Some Languages I Really Enjoy

The Internet is mean! Wahhhhh… (photo: Storyvillegirl)

Every time I stumble across a “Tim Ferriss claims to speak…” post regarding Spanish, Japanese, or whatnot, an orphaned kitten loses a small part of its soul. And then I cry.

Granted, I’m no master hyperpolyglot, but on my best days, I can speak five languages to differing degrees:

– English (unless I’ve had too much wine)
– German
– Spanish
– Mandarin Chinese
– Japanese

Below are videos of me speaking each.

German is the language I forget the fastest, which I believe is due to articles and noun cases. Japanese is what I retain best without practice, thanks to length of immersion and a nasty manga habit (e.g. One Piece, Rokudenashi Blues). Spanish is what I use most, and I think it’s improved dramatically since the below video from several years ago.

There are other languages I really enjoy studying. Sadly, I sound like Sloth from The Goonies when I speak these: Italian, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, Arabic (aiming for Levantine), Greek, Turkish, and Norwegian. The last is hardest to learn, as they all speak flawless English.

Forthwith, assorted vintage Tim…


German (for ages ago):

Spanish (For the Spanish publisher of The 4-Hour Workweek):

Mandarin Chinese (Dinner placemat doodle; The Randow Show with Kevin Rose, filmed in Beijing):

Practicing Chinese characters during dinner after a long lay-off. Smatterings of Japanese.

China Part 2a from Glenn McElhose on Vimeo.

Japanese (Trial by Fire TV pilot from History Channel):

Yabusame – Tim Ferriss from Kevin Rose on Vimeo.

Please check out Tribe of Mentors, my newest book, which shares short, tactical life advice from 100+ world-class performers. Many of the world's most famous entrepreneurs, athletes, investors, poker players, and artists are part of the book. The tips and strategies in Tribe of Mentors have already changed my life, and I hope the same for you. Click here for a sample chapter and full details. Roughly 90% of the guests have never appeared on my podcast.

Who was interviewed? Here's a very partial list: tech icons (founders of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Pinterest, Spotify, Salesforce, Dropbox, and more), Jimmy Fallon, Arianna Huffington, Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York), Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ben Stiller, Maurice Ashley (first African-American Grandmaster of chess), Brené Brown (researcher and bestselling author), Rick Rubin (legendary music producer), Temple Grandin (animal behavior expert and autism activist), Franklin Leonard (The Black List), Dara Torres (12-time Olympic medalist in swimming), David Lynch (director), Kelly Slater (surfing legend), Bozoma Saint John (Beats/Apple/Uber), Lewis Cantley (famed cancer researcher), Maria Sharapova, Chris Anderson (curator of TED), Terry Crews, Greg Norman (golf icon), Vitalik Buterin (creator of Ethereum), and nearly 100 more. Check it all out by clicking here.