Christophe Clugston - the best polyglot
milanmaras hk Hong Kong apple 7 37 8345
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJBC9Q-zce4

Anyone know of this guy?

I find it odd that a guy who has preschool level french and thinks himself to be an authority on judging the quality of foreign languages for which he seems to only be able to speak English (somewhat decently).

I didn't want to post such a worthless thread, but I'm tired of reading people who constantly bag out others on their achievements. If you watch, he criticizes Steve Kaufmann on his French where himself only sounds like to know 1 or 2 random words on other videos with the thickest gringo accent one can imagine.

Anyway, though my opinion doesn't matter and who am I to judge since I barely speak a word or two of French; my thoughts on who is the best polyglot in order in of who I know and heard:

1. Richard Simcott
2. Luca
3. Steve Kaufmann
4. Felix - loki2504
5. Stu Jay
6. Vladimir
5. Amir

I didn't rank Benny or Lao shu because most of their languages are intermediate level on limited topics.

Anyway, the point of this thread is to ignore random unauthoritative and hypocritical people like Christophe Clugston. He is the first to quickly comment about others flaws when he makes the same himself. He hates Steve for over-extending the definition of linguist to mean polyglot and so like a child tries to sound all big and mighty by criticizing Steve on every thing and anything. He would probably say that Steve's dog doesn't bark as fluently as his own dog. I hope you get my drift.

I'm pretty sure no body cares about this thread nor him. So watch the video and maybe comment if you got the time.

I recall a video by Glossika who says that many people described his attempts to learn certain languages as offensive. I for one am pro encouragement. I put thousands of hours into French and still sound horrible and kindergarten level, though I will keep going irrespective of the negative comments and discouragement.

Time to ban this clown from my youtube account.
April 2012 3
  • [[1892uDH]] aw Aruba apple 35 0
    Content edited
    April 2012 0
  • 2tmp011007 co Colombia apple 1 469 0
    -christopheclugston: "Who is the best Polyglot? I bet you don't know. Christophe Clugston tells you, based on scientific criteria."-
    hahahahaha "SCIENTIFIC"
    April 2012 0
  • [[1892uDH]] aw Aruba apple 35 0
    Content edited
    April 2012 0
  • maths gb United Kingdom apple 104 714 4165 23062
    What strikes you as whacked out about Stu Jay's ideas? I'm not like a devotee of him, just interested to know what you think
    April 2012 0
  • [[1892uDH]] aw Aruba apple 35 0
    Content edited
    April 2012 0
  • maths gb United Kingdom apple 104 714 4165 23062
    ah, I'd only seen a few of Stu Jays videos, and read a few of his blogs. Indeed he seems very accomplished with languages, but I agree, from what I know of NLP is hazy pseudo-science. I understand that Stu Jay is very much a motivational coach, working with companies, I imagine the NLP stuff goes down well with business managers :)
    April 2012 0
  • [[Jay_B]] aw Aruba apple 2 1772 0
    Stu-Jay's level in Thai is pretty mind-blowing.

    (But then, he's lived there for quite a long time and he is married to a native speaker, I believe...)
    April 2012 1
  • 2tmp011007 co Colombia apple 1 469 0
    @Imyirtseshem "You'd think that Clugston with his demand that every opinion be cited (except his own, for some reason), would be more weary of such 'shady characters'."
    that's not very likely:
    -http://speakingadventure.com/what-makes-a-polyglot-and-what-do-polyglots-think-about-language-learning-part-1:
    Linguist, language teacher, pro fighter, developed what has been called the Worlde’s strongest self defense. Accelerated learning, Neuro Linguistic Programming, Athletic enhancement (mental and physical)-


    "NLP is always something which I've taken to be pseudo-nonsense."
    yep and nope..

    yep: NLP seminars, workshops, books, audio programs.. = pseudo-nonsense ($$$)
    nope: NLP basic principles = pretty normal hypnosis

    now, is hypnosis kinda pseudo-nonsense? yep.. then why did I write "nope"? cause even pseudo-nonsense seems to work (somehow) in real-life scenarios.. why? I have no clue
    April 2012 0
  • [[Marianne10]] aw Aruba apple 3 0
    Interestingly no women on that list.
    April 2012 0
    • xiaoma tw Taiwan apple 7 577 2299
      Only because Kato Lomb passed away :/
      September 2015 0
  • vincentd be Belgium apple 34 7 1577 3189
    Ranking the YouTube polyglots seems quite foolish to me. Language learning is not a competition, I don't get why everybody wants to know who's "the best polyglot". Even if someone knows just one foreign language, he might communicate better in that language than someone who knows a dozen of languages. And after all, language is all about communication.
    April 2012 4
    • ftornay es Spain apple 938 49020 181 145
      @Vincentd:
      Exactly my thoughts! I'm interested in communicating with people, expanding my horizons and getting to know different cultures.
      As a learning endeavor and as act of interest, curiosity and breaking barriers, I just love learning languages.
      As an odd kind of sport, based on silly measurements, "polyglotism" is one of the lamest.
      September 2015 2
  • Administrator
    steve ca Canada apple 3582 2832 63142 47390
    I would also vote for Luca. But then language learning is not a competition.
    May 2012 1
  • Administrator
    steve ca Canada apple 3582 2832 63142 47390
    In reconsidering, I would vote for Richard for the range and and number of his languages, and Luca for the smoothness of his pronunciation. But then Stu Jay Ray is quite amazing as well. So maybe I would not vote at all.
    May 2012 4
  • alexandrec ca Canada apple 15 0
    These guys are all amazing and worthy models.

    As for Clugston... I watched one of his videos. It was so full of nonsense, I couldn't help leave a comment midway through -- which I regretted writing after hearing more of the video. In any case, he refused my comment because I wasn't using my real name (there are videos of me on my channel and they mention my name!) and ridiculed my post in the most cavalier manner while misspelling every second word. Anyway, I'm done with that clown.
    May 2012 0
  • [[lovelanguagesII]] aw Aruba apple 35 0
    I did not even know I was in that kind of "competition". It is nice to see that people find some of my videos useful but that's about it for me. I enjoy studying languages and exchanging ideas and experiences. I have a lot to learn from others and I hope I'll have even more opportunities to do so in future.
    May 2012 0
  • tastyonions us United States apple 0 1114 11154 1559
    Clugston posted a video with some parts I enjoyed recently, called "The biggest tool you have for learning foreign languages." After his usual boilerplate of denigrating YouTube polyglots, he talks a bit about real-time interpretation as a powerful exercise for improving skill (and locating gaps in vocabulary / expressive ability) in your languages.
    May 2012 0
  • Elric br Brazil apple 236 17055 7024 5727
    The biggest tool in the language learning community is Clugston himself.
    May 2012 2
  • ishikawa87 gb United Kingdom apple 2 18 657 69
    He evidently has far too high an opinion of himself...

    Having read a lot about NLP, a lot of it is not well founded scientifically but they can provide some useful practical techniques.

    There are assumptions made about our psychology and use of language which don't stand up well to scrutiny. For example it is claimed that people favour a way of thinking about the world that is linked to a certain sense and that a persons use of language identifies which "modality" the person favours. So if a person generally thinks visually then they will likely use words and phrases relating to sight. Someone with a visual modality would likely say "I see what you mean." a lot, instead of "I hear where you're coming from" , which would indicate they favour an auditory modality.

    As soon as I read that I thought this was bunk. My mother and father are both blind with my mother having been blind since birth, and my father lost any useable sight over a decade ago. Both of them use lots of visual expressions like "I see" or even things like "I went to see a film". Saying things like that are merely habits of speech that we pick up.

    It's also discredited by the academic community for lack of empirical evidence and putting forth factual errors. That said, some of the mental techniques taught can be beneficial for certain things, so it is not all complete nonsense. Just... Mostly.

    After a little research, it even seems that much of the online martial arts community consider him an absolute joke. He even claims to have re-discovered the fighting style of the gladiators from the time of Julius Caesar...

    He seems like a troll after cash.




    May 2012 0
  • rwargas22 us United States apple 14 1177 89 165
    The prerequisite for the title "best polyglot" should be that the person first BE a polyglot. Clugston shows no evidence that he speaks any language beyond English, which, in any event, he mangles with stilted syntax. I certainly have seen no videos of him speaking foreign languages. He shouldn't even be mentioned in the same breath as Steve, Luca, Richard, et. al. I know his type well, being a student of the history of radical groups: He reminds me of conspiracy theorists like Lyndon LaRouche. They ramble on and on and on but don't actually say anything. They make video upon video saying the exact same thing. They create an image of themselves as a "guru," based on nothing but hot air, and they build up a fan base of true believers who think that the guru has "exposed" the "mainstream" and, through brave "dissidence," has shown "the truth" and "the secrets" of (fill in the blank). He's a fraud.
    May 2012 3
  • MisterB us United States apple 3 1255
    I absolutely agree 1000000% with rwargas22.
    May 2012 1
  • Rj fi Finland apple 39 123 10192 33
    I love them all. But I have a preference for the easy ones,the happier ones. The ones who uses the realistic,natural method Like Steve,Luca,Moses,Richard etc. But I like also Pr. Arguelles.
    May 2012 0
  • Bortrun jp Japan apple 124 7473 6921
    I like all the youtube polyglots. They've all got something a little different to throw into the mix. Some of them are trying to sell products/services, and some of them aren't, but they all seem to be basically motivated to help others.

    As for who is the best? That's so hard to say. There's the question of how many languages a person speaks, and then there is the question of how well the person speaks those languages. And there's also the question of how much time they've spent learning their languages.

    Stu Jay is extremely impressive. It's really mind-blowing to hear somebody speaking a language like Thai the way he does. And he speaks these relatively unknown Indonesian languages. Richard is mind-blowing but his language are mostly European, IIRC. In the end, as with many things, I don't think there is a clear best. It depends on what criteria you consider important.

    As for Clugston, I don't know him so I don't want to speculate about him having less-than-praiseworthy motivations. But I find his evident strong dislike for youtube polyglots strange. His videos are somewhat incoherent, and I find them a little bit disconcerting.
    May 2012 0
  • spatterson us United States apple 247 3636
    I'll dig this one from the past. I tried to interact with Clugston and talk about some of his ideas but he labeled me a troll because I don't use my real picture online -- as if anyone really cares what I look like... I don't understand Clugston's obsession with titles. As someone with multiple academic degrees... my employer only cares about my work and my results, not the degrees I hold. By his definition of a "master" BB King, Eric Clapton, or Mark Knopfler wouldn't be considered exceptional musicians because they don't hold degrees in music.

    http://xkcd.com/386/


    November 2012 0
  • Elric br Brazil apple 236 17055 7024 5727
    Wait, you mean that's not you in your avatar picture? ;)
    November 2012 1
  • [[russophile82]] aw Aruba apple 41 657 118 10440
    I watch Clugston's videos on YouTube. I watch many linguists and language-learners online. You know, the guy is right about *one* thing: the left/right brain modes of learning. What he doesn't realize, though, (since I doubt he's ever used it), is that LingQ allows the user to learn in both ways. I just posted in another thread about how I began "processing" more Russian as meaningful content simply by *listening* to LingQ lessons; by "forgetting" the English definitions I learned and just listened. Of course I wouldn't have understood them at all without a left-brain approach in the beginning; but effective, meaningful listening (at least for me) is largely a right-brain activity. (From what I understand about the different hemispheres of the brain, anyway.) You know, the thing Steve said that finally convinced me into using LingQ was the line, to paraphrase: "No one can teach you a language". That doesn't seem it's coming from a left-brain-centric philosophy at all, which Clugston often accuses LingQ of being. The beauty of LingQ, unlike Rosetta Stone (right-brain-centric) and, I suspect, academic study (left-brain-centric), is that it's well-balanced in this regard. That doesn't make me a "sycophant" to anyone. That's just my opinion. And academia is full of opinions, which I know Christophe would mockingly disagree with.
    November 2012 0
  • Administrator
    steve ca Canada apple 3582 2832 63142 47390
    Thanks Russophile, the problem we have at LIngQ is persuading people who are used to being taught by someone else, that they really have to just learn by themselves, and that LingQ provides a wide range of resources and functions , and a community, that make it easier to do that.
    November 2012 0
  • UnravelingMind us United States apple 383 2123 16764
    I sometimes have a hard time believing Clugston isn't just an elaborate troll when I watch his videos. His pretentious behavior regularly reaches a cartoonish level of ridiculousness that is usually reserved for satirical comedy.
    November 2012 7
  • xiaoma tw Taiwan apple 7 577 2299
    Stujay's talents are practically otherworldly. His mandarin isn't mind-blowing to me since I lived in Taiwan for a long time, but neither is anybody else's on this list. (Mike Campbell and Brendan O'kane's are, though). But Stujay speaks a ton of SE Asian languages and has basically gotten Mandarin from its regional importance as a 2nd or 3rd language in Thailand, Indonesia, etc. His Thai is basically native from what everyone has told me.

    I would bump Stujay up all the way to the top. I haven't really heard much of Richard Simcott but Luca thoroughly impressed me and obviously Steve did too or I probably wouldn't be posting on this site.
    September 2015 0
    • Wulfgar us United States apple 304 13789 8745 26918
      Where are you getting this information from? His Thai is near native, yes. Mandarin good, B2/C1, Vietnamese B1/B2. I think there are some videos with him speaking a decent amount of either Malaysian or Indonesian. I've seen very little evidence of his other languages, so I'm skeptical. I've never read much of his advice because it's so bad. Learn 3000 words in the first week? Who can do that? Is he an excellent polyglot? Yes. Does he belong near the top of that list? No.
      September 2015 0
      • gregf fr France apple 396 6332 24822 10819
        I'd never heard of the guy, but then again I never got excited about the polyglot fad on youtube a few years ago. However, this is an interesting video in which he lists his proficiency in many languages (in Thai). Impressive indeed.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCITee_8ZnU
        September 2015 0
      • xiaoma tw Taiwan apple 7 577 2299
        I've heard him speak a bunch of languages. He claims fluency in something like 16 languages and some skill in about 30 and nothing I've heard or seen from him makes me doubt it. You should at least be able to find *some* videos of him speaking other languages if you hunt. He did some multilingual interpretation on Thai TV using Cantonese and Hindi.

        As for the learning 3k words in the first week, if you already speak half a dozen related languages, it's probably not that hard since you get most of them for free. The same would happen for Luca if he started on another Romance language!

        Ironically our "alpha linguist" of the thread gives him the thumbs up and vouches for his Italian, Hindi, Urdu and proto-Thai! How often have you seen a video like this?
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-zZorT9HK0
        September 2015 1
      • xiaoma tw Taiwan apple 7 577 2299
        Ah here are some videos of him speaking some that are a bit harder to find him speaking on YouTube. It's from 7 years ago, though. He's improved since, especially the Mandarin, Vietnamese and Japanese. The 2nd part shows his estimation of his ability before the clips.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csfHuFNlQgY
        Bahasa Indonesian
        Bahasa Malasian
        Javanese
        Danish
        Swedish (very short)
        Norwegian (very short)

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mr_sWVpsNIg
        Italian
        Spanish
        Hindi
        Japanese
        Vietnamese
        Sign Language
        Morse Code (lol)
        September 2015 0
      • Wulfgar us United States apple 304 13789 8745 26918
        I've seen all 4 of those videos, and many others. Again, very little proof of a high level in most of those languages. It's not very hard to make yourself look good for a few seconds in a video; we see it all the time. Some people admit their level isn't very high, some claim fluency, whatever that means.
        Regarding the 3k words in the first week advice, it's just bizarre to me that anyone would actually defend that. I hope that special situation works out well for you.
        September 2015 0
        • xiaoma tw Taiwan apple 7 577 2299
          I'm hoping for that experience when I get around to Korean. I majored in Japanese and then later spent years in Taiwan using Mandarin. Also I speak English fluently, which will be another source of loan words. Hopefully, I'll get many thousands of words practically for free.

          For now, I'm struggling with Thai.
          September 2015 1
  • Sukerkin gb United Kingdom apple 3 74
    I just came across Mr. Clugston today and was more than a little taken aback by his presentation and attitude. The fellow has some issues, I fear. His approach reminds me very much of some 'fake' martial arts instructors I've encountered over the years. Bluster, aggression, claiming 'authority' and denigrating others in the same field is not the way to go. Happily the Net allows you to choose who you interact with or view ... so I can simply steer a path away from him and continue to enjoy Steve's far more amiable and inclusive style.
    October 2015 3