Ken Hale: The Guy Who Spoke 50 Languages

Ken Hale could speak 50 (yes, fifty!) foreign languages. He was a professor at MIT until his death in 2001.ken hale

Was he sitting all day learning languages?” – one of my students asked.

Well, not really. He grew up on a ranch in Arizona. He loved rodeos and bull riding. Ken even won some rodeo competitions. In other words, he wasn’t the kind of person sitting in a room all day, leaning over a desk and memorizing words.

Language learning was great fun for Ken and he loved every moment of it. He was probably the most multilingual person in the world– speaking fifty languages. He could pick up a language extremely fast, sometimes in a week.

Look, I’m not making this all up. If you’re interested, you can verify in Wikipedia that he learned to speak Dutch in one week.

Unfortunately, we don’t know all his secrets. Ken wanted to write a book about language learning in which he planned to reveal his secrets. But he died before he could finish the book. He could never reveal his language learning secrets to the public.

However, not all is lost. I did a lot of research and I discovered that Ken was always fascinated by the connection between language and culture. He said: “Every language is a work of art, reflecting a culture and intellectual wealth”. This was his guiding philosophy.

He also said that you can’t master a language without understanding the cultural implications of words and phrases. To put it differently, you can only master a language if you understand the culture behind it.

At Metaphor English, we use the same philosophy and developed a method to master English.

If you can’t wait to master English in an intellectually stimulating way, we invite you to join our course. Now we have a special offer for you: purchase our e-book and you’ll also receive a valuable free English lesson. Click here to use this opportunity!