It all began in 2009, when Timothy Doner had to learn Hebrew in roder to prepare for his Bar Mitzvah. Inspired, he then moved on to Arabic, which he learned in about a week. Then it was Russian, Italian, Persian, Swahili, Indonesian, Hindi, Ojibwe, Pashto, Turkish, Hausa, Kurdish, Yiddish, Dutch, Croatian, and German. Tim now speaks 23 languages and counting, and says he has no plans to slow down.
According to MSNBC, Timothy mostly using grammar books and flash card applications on his iPhone to learn the languages. Then he turned to the Internet, where he found a global community of language learners like him:
“I found videos of people who had been studying for a year, inching along, and I thought, yeah, I can do that. I never imagined I’d be the center of so much attention.”
“I get to feel less guilty about watching trash TV,” he says. “To watch The Bachelor in English is one thing, but in Hindi it’s OK.”