Teen Genius Speaks 23 Languages But Can He Play Video Games?! (VIDEO)

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Oh my god, I feel like such a dope right now. While I can barely master English, and have a few Spanish phrases (mostly having to do with alcohol) under my belt, and took six years of French that I've mostly forgotten, genius 17-year-old Timothy Doner has learned 23 languages and is learning more! He knows everything from French and German to Farsi and Arabic and some languages that only remote African tribes speak. This is CRAZY. And he apparently taught most of it to himself. Holy crikey.

Timothy is called a "hyperpolyglot," one of those people who can easily pick up a foreign language. Most of them Timothy taught himself in only a few months. I mean, it's one thing to learn a European language that's similar to English -- it's another thing to learn isiXhosa, which contains "clicking" noises that most people other than natives can't figure out how to do.

A lot of this can come in handy. Like eavesdropping on foreigners to see if they're talking about you and then answering them. Haha! That would be fun. There was one time that Timothy was in an Israeli restaurant and heard a couple of patrons being condescending about the teen and his father eating there. So he went over and politely told them what's-what in fluent Hebrew! Love it!

And did you know that Timothy might have none other than his mom to thank for this brilliant ability with languages? According to Wikipedia, a sudden spike in testosterone levels while in the uterus could explain why some people's brains are formed so that they can easily master different languages. One neuroscientist found that hyperpolyglots have an area of the brain responsible for language that is wired differently than most brains.

So if Timothy was born with a brain that made him able to pick up languages so easily, does that mean he should still be admired for it? Well, it's still fascinating and unusual. But it doesn't sound like he has to work very hard at it. I mean, if he's picking up Swahili in a month, then this kid was just born this way. It's not much different from the guy who could suddenly play Beethoven like a pro after hitting his head on the bottom of a pool.

I don't want to knock this brilliant teen's work ethic, but 23 languages, some of them incredibly difficult, by the time you're 17 means that your brain is different from my brain. And the vast majority of brains. And that means you just got lucky. But let him try to blog, eh, eh?!

Are you impressed even if this comes naturally to him?


Image via YouTube

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nonmember avatar Madeline

I'm not sure if you are trying to be funny or if you are really down playing his unique ability? Some things come naturally to people while others may have to work at it a bit harder. Does that mean some artist or scientist should be celebrated and others shouldn't. He could use this ability to do some incredibly things, to help build bridges between cultures. Im much more impressed by this young man than the Kardashians that were made famous from self caused controversy (a family that this site honors every hour).

gridi... gridironsmom

Wow. Most of us can't even master one language let alone for or five or twenty three. Bravo! Bet he can blog about the things he has done and heard knowing so many languages.

Kediset Kediset

I'm so jelly :( I can only say random bits and pieces in a few different languages (both major Chinese dialects, Arabic, Turkish, French, and Spanish. Moreso Mandarin/Cantonese and Spanish than any of the other languages)

nonmember avatar Jenna

Even if he were born with a great brain, yes, he should still be admired and applauded for putting it to good use and learning what most of us wish we could do. Your comments about how some guy hit his head and than being able to play music comparing it to this guys born talent make you sound snotty, jealous and ignorant. Lay off. Or perhaps the snitty comments were put in because you knew that no one would finish reading the story because we all wanted to see this kids amazing talent so perhaps you thought you could keep a readers attention by being snippy about it.

nonmember avatar Kishan

Cool! I know English and Gujarati, and will finalize learning Hindi and French by the end of this year. Languages are so much fun especially meeting new people!!! :)

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