Full text of Breaking The Language Barrier by Tim Doner at TEDxTeen 2014 conference.
Listen to the MP3 Audio here: MP3 – Breaking the language barrier at Tim Doner at TEDxTeen 2014
So about two years ago, I was featured in a New York Times article called, Adventures of a teenage polyglot, which featured my passion for learning foreign languages, this peculiar hobby that I had. And at first I thought it was great. I loved the fact that language learning was getting more attention. I loved the fact that it wouldn’t always seem like an isolating hobby that was suddenly putting me into contact with people all around the world.
And as I spent more time in the media spotlight, the focus of my story began to shift. So whereas I’ve always been interested in talking about the why and the how, why I was learning foreign languages, how I did it, instead, it turned into a bit of a circus, in which media shows wanted to sensationalize my story. So it would go a little something like this, “Hello, I’m here today with 17-year-old Timothy Doner who’s fluent in 20 languages. Oh, I’m sorry. He actually can insult you in 25 languages and he’s fluent in another ten. Tim, how about you tell our audience ‘Good morning’ and ‘Thank you for watching’, in Muslim?”