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American teenager speaks 23 languages, including Hindi

New York, Apr 11, 2013 (PTI) 15:04 IST
Timothy Doner. Screengrab from Reuters video
A 17-year-old American boy has attracted worldwide attention by mastering 23 languages, including Hindi, in just a few weeks.

Timothy Doner from New York gained fame after he posted videos showing off his skills on Youtube, including one in which he was seen speaking 20 consecutive languages.
Experts have classified him as a "hyperpolyglot", making him part of a small, exclusive group of individuals who can master a language in very short period of time.

Doner came into limelight after he started posting his videos, gathering several thousand hits from people who also encouraged him to further showcase his unique talent.

Languages caught his interest for the first time when he started learning Hebrew, gaining proficiency in it within a week, the Huffington Post reported.

Doner practices his language skills in the real-world by speaking with New York City cab drivers, interacting with others at restaurants and connecting with people around the world via e-mail and Skype, it said.

Besides Hindi, 22 other languages spoken by Doner are Arabic, Croatian, Dutch, English, Farsi, French, German, Hausa, Hebrew, Indonesian, isiXhosa (an official language of South Africa), Italian, Mandarin, Ojibwe (a Native American language), Persian, Pashto, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Turkish, Wolof, Yiddish.

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