Stuart Jay Raj: Modern Hyperglot

K. T.   Tue Jul 24, 2007 9:09 pm GMT

Please type the address (or copy it) above to get to part of the interview in Thai (plus English subtitles)with Stuart Jay Raj. I don't speak much Thai, so I can't comment on his accent, but it would be interesting to hear from people who do.

He's from Australia. His mother is Australian and his father is Indian. Apparently his maternal grandfather (a polyglot or maybe a hyperpolyglot) taught him many little tricks to acquire various languages. He knows about 15, but like many polyglots, I wonder how many he really knows well.

Mr. Raj (32) is modest and clever at deflecting an accusation about why he learned languages from one of the hosts of the show in one segment.

There are five parts and he is upfront about his abilities.

If you love languages (as I do), you may pick up some hints.
K. T.   Wed Jul 25, 2007 1:03 am GMT
Here are some interesting things about Mr. Raj, in case you are still hesitant to look at the video because it is in Thai (with subtitles in English)...

When he was still a boy really (about 13 or 14), he decided that he would learn Danish. He looked in the phonebook in Australia for Danish names, then he plotted where on the map those names occurred. He (rightly) guessed that immigrants often gather together and he went to the neighbourhood (In Sydney, I think) and made friends there with a Danish pastor.

Here are some comments by him on a blog. Copy and enjoy if you are a serious language learner. If you are not, why are you here, I wonder?

He seems to favour using all kinds of materials at once like Barry Farber.

He speaks Spanish, Mandarin, Thai, Hindi and other languages.
K. T.   Wed Jul 25, 2007 1:52 am GMT
Ack, it should be HYPERPOLYGLOT in the title

Btw, was Antimoon down yesterday?
Guest   Wed Jul 25, 2007 8:31 pm GMT
Yup. It was down. I could not login either.
furrykef   Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:06 pm GMT
Uh, why was my post deleted? I was simply confirming that Antimoon was in fact down.

Moderators, we need to get this sorted out. I think this post deletion situation is really bad.
K. T.   Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:43 pm GMT
No comments on hyperpolyglots? How disappointing! Please, opine in many languages here!
K. T.   Thu Jul 26, 2007 12:32 am GMT
Kef commented, then Franco commented that he was a Superglot or a Superpolyglot who speaks 400 languages or something like that. I asked him how many languages he knew without Babel and then *poof*
furrykef   Thu Jul 26, 2007 2:19 am GMT
Well, I would say something else in this thread, but I don't really know what to talk about...
K. T.   Thu Jul 26, 2007 3:46 am GMT
Thanks for sharing that. I'll see if I can find the book.
Franco   Thu Jul 26, 2007 7:34 am GMT
Most hyperpolyglots are pure liars! Never hire one!
K. T.   Thu Jul 26, 2007 3:53 pm GMT
Well, you did qualify that with "most"...

I've only met two people who probably meet the definition and I found them to be honest. Both are European.

Hyperpolyglot: A person who speaks six or more languages fluently.
Mitch   Thu Jul 26, 2007 5:35 pm GMT
I met a man who was fluent in well over 50 languages. He probably would have qualified as the greatest living hyperpolyglot, but he had no interest in notoriety, and discouraged any publicity about him outside his work (where he used all those languages--first for the government, later in private industry) and his family. (I met him through a family member.)

He was no liar. He was the real thing. And, yes, he was American born and raised.
Guest   Thu Jul 26, 2007 8:20 pm GMT

There is this guy :Ziad Fazah.
K. T.   Fri Jul 27, 2007 2:34 am GMT
Yes, I've heard about him, but haven't found out much information. He's quite an elusive celebrity. Do you have any recent information?

I certainly can understand that there may be hyperpolyglots who like to keep quiet. I also know that some people can learn multiple languages well even though some posters on the forum don't believe that.

I'm interested in what we can glean from them.
K. T.   Fri Jul 27, 2007 2:39 am GMT
He was no liar. He was the real thing. And, yes, he was American born and raised.-Mitch

Oh, I believe Americans can be hyperpolyglots as well. I have met Americans who speak three or four languages, but not six. I say I speak
five somewhat, but I couldn't interpret at the UN and that seems to be the gold standard for some people.