, learning so many languages in such a short period of time seems impossible. So who knows.
sanfran1988 on 18 November 2007


That might have been plausible if he had admitted that he did not understand what had been said. When he sat there and pretended to have understood, he completely destroyed his credibility.

Scott Horne on 18 November 2007


lloydkirk wrote:
Vlad wrote:
welcome back siomotteikiru


LOL, I think you're right.


I don't. '?' seems similar to siometteikiru in general outlook, but in word choice, and indicated native language, they seem to me to differ.

I could be wrong - I too pondered whether '?' was siomotteikiru - but my current judgement is that he/she is not.

Volte on 18 November 2007


I am EXTREMELY impressed with his English,
zerothinking on 19 November 2007


Could someone explain to me what happened to this thread overnight?


Vlad on 19 November 2007


Gentlemen, please let's keep this thread focused on the topic at hand - Mr Fazah. Also, whatever his true merits as a linguist, please let the man keep some dignity.
administrator on 19 November 2007


sanfran1988 wrote:
Maybe he knew them at one time (he supposedly had learned them when he was a very young man) and had forgotten the majority of them over the years.


That doesn't seem likely to me.. in that TV show the speakers of Finnish & Russian used VERY basic phrases, so I think even without speaking the languages for many years, he should have been able to understand what was being said.

Why hasn't anyone organised a TV appearance where experts could test his skills in all those 59 languages?
bela_lugosi on 19 November 2007


Dignity? How can he possibly have any dignity after that attempted snow job? His undoing is his own fault.

Scott Horne on 19 November 2007


Dear Scott Horne,

Life is too serious a thing to be taken seriously.

Relax, man, you'll get a heart attack.
? on 19 November 2007


bela_lugosi wrote:

That doesn't seem likely to me.. in that TV show the speakers of Finnish & Russian used VERY basic phrases, so I think even without speaking the languages for many years, he should have been able to understand what was being said.


The Russian was trivially easy. The Finnish was pretty basic too. The Chinese used more complex vocabulary but was by no means difficult.

Quote:
Why hasn't anyone organised a TV appearance where experts could test his skills in all those 59 languages?


Why waste the time and money? If he can't understand a very basic phrase of Russian, he can hardly be expected to do better in the more obscure languages that he claims.

Scott Horne on 19 November 2007


I have just listened to the http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dy8FXzkwZhE - u-tube clip for the first time, and like some of the preceding posters I have concluded that Ziad Fazad is a fraud. He may have known some languages earlier, but after this performance I doubt that even this is true. Or maybe he really just know 100.000 words in all his languages combined, as it was stated in the earlier mega-thread.

He was asked by the Finnish lady a long, but clear question that contained "viisi milion" as stated in a preceding post - I don't speak Finnish, but even I can guess the meaning (=the number of inhabitants in the country), and I also caught that she mentioned Finnish and Swedish (ruotsi) and Sami (the three languages of Finland). Fazad's answer was totally irrelevant, and the lady replied that "nos perdimos bastante en lo.. en lo que yo pregunté" (approx. "we lost quite a lot of what I asked").

Next he should read aloud from a copy of a Farsi anthem written with Arabian letters (he was not even asked to translate!), and the reply was that he had only 5% correct.

Next test: he was asked in Russian the name of the weekday (even I understood that), and he failed miserably.

I can't judge the Chinese part, but the shake of the head of the Chinese gentleman didn't leave any doubt as to his opinion about the answer of Fazad.

I normally don't rejoice in the public humiliation of a person, but this was well deserved.

Iversen on 19 November 2007


The Chinese gentleman said that Fazad must indeed be a master polyglot if he knows so many languages and then asked which man-made object on Earth is the only one that can be seen from the moon. (Incidentally, the answer is that *no* man-made object can be seen from the moon; that old myth about the Great Wall of China has long since been refuted.) Fazad then confidently explained in Spanish that the gentleman had wanted to know where Fazad learned to speak Chinese so well. He was merely guessing. And he guessed wrong.

Scott Horne on 19 November 2007


You've all convinced me... there's no way he could have been "fluent" in these languages at any time and then failed miserably to understand these basic questions. I'm sure he knows many languages, but there are probably several members of this forum who speak as many if not more.
sanfran1988 on 20 November 2007


Something about this thread seem very familiar... Oh yeah, it's the same stuff that the other thread already discussed ad nauseum and thus was shut down...

Iversen, I can't believe you hadn't watched the video until now... You must have a lot of self-discipline not to have watched it before!


apparition on 21 November 2007


When I entered the forum the old thread was already far too long. What lured me to have a look was the remarks by Scott Horne et. al. about specific details that Fazad didn't understand, - until then I had just expected the man to be confused by the test situation in general. But really, there isn't much more to discuss. Z.F. may be a nice man, and he may know some languages (Portuguese, Spanish, English), but he is a fraud, and the u-tube clip is an irrefutable proof of that.

I think this thread also should be closed.
Iversen on 21 November 2007


Trying my best to get back on topic...

Has anybody spoken to Mr Fazah recently? Earlier in the thread Edwin spoke about an upcoming phone call (in Mandarin?), and I think Bojan and Vlad also were about to contact him for chats in other languages than English. Any news?
jeff_lindqvist on 21 November 2007


Yes, I spoke to him 3 times already.

I contacted him not to test him on all 59 languages, but as a language exchange partner. He could help me with my French (which is his native language), and I could help him relearning some Mandarin and Cantonese.

In the last call (which happened about 2 weeks ago), he seemed to be interested in knowing Vietnamese and Thai more. So I promised him I would ask around the language forum if any native speakers would be interested in talking to him. Please contact him directly if you do.

I think whether he could really speak 59 language at one point in the past, we can never find it out. Whether he can now, I don't think so. Even he himself does not claim that he can. I only regard him as a polyglot in the sense that he can speak 5-6 languages fluently today. He also amazed me with his English, provided that he has never lived in an English-speaking country throughout his life.

As for this thread, I hope to discuss something new, something not discussed in the old thread before.
edwin on 21 November 2007


I'm also changing my mind in favor of saying the man is a fraud, when it comes to speaking 50+ languages fluently.

the only problem I really have is with the clip itself. The sound doesn't match the picture and a lot of times It looks like Ziad is saying something completely different than what we hear, the pictures also often switches to someone esle and you still hear Ziad speaking..all very similar to stupid comedy shows we used to have here in Slovakia. it could be a set up, and he could be saying something completely different, you can also show someone shaking his head in dissaproval, while in reality it could be a shot of the person shaking his head in dissaproval to a completely different question..after all the clip was taken from a comedy show.... but... there are enough shots in the clip that prove that Ziad didn't know what he was talking about.. especially reading the Persian text.. that seemed really strange.

I don't know.. I say 80% fraud and 20% maybe do another test :-)

But why on earth would he agree to show up at a show, where he would be tested by native speakers knowing he wouldn't stand a chance? that doesn't make any sense to me.

another thing is, that when I listened to the sound clip of the phone call he made with.. Keith I think it was.. the man talking didn't really match the man from the TV show in my mind.

ah well. 80% fraud 20% second chance :-)


Jeff:

I don't think I said I wanted to contact Ziad.
Vlad on 21 November 2007


Vlad wrote:

But why on earth would he agree to show up at a show, where he would be tested by native speakers knowing he wouldn't stand a chance? that doesn't make any sense to me.
He apparently didn't expect them to speak Spanish and thought he would get away with his invented translations....
what puzzles me is that (if I'm not mistaken) Hencke has written to him in Finnish and he replied in passable Swedish. Certainly listening comprehension is more difficult than reading, but that was really very easy (it wasn't a question, she just mentioned these facts), and besides, Finnish is a very phonetic language. I'd understand if it had a difficult orphography and Ziad would've learnt to pronounce everything the way it's written, but that's 100% not the case.
Serpent on 21 November 2007


Sorry Vlad, I was thinking of Fyodor.

I'm not suggesting that all members should join forces to check Mr Fazah's skill in each of the 58-59 languages. I'm just wondering if anybody else has tried to contact him after Keith (and you) spoke to him, possibly in one of his major languages. I would find that interesting to hear about.
jeff_lindqvist on 21 November 2007


Serpent wrote:
Vlad wrote:
But why on earth would he agree to show up at a show, where he would be tested by native speakers knowing he wouldn't stand a chance? that doesn't make any sense to me.
He apparently didn't expect them to speak Spanish and thought he would get away with his invented translations...

Remember that we don't know how much he was paid for that TV appearance. If someone was paid enough - and I'm not saying Ziad would since I don't know him well enough - but if they were, they might decide to turn up at the show, put on a brave face, and try to weather it by gut feeling knowing they'll be paid anyway.

Also, that clip on youtube apparently shows us someone failing the test in a rather small number of languages. Do we know how many languages he was tested in at that show in total ? And in how many he succeeded ? If someone was tested in 59 and only failed 6 or so, then a video clip of just those 6 failures would not give a very balanced picture, don't you think ?

Serpent wrote:
what puzzles me is that (if I'm not mistaken) Hencke has written to him in Finnish and he replied in passable Swedish. Certainly listening comprehension is more difficult than reading, but that was really very easy (it wasn't a question, she just mentioned these facts), and besides, Finnish is a very phonetic language.

This was on Skype text chat, I just checked the chat history. I basically wrote in Finnish that it would be nice to hear him speak Finnish if he could remember even a little bit, and he surprised me by replying in Swedish with "I speak it a little". Then we exchanged a further couple of sentences in Swedish. That answer makes it look like he had understood the Finnish, but does it prove anything ? Probably not. The exchange was too short to really mean anything.
Hencke on 21 November 2007



Dear all,

   My name is Pedro and I've been reading this imbroglio for some time here and elsewhere, always as a silent viewer and nothing else. I vowed not to participate in any of this, but things have gone way too far, and I feel I might have something to add, even though I know I'll be scorched by people I wouldn't normally care to even spit at. The reason I feel compelled to drop information is that I have been taking lessons (in mandarin) with Ziad, a person I have grown to like and respect. I know this forum and the particular discussion about Ziad has a tendency to draw sockpuppets who suddenly disappear and statements which are hard to believe. I'm nonesuch even though my nickname is an hommage to such clowns; you can choose if you believe it or not.

About the suddden appearance of Scott Horney and other professional asinine sockpuppets - It has happened just to many times, it's a matter of reading the last thread. A bunch of supposed ĂĽberpolyglots coming out of nowhere, conjuring authority out of their sonorous asses, beating the man and suddenly disappearing from the forum. Typical scenario: a pseudo-polyglot attacking rabidly another perceived one who just had the nerve to make a higher claim. If that's not pure freudian projectivity, I don't even want to know what it is. People who do not have the capacity to engage in civilized discussion should not be expected to be treated as animals with rational capacity. I don't intend to.

I'm absolutely not speaking in his name and wouldn't. I'm not a ''disciple'', a relative or a proselyte; I'm merely a guy taking two lessons a week with him. I do not have an agenda, for good or for bad. If at times I sound over-the-top it's merely because some creatures have gone way over that top in this thread and the last one. I do not want to distress myself over this and will /summarily/ ignore any messages which I perceive to be less than mildly polite, and I plan to keep my participation to a maximum or five or six posts, at least regarding this specific topic. After that, adieu. If you want to discredit my statements because of this ''bogus coming into scene'', be my guest: I don't care.

As not to appear a gullible person or a half-wit, I present myself: I'm an undergraduate in Classical Studies majoring in Ancient Greek. I have studied Sanskrit, German and Latin, and my formation in linguistics is extensive since the baccalaureate I take in UFRJ is ''Letras PortuguĂŞs-Grego'', meaning I study linguistics and other subjects in the ''letters'' (how would one translate this? well, you know, the sort of literary and linguistic topics you see in English, Classical and such majors) area with applied linguistics to Portuguese besides the Ancient Greek major. I also read french and italian etc. etc. etc.

His work as chinese teacher: I'm not one to judge his fluency, but I am one to judge his teaching skills. I have spent one year with more than one native chinese teacher following a steady method designed especifically for portuguese students; the teachers were all graduated in Chinese, English and sometimes Pedagogy; furthermore, it's the course in Rio de Janeiro officialy supported by the chinese embassy. I took many, many lessons. All that been said, I didn't learn in all that time 1/50 of what I learnt from Ziad in three months. He follows the Assimil method and complements it with his own stock of knowledge and personal pedagogy. God be damned if it doesn't work. Of course these could raise suspicions as to whether I'm learning well the phonetics and phonology of mandarin. I grant it might or might not be 100%, but suspicions overruled: I have talked to a native and so far it's been perfectly fine.

As to the video: No, it's not a fake, that's him, even though the show indeed tried to sabotage him. I've been to Chile and that sh*tty show is known for such stunts. In Brazil there are several such programs. Well, what happened, from what I can gather is he got scared to death. He was making the answers up because that's how he reacted in distress and he was barely hearing what those speakers said to him at all. Not just because of his nervousness but because the audio was deliberately low. He said that happened in other shows he participated as well, most likely on purpose. The idea is for him to ask something like ''what did you say'' in order to make him look bad. In this case it might have been a bad decision to follow his previous experience and not to ask for them to repeat or say it louder, but, as said - and I can completely understand if people find it hard to believe - he was too nervous to pay attention to this.

That been said, yes, in 1997 his language skills had been in steady decline for decades and he knew that. He doesn't care the least about it, as I explain below. My personal feelings are that he wasn't half aware of how much it all had gone bad since the Guiness tests were in 92 or 93. But still, no, it's not indicative of how his linguistic command was by then. If someone wants proof of this, try talking to him in russian.

   But you wouldn't need that proof if you knew how to add 1 + 1, but binary logic doesn't seem to be running as high as egocentric bragging and resented mythomania around here. User edwin has talked to him in mandarin and from what I can gather (edwin could elaborate better) he shows reasonable skill, perhaps more than reasonable in sheer comprehension. Enough to beat the test in that show, I would presume. As for speaking, perhaps Edwin finds his pronounciation tricky because he learnt more than one dialect of chinese and more than one dialect of mandarin especifically throughout his life and practiced with speakers from more than one city. I know from weekly experience that he sometimes pronounces certain words with a Shanghai accent (zhongguo, for instance) and others with Beijing. And that's self-conscious, or half-conscious. That's what I can gather, but I'm sure he might mix beyond this. But I'll leave that up to edwin; I don't really care.

    Still concerning this rather dislodged mr. Scott and others: he has participated in shows such as this one before, apparently all succesfully. I remember him mentioning one in Greece and one in Germany, I'm sure there were more. In Germany they wanted him to say something to the turkish German audience with a political message behind, I don't remember what it was. As he isn't remotely turkish, but lebanese, he got quite pissed off before coming into air. I remember it was a funny story, I'd have to ask it again. I have personally watched one (on JĂ´ Soares, a brazilian talkshow Ă  la Carson and Letterman) before getting to know him, not to mention a participation of his in a journalistic show some ten years ago or more (I was a kid, but I do remember). You don't have to trust my words on this one of the shows, but if Ziad had the time he could clear that by posting videos (if he has them). I don't think he would really care, however.The bizarre idea that he participated in this chilean crackpot joke for a little cash, making up the claim for polygloty just before, I won't even comment.

Still, according to someone in this very forum he claimed to participate a second time in the show and do well. I don't know that. I might ask him about it and ask if he has it taped. I might not. As I indicated, I don't want to distress myself with any of this. But one more data: He still has the wish to put up a website, where he would probably put up any material he has on such things; but, knowing Ziad, even if he found and contacted a webdesigner that could take time. That's the kind of thing that wouldn't focus his attention unless he immediately perceived it would help his monthly stipends.

As to whether I believe he ever mastered all those languages: Yes, I am 300% positive he did. I don't know if at some point he was 100% on all of them. I consider myself a highly skeptical person, but I've been convinced. Two weirdoes in my family have tried getting into the Guiness and I know they are extremely rigorous. I see the Guiness certificate on his wall twice a week, and I have seen the book. He would have to be tested in each language individually, which he did. Plus, he has participated in those shows, and I have seen it in action, although I don't expect anyone to believe my words alone. For the last time, I might ask him for videotaped material if people don't start going berserk (as I'm sure they will).

What I do know: He completely lost interest in anything even mildly related to languages by the time he was 33. That was ten years before the Guiness. He had high hopes of working as an interpreter and connected things but it all came to nothing. He didn't find appreciation for his skills and he got into financial difficulties since private teaching didn't raise as much money as he expected. That's the pratical interest. The personal interest he probably lost before, it was a teenage rush and it wasn't really where his heart lies, I presume. He is very, very far from being a scholar or erudite, or even a literary conoisseur. Since then he has never studied anything for serious and the few languages he picked up (the pidgin Papiamento, for instance) happened in exceptional occasions. He has asked edwin and others for language exchange but he told me personally it does not interest; it's entertainment. ''Even if I started getting a lot of money with languages, I would never be slightly passionate about it again'', he told me. He doesn't have anymore the least interest in that kind of stuff, and hasn't for decades. I offered him tons of language materials and he refused, not to my surprise. If he continued using his language skills after that debacle it was because things came to easily for him and he could reactivate them with some woodshedding. I don't know if he still can with most; I don't think he knows it himself. And I wouldn't blame it for his action; wouldn't you want to be recognized or at least get a little money if you knew around sixty languages?

One last data people might want to know: Ziad does know of these discussions, but only superficially, and he has found it out recently. He doesn't know where they are happening and I hope it stays that way. He is as normal as the next Joe
and believe it or not he's the least ambitious person I met in my life. He's got already enough in his mind to be distempered by some of the rude, retarded, beastly and childish messages here. Concordantly, he doesn't really care people are attacking him, but he does find quite strange all that gossip behind his back. As said he's the ultimate regular Joe and that should indeed bother him, but I don't think he's very aware of the trashing or cares. So, yes, all this savagery has not affected the tip of his pinky finger's nail so far.



P.s.: I wrote this all in the notepad non-linearly and it got too lengthy. I'm too tired to revise it all. Forgive me any inconsistencies and furthermore forgive any slips in my english. If something seems obscure or hard to comprehend, just ask.
Sock on 21 November 2007


Three clarifications:

''told me personally it does not interest...'' him anymore - languages and language-related things, that is.

''after that debacle'' after him stopping to study and care about languages, at 33.

''And I wouldn't blame it for his action'' - him participating in public displays of his poliglot skills years after he stopped caring about it.
Sock on 21 November 2007


Why am I being personally attacked here?
Scott Horne on 21 November 2007


Gentlemen, this is a valid topic on this forum but please let's refrain from ad hominem attacks and all focus on the discussion rather than attack the people with whom we argue. Thank you!
administrator on 21 November 2007


Because you have personally attacked someone else and done so in a ridiculously arrogant manner. This message is as far as this discussion will go; don't bother to reply.
Sock on 21 November 2007


I'm not going to bother to reply to your long message. But there's a big difference between criticising the fraudulent behaviour of a celebrity and wantonly hurling abuse at people.

If you have any basis for attacking my integrity or my professionalism, state it. Otherwise, you owe me an apology.

Scott Horne on 21 November 2007


Thanks, Sock, for providing that enlightening information.
apparition on 21 November 2007



Edwin posted Ziad would like help to learn or relearn some languages. I thought the very essence of this site was to help any person out on this endeavor. It is nice to read that some members have been accommodating. The attacks on Ziad IMHO does not help in any way, shape or form.

I do hope the mob mentality from the previous thread does not come back.
alang on 21 November 2007


Sock, thank you for coming forward and saying that. Ziad's business is his own, and how he feels about languages is entirely up to him, but I appreciate (as I'm sure others do, as well) you providing us with the information.
Journeyer on 22 November 2007


We have a discrepancy here. On one hand we have the testimonies from devoted pupils like Sock and that fact that his languages were accepted by Guinness, - though it would be interesting to know whether he was asked to speak the language or just show that he understood a written or spoken specimen for each of the languages in question, as in the show.

On the other hand we have the controversial clip, where I with my own eyes saw a man who apparently didn't have a clue about what was said to him, and who responded by simply inventing stuff. If Sock's theory that the audio was too low was true then you would have expected any normal man to ask it to be turned up, maybe even using the occasion to tell the persons who asked the questions that he couldn't hear them in their own language. If he had done that then the ploy of the TV people would have failed miserably. But no, he just babbled away about how he had learned his languages and how good he was. Maybe he just suffered a total mental breakdown due to nervosity, but if that is his normal way of responding in that kind of situations then he did himself a monumental disservice by even participating in the show.

Contrary to the theories of Sock about Scott Horne and others (probably including me), which he formulated so eloquently in terms that left no doubt about his own mental state at the time, no one here wants to debunk a language genius if we find one. On the contrary we want to learn more about how they tick, maybe even learn tips from them that we could use ourselves. Precisely therefore it was so depressing to see how a person, that was supposed to be a world class polyglot, made a fool of himself. Until I saw the clip I thought that the presenters had asked him with no warning at all to speak in a lot of exotic languages to people who deliberately tried to confuse him. But he was just asked to show that he understood simple, clearly spoken questions in languages that he claimed to know, - and he failed.

Iversen on 22 November 2007


Me, I don't have an opinion either way and have some trouble seeing why people are getting worked up. As the man said in Withnail And I , "Chill out, find your neutral space."
William Camden on 22 November 2007


William Camden wrote:
Me, I don't have an opinion either way and have some trouble seeing why people are getting worked up.

Me either. Quite frankly, I couldn't care less if the man could speak 57 languages, 570 languages or just 1. Does it really matter?
patuco on 22 November 2007


There's really nothing more to be said about that TV show. In the video that we have seen, Fazah plainly feigned comprehension of the various languages and failed to produce a single word in any of them. (Repeating the Russian word какой after the speaker--whom he apparently heard clearly enough, despite subsequent claims of audio problems--does not count as productive use of the language.)

What I want to know is how he got the Guinness seal of approval for his claim of proficiency in all those languages. Guinness ordinarily requires some evidence in support of a claim to a world record. What form did this evidence take? Did Guinness go to the trouble--and enormous expense--of bringing in people who were qualified to assess Fazah's purported skills in all of those languages? Such people would have had to know not only their own language but also enough of a second language to receive directions on the procedure for evaluating the candidate. Ensuring consistency would have been no easy task. Some of the evaluators might have had to be brought in from distant continents. Who was going to pay for all that?

I would be most interested to hear what Guinness did, if anything, to evaluate Fazah's pretentious claim to be "the world's greatest polyglot".

One article that is floating around on the Internet disturbs me greatly. It is claimed that Fazah has served as an unpaid "interpreter" for the police in Rio de Janeiro. In one instance, the language was reportedly a dialect of Persian--a language that Fazah could not understand, or even read aloud with any accuracy, on that TV programme. Did Fazah fake his way through that as well? As a professional interpreter, I am mortified by the idea that an innocent person's life could have depended on a phony "interpreting" job.

Scott Horne on 22 November 2007


The only unsettling thing for me is that everything leading up to the presentation of the video was making him bigger than he is (or at least what the video demonstrates). The fact that Ziad has encouraged (tacitly or not) the impression that he is a super-polyglot with that many languages under his belt makes me wonder a bit about his character. Most people react unfavourably when misled and Scott's reaction is natural.

Nevertheless, Sock's defense (while a little confrontational) does convey the sense that Ziad's exposure as something less than his superpolyglottery indicates shouldn't overshadow what his known or proven abilities are. If Ziad could speak 10 languages fluently, that'd still be pretty damned impressive.
Chung on 22 November 2007


I only discovered the infamous Ziad video in the last couple of days, and was unaware at the time that it had been discussed so extensively on here. When I first heard about Ziad Fazah, and his amazing language abilities, I was in awe at what the man could do. Now, in possession of the rather sad facts, I am disappointed and I feel duped, as, undoubtedly, others do too.

Certain points stand out to me...

If Ziad spoke these languages once upon a time, but doesn't speak them now, then he doesn't speak them and has no right to claim to be able to. This idea of forgetting languages just doesn't cut it.

His lack of ability to understand languages he claims excellence in (i.e. passively), even at a very basic level (and we're talking words like 'day', 'week' and 'today' here!) makes it very unlikely that he ever really knew the language. You aren't going to 'forget' a language to that extent.

The argument in favour of Mr. Fazah seems to be, in a nutshell 'Well, he's a nice guy', 'He's so friendly'. Maybe he is, but then again, confidence trickers are also friendly, or they wouldn't get very far! Being nice and friendly doesn't equate to linguistic expertise! No, I'm not saying he is a confidence trickster, before some apologist jumps on it; it is just a comparison. A fraud, yes!

Why has Ziad never posted on this forum, when he is a registered member and apparently so interested in languages? I would hazard a guess that he doesn't want his erroneous written English to come under fire, and having seen some of the samples of it, I wouldn't blame him for being 'too busy'!

He claims to speak Mandarin, yet can only produce very basic set phrases in the language, claiming to have 'forgotten' it (yet again) and that it's 'rusty'. In that case, he can't claim to speak it. Strike it off the list.

Why does he want to learn Thai and Vietnamese? Does he want to add those to the long list of languages he can't speak? Why not just add them to the list and guess. No-one will be any the wiser. Er...

Why do people want to learn from Ziad? What exactly do you think he can teach you? I wouldn't want someone with such a sketchy knowledge teaching me!

What would videos of appearances where he is guessing correctly really prove, after that shoddy and embarrassing performance on the Youtube video? Just that! They'd show that he guesses better on some days rather than others!

1 language or 59 languages? Does it matter? It does if your claim is for the 59, and you're using the lie for personal gain. If it's 59 languages on paper, then I expect Ziad to be able to speak 59 languages, and for all the hype, I expect him to be able to speak them well. I don't hold with the 3000 word theory, which is a basic, first level standard. But even then, words like 'today' and 'week' should fall into that 3000 words. Yes, he does speak a few languages, it seems, but that doesn't justify the outrageous claims of hyper-polyglottery, and nor does it make him fire-proof to criticism. He has put himself out there as a super-polyglot who can speak, read and write 59 languages, so when he fails to deliver, in public, he only has himself to blame.

It seems that the legend of Ziad Fazah is just that. It may be that, as in legend, the truth is blown way out of all proportion. You can't help what others decide to think about you, but to ride that wave of deceit for personal gain...

A dangerous game, because you're going to get found out in the end!


Swarfega on 30 March 2009


Yes, I'll be adding 56 more as I go along, and then claim to speak them all fluently.

Obviously irony is wasted on some!
Swarfega on 30 March 2009


Only about 0,0000007 % of visitors of this forum write somethings in the languages which they tell that they can speak, or put in the list on the profile. They discuss in many threads many of different things, but always in English.

Why????????????????





Jar-ptitsa on 30 March 2009


Jar-ptitsa wrote:
Only about 0,0000007 % of visitors of this forum write somethings in the languages which they tell that they can speak, or put in the list on the profile. They discuss in many threads many of different things, but always in English.

Why????????????????


Yes, Jar-ptisa, I also wonder about this phenomenon. There are people with quite some impressive lists of languages in the forum, but many of them I have never met in the "Multilingual Lounge" or in the "Multilingual Logs". It is a lot easier to sum up languages than to prove the ability in practice.

Fasulye-Babylonia
Fasulye on 30 March 2009


Fasulye wrote:
Jar-ptitsa wrote:
Only about 0,0000007 % of visitors of this forum write somethings in the languages which they tell that they can speak, or put in the list on the profile. They discuss in many threads many of different things, but always in English.

Why????????????????


Yes, Jar-ptisa, I also wonder about this phenomenon. There are people with quite some impressive lists of languages in the forum, but many of them I have never met in the "Multilingual Lounge" or in the "Multilingual Logs". It is a lot easier to sum up languages than to prove the ability in practice.

Fasulye-Babylonia


Exactly!!!!!!!!! I can add in ym list, for example, 20 languages of my choice. have you seen the list of Enigma? LOL!! persoanlly, I think that it's impossible fluently speak so many languages as Ziad and it depend of the level when you say that you can speak it. For me, it's abolsutely not important what the people say (the number).
Jar-ptitsa on 30 March 2009


Jar-ptitsa wrote:
For me, it's abolsutely not important what the people say (the number).


That's also my opinon: I am not at all impressed by any counts of languages. A huge number doesn't say anything to me. But when I read people like Iversen or Felipe writing native-speaker-like in some of their foreign languages, then I am really impressed! Therefore I find it a good development, that more and more people write in their target languages in the log section. Anybody can present a number of languages. No, I don't care about such numbers either.

Fasulye-Babylonia
Fasulye on 30 March 2009


Vai wrote:


it's an English-language forum


No, it's a multi-lingual forum.


Jar-ptitsa on 31 March 2009


Vai wrote:
the United Nations is a multi-lingual forum. this is the forum of an English language website where you are free to speak languages other than the lingua franca. i remind you that i am merely answering your "Why????????????" wondering why so many threads are in English.


This is indeed a forum where many threads are compulsory in English. In my post I spoke about people like Ziad claiming a high number of languages and I said that I am not impressed by people giving such numbers. By the way you quoted Jar-ptisa using my name in your argument, so please correct that.

Fasulye-Babylonia





Fasulye on 31 March 2009


There is one big difference between the case of Enigma and the one of Ziad Fazad. We have two contrasting facts about Z.F., namely that he has been accepted by Guinness as a major polyglot, maybe even a world master, and on the other hand that he totally missed his chance to show it in that video. And such contradictions are always intriguing.

About Enigma we know strictly nothing, except that he has stated in his profile that he knows 22 languages, - and I remember having seen in an old thread that our Administrator contacted him pr mail and got the number confirmed by the enigmatic person himself. But we have no way of getting more information as long as he doesn't write here. And that's where my curiosity stops. I find it rather frustrating to think about questions where I can't expect to get an answer.

As for the number of languages I do find it interesting, even though the number isn't worth much without further information. I do find it interesting whether superpolyglots like Mezzofanti, Hale, Campbell, Krebs and others really could speak all those languages, and whether their brains were different from mine. I don't really care who was nr. 1 on a sheer language count, but it would be interesting to know whether there is some physical background for being able to learn scores of languages.

But details about these extraordinary learners doesn't in any way change my own study habits.

Iversen on 31 March 2009


Iversen wrote:
As for the number of languages I do find it interesting, even though the number isn't worth much without further information. I do find it interesting whether superpolyglots like Mezzofanti, Hale, Campbell, Krebs and really could speak all those languages, and whether their brains were diffrent from mine. I don't really care who was nr. 1 on a shear language count, but it would be interesting to know whether there are some physical background for learning scores of languages.


As far as I only know the number of languages of a polyglot, it doesn't interest me at all and of course, it cannot impress me. Proven language ability (which is doubtful in the case of Ziad, but I haven't seen the video in question) is interesting and can be impressive. The whole background of polyglots can be very interesting for me, because I am busy with polyglot projects myself. I don't have any background information on Ziad, that's the weak point of the Guinness Book of Records that they only publish figures and no background stories about the records they deal with. Concerning the language counts of the forum members I'm not impressed by their numbers either, unless they use their foreign languages and I can estimate their language abilities.

Fasulye-Babylonia
Fasulye on 01 April 2009


Iversen wrote:
There is one big difference between the case of Ennigma and the one of Ziad Fazad. We have two contrasting facts about Z.F., namely that he has been accepted of Guinness as a major polyglot, maybe even a world master, and on the other hand that he totally missed his chance to show it in that video. And such contradictions are always intriguing.

About Enigma we know strictly nothing, except that he has stated in his profile that he knows 22 languages, - and I remember having seen in an old thread that our Administrator contacted him pr mail and got the number confirmed by the enigmatic person himself. But we have no way of getting more information as long as he doesn't write here. And that's where my curiosity stops. I find it rather frustrating to think about questions where I can't expect to get an answer.

As for the number of languages I do find it interesting, even though the number isn't worth much without further information. I do find it interesting whether superpolyglots like Mezzofanti, Hale, Campbell, Krebs and really could speak all those languages, and whether their brains were diffrent from mine. I don't really care who was nr. 1 on a shear language count, but it would be interesting to know whether there are some physical background for learning scores of languages.


I agree that for the statistic it's intersting, and for discover the possibilitys of learning languages by people.

The enigmatic person LOL!! :-)

"Things are onyl impossible until they're not" People like to tell other ones that what they think's impossible. They tell me all the time, it's incredible annoying therfore I reply them this quote.I don't mean that i immediatly accept that Engima or Ziad or *** can speak all those languages, but for sure I don't say "it's impossible" until this is evident from proof. the Guiness Book has made a mistake, probably. It's possible that Ziad's a nice person and was bit muddle up and thought that he can speak those languages.
Jar-ptitsa on 01 April 2009


Ziad Fazah, Polyglot, Doesn't Understand?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XA1Ifi-ntE
tmp011007 on 16 April 2009


Have you even bothered reading this thread where the very Youtube-clip is discussed?
jeff_lindqvist on 16 April 2009


jeff_lindqvist wrote:
Have you even bothered reading this thread where the very Youtube-clip is discussed?
you're right: too many pages
tmp011007 on 17 April 2009


About writing in English, it was very strongly stated had to be so since FranÇois launched the site years ago. Is a basic forum rule. Later, seeing many members where dying to write in other languages, he created ad hoc the Practice Lounge. You will get deleted if you dont write in English. I like quoting in the language I read the quotation, but refrained here cause I know is frowned upon.

But if you like I wonder if someone would find interesting going back to the original audiofile about a very minor point Ziad made, which very much surprised me, a silly point really, well it happens in not very serious conversation. He said, I seem to remember, and I hoped I understood right:

"...cause you know, I am a Gemini..."

It is very uncommon intelligent people who havent studied astrology believe, and intelligent people who have studied do not believe, so it always surprise me when someone come up with a Sun-sign based naive comment. It is really ridiculous. However it made me wonder if someone would find interesting to tackle this topic:

POLYGLOTTERY AND ASTROLOGY

I have learned some lately, and rather than signs. for interest in languages, communication, information processing, ones looks above all to Mercury. A classic indication of polyglottery is Mercury in "aspect" (a certain angle) with Jupiter, cause Jupiter is expansion, and ceirtanly languages learning can be viewed as:

"a desire to expand (JUPITER) one's communication abilities (MERCURY)"

I was once in a translation/interpretation faculty. I check 5 people, and we all had Mercury in trine or conjunction with Jupiter. In famous polyglots, unfortunately I only had the chance to look at Richard Burton, and was very disapointing, he has Mercury with Moon, who has a reputation of, well "being in the Moon". It is tiny sample of course but who knows, if anyone here is interested about this matter, write here or PM me with your:

Date birth
Time birth (24 hours system please) if unkown doesnt matter, still can see something
Place birth (if a small village, the nearest city and country)

and I will "publish" my impressions right here.

To start this little investigation I record me myself, humble student, my Mercury has:

Trine Jupiter
Sextile Saturn
Sextile Mars
Square Neptune
Trine Ascendant
(Biquintile Uranus, some other minor aspects Pluto, etc)
Which is brutal. I only found such a heavily closedly aspected Mercury in Nietzsche.

If interested members reach critical mass I can open a new thread copying this so that this issue has a thread of its own.

Let's see if we can find something! Thank you for your interest
sigiloso on 22 April 2009


Sigiloso: I would suggest that you move the content of the post above to a new thread about astrology and language learning now instead of waiting for a critical mass to manifest itself in an irrelevant place.
Iversen on 22 April 2009



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