Steve Kaufman

Professor Alexander Arguelles
November 3, 2015
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Steve Kaufman


I am pleased to endorse Moses McCormick’s website, and I do so for three reasons. First of all Moses is an accomplished polyglot. His ability to learn languages, many languages, difficult languages, unrelated languages, is remarkable.

I speak a few languages myself and can vouch for the comfort level that Moses has achieved in these languages. Secondly, Moses has developed an approach to language learning that not only works for him, which is obvious, but also works for others.

I made a discovery of a remarkable degree of linguistic aptitude when Moses McCormick subscribed to my YouTube channel. Moses describes three key elements in being able to learn languages: 1) Access to necessary resources (and he relies primarily upon the Teach Yourself Series plus online language exchanges with native speakers). 2) Confidence to speak precisely so that you can make mistakes and, learning from them, improve. 3) An open mind. And he implies a 4th element, namely lots and lots of hard work.

Indeed, Moses not only makes videos of himself speaking languages, but – for Zulu, Swahili, Hindi, Chinese, and a number of others – teaching their rudiments. Not only does he write on the board in his videos, but he has posted paragraphs of composition on his blog, so it is eminently clear that he considers every aspect of every language he studies.

I only overlap with him on about half of his languages, but in all of those that I understand, I understand him perfectly. What he can do in Korean, for instance, is far, far, far more than most of my fellow past colleagues could do after years in the country.

More than anything else, I am truly impressed by the degree to which he is most clearly and truly actively thinking in the languages as he speaks them at the relative length of three or four minutes at a time. He has put forth a tremendous amount of time and energy in pursuit of our common passion, and as a result he has not only already attained admirable results, but he holds the promise of being a core teaching polyglot for years to come. We must inspire, and we must provide guidance.

Moses does both of these things in a special fashion. When it comes to guidance, while many of us can explain how to go about learning a language efficiently, there are few who can demonstrate as well as he can how to go about actively talking about yourself in an exotic tongue in record time. Thus, in both of these regards, Moses McCormick does a great service to polyglottany.