Who’s the best You Tube Polyglot?I received an email from Linguist and Fighting Arts / Self Defense expert Christophe Clugston a couple of weeks back bringing my attention to a video clip that he had posted a couple of months back – [http://youtu.be/PJBC9Q-zce4](http://youtu.be/PJBC9Q-zce4). The full clip is about 15+ minutes. I was fascinated listening to his review of all my peers that I respect out there on Youtube. When he got towards the end of the clip, I was floored.
Thank you Christophe. Coming from you, this is an honour.
Here is the final couple of minutes of his full review. I have included the link to the full clip below.
Now I’m going to go to the guy that blows them all away. He’s not on Youtube very much anymore, that’s because he’s got a real job. He works as an interpreter at high level functions and is a TV host , and (he is) working with some government organisations also and big businesses, because he’s doing other things. That’s Stu Jay.
When I heard this guy originally, I didn’t see him. I thought he was a native Thai. He lived in Thailand for almost ten years I think. His Thai is at native level. He was a host on a Thai television programme. When I heard this I didn’t see it and I thought ‘This is a Thai’, then when I saw it, it was like ‘What?’.
I thought ‘Okay, maybe the guy grew up in Thailand’, but he didn’t.
So his maternal grandfather spoke to him in Italian, so he has that. His Indonesian is good. He started doing Vietnamese for a week or something and it was already good. Of course his lexicon wasn’t huge, but his prosody was phenomenal.
The thing is since he also studied Sanskrit, and he can also speak Urdu and Hindi because those are related to each other – just some slight differences. Political differences more than anything else. Not phonological so much, or script differences.
That Sanskrit background made him capable of understanding a lot of things, and he has a background in understanding also Proto-Thai for example. So all these languages – he ‘gets’ the connection. And he’s a very good teacher too.
You see that’s another thing, he’s phenomenal. His ability to teach the Thai consonants and vowels which are pretty complex because there’s tone rules involved with them. Although the script was developed because of the tone rules, people don’t learn it that way. Native speakers are on a sight and understanding sort of thing, just like most people are in all other languages. You see it enough with this and that and not a mathematical formula, although that mathematical formula might be there.
So Stu Jay is phenomenal. He’s just way above everybody else. Nobody touches him.
And that’s who I would say on Youtube. Now I haven’t seen everybody and once again my criteria is people interacting with other people and their prosody and non-scripted conversations also.
**Christophe’s original clip: **
Who’s the best You Tube Polyglot?
Here is the original clip in its entirety from Christophe Clugstone’s Fighting Self Defense and Linguistics channel – Highly recommended.