Breaking the language barrier | Tim Doner | TEDxTeen 2014

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Tim Doner is a senior at the Dalton School in New York City who has studied over 20 languages. His interest started at the age of 13, after several years of French and Latin, when he began learning Hebrew and soon moved on to more obscure tongues such as Pashto, Ojibwe and Swahili. As he describes it, his goal is not to achieve fluency in each, but rather to learn about foreign history and culture through the medium of language. He spends much of his time perfecting his linguistic skills in different neighborhoods around the city, and to date his Youtube channel has received over 3 million hits. Tim has been interviewed (in English, Mandarin, Arabic and Farsi, among others) for media outlets such as The New York Times, BBC, The Today Show, Reuters and The Economist. He is starting his freshman year at Harvard next year and plans to study linguistics.

22 Kommentare

  1. Alice Caithness sagt:

    I have no idea how I got from Antisepticeye fan channels to this. Autoplay is a mysterious thing…

  2. Khalid Salem sagt:

    i can hear the arabic as „aerobic“ im a muslim and actually us muslim say it literally „arabic“ no need to be fancy about it

  3. Taka Mundo sagt:

    Wait how did he actually learn the languages that went over my head

  4. Александр Дёмушкин sagt:

    This man is speaking so fast, that the only chanse for me to understand him – with my native russion – is to set the player’s speed on 0.75 ))

  5. Perhaps letting languages die, we can start coming together with the ones that are left. You’re simply not going to get everyone to know many multiple languages. Maintaining hundreds of languages in this world is one of the most divisive things that keeps us segregated. Look around in America, at how some immigrant groups simply stay to themselves, and never assimilate. They simply live in their own tiny communities, and never venture outside of it. With English as a second language schools, there are children who never learn English; they move forward in schools in their own languages. That restricts them further unless they plan to go back to their parent’s own country.

  6. jianmin yang sagt:

    this guy makes me very depressed. although learned English for many yeas, I still can’t speak it fluently.

  7. the only language i need is English

  8. Pavel Sivi sagt:

    his Hebrew is so broken that i barely understood anything. accent is terrible

  9. christelyn mandaya sagt:

    I wanted to learn new language because its hard to find eng sub in every movie and drama I love to watch but men its hard like I don’t know where to start

  10. George Adams sagt:

    Mahesh M And he has also started to learn Sanskrit.

  11. George Adams sagt:

    Mahesh M He has posted links to Sanskrit PDFs on his Facebook page.

  12. moonlightbae sagt:

    i am Iranian and i died when he explained farsi lmfaoo

  13. Hristo Borisov sagt:


  14. Hristo Borisov sagt:

    **learns all languages on earth**
    – good job, now u can go around ur planet and u will be able to… speak
    also that took you all your passion and half a life

    how do languages look to you now, huh?

  15. Humam Slayer sagt:

    Lol at people saying there is no such things as ( *Impossible* )

    Im not here to discourage anyone from learning languages , infact i encourage you to be polyglot , you Can learn to speak 4 languages fluently i assure you , maybe 5 and 6 , but 10 ? You are a polygod. , but having a dream to be able to learn 23 languages in 4 or 5 years , well i don’t want you to be excited and then to get discouraged because you didn’t make it in 10 years…


  16. Sodium Chloride sagt:

    Mom: hey there watcha watching?

    me: oh nothing it’s fine *runs upstairs to my room and starts violently learning icelandic*

  17. Russian Language Podcast sagt:

    Such a nice and inspiring person!

  18. i only speak english and tagalog

  19. FoxMulder503 sagt:

    Wow his German is very good. He pretty much doesn’t have an accent.

  20. Anthony Monteiro sagt:

    Tim Doner, you are my idol

  21. Nascha Lecter sagt:

    damn he speaks Arabic better than mine who learns about 11 years

  22. Learning Sanskrit would have taken him much farther

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