I read about Stuart Jay Raj the other day at the Tower of Confusion. Here is the original post about the fellow in question, Stuart Jay Raj. Stuart can read, write, and speak in more than 15 languages. The YouTube videos, which are all availabe here on Stuart’s blog, are extremely interesting. It’s all in Thai subtitles (barring the sections where Stuart demonstrates his ability in other languages), but it’s well worth the reading of the subtitles.
One thing that blew me away about the interview is that he said that when he starts learning a new language, he’ll spend the first week or so just reading a dictionary, picking up 3,000-5,000 words to work with. He mentioned that he uses a lot of mnemonics to link works to things outside of language, which surely helps, but still – 5,000 words in a week? If that’s really the case, that’s simply amazing.
I mentioned this at the Tower of Confusion in the comments, but I did find something a bit ironic. He had a chart showing what languages he knew, and his proficiency in the specific languages in the sections of reading, writing, and speaking. For English, he gave himself “5” on all of the sections (5 being the highest, on a scale of 1 to 5). The irony? On his blog, at the top of the page, is this:
Whether your into Thai, Lao, Cambodian,…
You need you’re right there, Stuart, not your. 😉 Oh well. Everyone makes mistakes!
As an aside, it’s a pity that Stuart doesn’t blog that often. He’s only written one post during all of 2007, and that’s the post with the YouTube videos. Considering his knowledge of languages and his skill at learning them, I’m sure a regularly updated blog from him would be outstanding.