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Wednesday, April 16, 2014 (read 1484 times)
Eddie Izzard in Spainby Matthew
English writer, actor and stand-up comedian Eddie Izzard is certainly not shy about taking on immense challenges. In 2009, despite having little to no experience of long distance running, he managed to complete 43 marathons in 51 days for the charity Sport Relief, a hugely impressive achievement. This shows he was prepared for intense physical challenges, but his latest venture is a different task altogether and will greatly test his mental capacity. Eddie decided that he wanted to do deliver his stand-up routine in a number of different languages, including Spanish, to a variety of different audiences throughout the world.
This talented comedian succeeded in touring France for three months and doing his routine in French and then charmed audiences in Germany with his use of their native tongue; and he is definitely not hiding away from what are generally considered the most difficult languages, saying that next on his list are Russian and Arabic.
His most recent shows, which took place in the Ancora room in Madrid between the 8-13th April, were enjoyed by around 100 people every night. Despite having very little time to learn the language, and almost no knowledge of it before he started, he managed to deliver a 12 minute Spanish monologue to his audiences.
Izzard was confident that by trying to immerse himself in the Spanish language during his time in Madrid, which included 3 hours of classes every day, he would be able to perform successfully during these 12 minutes. With the help of his brother, who actually translated the script for him, Izzard enjoyed a prosperous 5 nights in Spain’s capital city, and he has now turned his attention to “harder” languages in the hope of reaching countries much further away.
This ambitious plan was born out of Izzard’s fascination with languages. He said that he wanted his words to reach as many different people as possible, and in order to do this, he would have to learn the different languages that they speak. He is certainly not frightened by this daunting prospect, and refuses to believe that any dialect is too difficult to learn, because, to paraphrase him slightly, if a native can manage to speak their own language, then I am sure I can!
Eddie Izzard thinks language learning is an incredibly important aspect of someone’s understanding of the world and their ability to communicate and empathize with people from different cultures. His ultimate aim is to become the Mayor of London in 2020; the language learning process, his courage in taking on enormous challenges alongside his ability to reach out to people no matter what their background is, are skills that will greatly enrich and enhance both his personal and professional life.
Keywords: eddie izzard,learning spanish,language learning,spanish immersion,language immersion