Eddie Izzard named public language champion Watch

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The public has chosen stand-up comedian Eddie Izzard as their 2014 public language champion.

The award was announced on Friday at the Guardian and British Academy 2014 Schools Language Awards in central London as part of the annual Language Festival. The Public Language Champion award invites Guardian readers to nominate public figures that promote the value of speaking another language.

Eddie Izzard is a long-time advocate for the importance of language learning. Readers highlight his international tour Force Majeure which sees him delivering sets in Arabic, German, Spanish and French. As part of the tour, and to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day, he also performed the show three times in three different languages.

“I am very happy to win this award,” Eddie Izzard said. “I believe we have to tell people that learning another language is actually an adventure. It is tough, it needs work, but what it will do is that it will open up another country to you with all the colours of their people, their food, their customs, their sports and their culture. And you will become better human being by going on that adventure.”

Speaking of his relationship with language learning, Eddie Izzard recently told the Guardian’s language learning series: “There’s a political basis for me to learning other languages, because if we don’t come together in the world then the world’s not going to make it.”

Other nominees this year included Pep Guardiola, the manager of Bayern Munich football club, and Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister. The winner was chosen by judges from the Guardian and the British Academy. Eddie Izzard follows Arsène Wenger, manager of Arsenal football club, who won the award last year.
Good on Izzard! He's clearly got a passion for different languages and cultures, and I love his philosophy of learning languages to come together with our fellow man.
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Report 4 years ago
Some people are gifted in languages.

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