Macedonian Who Speaks 30 Languages Proves to Be Linguistic Genius
A genius is born each 2,000 kilometers - a mathematician, physician or a programmer. Macedonia has its own genius - Zoran Radiceski, aged 30, who works as a translator and does not want to expose himself in the public, Telegraf.mk reads.
People say he is a rare kind of a polyglot. Radiceski speaks more than 30 languages that are used in the European countries, the US, the Asian continent, but also languages spoken by tribes in Africa, such as the Zulu. Not only he has mastered the grammars of these languages, but Radiceski is successfully conveying their natural accents and phonetics.
Because of his abilities, he often confuses foreigners, who rarely manage to find out that the person they are talking to is not a Scandinavian, or a German, nor comes from any of the Baltic states, but is a Macedonian who has well mastered their language.
Telegraf.mk has met this extraordinary person during the Struga Poetry Evenings festival, where he discussed with poets from all around the world on their mother tongues. They were surprised to hear their own poetry interpreted on their native language.
"When somebody hears you speak his language, he feels much more happier and is much more open for communication. People are happy when they talk to someone who understands their language, especially when they're abroad. That's in my nature, to help people," Radiceski said.
The talented polyglot says he see languages as means that open new horizons, a sort of windows to the world. He realized he has the ability to master foreign languages at an early age. He started speaking English as young as three. Over the years, he became aware of the ease he could understand and remember foreign words depending on the manner of pronunciation and their meaning.
"My knowledge of languages came long before I decided my profession. Since I was young I realized I could speak a foreign language with the people who use it as their mother tongue. I can learn fast while I hear people talking. That's called 'language acquisition', the ability to learn a language quickly and independently," Radiceski explained.
He argues that in the process of acquiring another language, each gesture, mimic, repetition and sonority have an important role. He says that he is an audio-visual type of a polyglot. He pays attention to the words' phonetics and manages to pronounce them on the same way they are pronounced on the native language.
"When it comes to languages, the auditive aspect of them is my specialty. The phonetics of the language is most important to me. When I hear the language, my goal is to be able to reproduce it," Zoran said.
He adds that there is no secret in learning languages, but nevertheless he reveals that the easiest way to learn is through the repeated words in a conversation.
"For instance, the word 'good' or 'hello' is repeated several times and it's no longer forgotten. Their meaning is understood. What is phonetic in the foreign language, as well as everything that is repeated several times, enters into the memory with active listening. It's easier for me to remember something that I will hear now, than something I have been learning for a longer period of time," Radiceski said.
According to him, memory plays a key role in language acquisition, i.e. enriching the lexical fund. He bases his gift for languages on his memory, and besides the words, he is able to memorize a large number of facts, numbers, information.
"Grammatical schemes are the grounds for the acquisition of every language. There are levels according to which the process is effectuated. For instance, the basic level of the Latin grammar is helpful when a person is learning one of the Roman languages. But in order to conquer the lexical fund, grammar is insufficient. One needs to practice and to actively use the words so they would be engraved in the memory," Radiceski explained.
The linguistic genius uses every possibility to converse with people on their native languages, and is particularly joyful when he meets people whose language he does not know. Then he makes friends with them and starts a conversation. Word by word, he succeeds in establishing a normal communication in a short while.
Thus, at one of the seminars he attends frequently, he learnt the Zulu language on the level of understanding and active communication. After he learnt this language too, he had several situations where people from Africa were shocked from the fact that a white person has approached them, speaking the Zulu language.
"People from the African continent react euphorically and are excited. They speak English, but I intervene in their conversation and start speaking Zulu, Yoruba or some other native language they use. Then they're shocked by the fact I speak their language. They immediately pose questions, first in English, but after they realize I respond on their language, they relax and get the feeling I'm one of them. Precisely those reactions make me happy," the polyglot said.
According to statistical information, a genius is born on the planet on every 2,000 kilometers. Therefore, comparing the linguistic experts in the region, Radiceski noted that there is an excellent polyglot living in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and one in Greece. He is communicating with both of them, and the three of them exchange ideas and knowledge regarding languages.
In Macedonia he works in line with his degree he had acquired at the Faculty of Philology in Skopje, i.e. translation and interpretation.
"I apply all that knowledge mainly with the languages spoken in the European Union. As a translator I work in almost all fields that need translations - the industry sector, economy, culture, diplomacy, everywhere. I've been working as a professional translator around 10 years," Radiceski said.
His skill to render a simultaneous and spontaneous translation was witnessed by the participants of the Struga Poetry Evenings, where he attended all the conferences, discussions, interviews where a translator from German, French, English, Spanish... was necessary.
"I have engagements almost all the time. The translation sphere is currently growing and there's also a rise in the investments in Macedonia. The more foreign investors there are, the bigger the need of translators of foreign languages, i.e. from languages of the countries the companies come from," Radiceski deemed.
However, although he can have an active and comprehensive communication on more than 30 languages, he says his thirst for new words and languages does not stop.
"If there was only one language in the world then I would have certainly been very sad. It's not because of my work, but knowing another language makes me feel pleasure, it makes me happy. Language is power, energy, my strength, a window to the world that I want to discover over and over again," Radiceski concludes.
The super-linguist was invited to come to Telegraf.mk's premises and to comprise a list of all the language he actively speaks. He made the list in a blink of an eye, and the counting showed he can actively communicate on 35 languages.
He was asked to say one phrase on all those 35 languages. The sentence was 'one language is never enough'. Here is the video of how the phrase is pronounced on German, Portuguese, Arab, Yoruba, Swahili, Zulu...