Reporter sails through 6 languages in viral clip of Ukraine coverage

Philip Crowther speaks six languages
Twitter | Philip Crowther

Veteran news correspondents can make reporting the news, even in difficult circumstances, look easy. However, a recent video of an international correspondent for the Associated Press covering the crisis in Ukraine takes news reporting to a whole new level.

On Feb. 21, Associated Press television reporter Philip Crowther went to work from Kyiv, Ukraine. As part of his role as an international reporter for the AP, Crowther provides updates to numerous stations around the world.

On this day, tensions were high in Kyiv as the region awaited a possible invasion from its neighboring country, Russia. Yet, Crowther gave calm, detailed updates throughout the day to various stations and not just in one language, but six.

The multilingual reporter shared a supercut edit of these videos on his Twitter account at the end of his busy day.

“Six-language coverage from #Kyiv with @AP_GMS. In this order: English, Luxembourgish, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and German,” Crowther tweeted.

It didn’t take long for the video to go viral as people marveled at the reporter’s seamless delivery in each language. The video has been watched more than 24 million times.

Reactions to the video ranged from people who were seriously impressed with Crowther’s lingual skills to others who analyzed his accent or made fun of their own lack of ability to speak more than one language.

Duolingo, an app that teaches foreign languages on smartphones, commented on Crowther’s performance from its own Twitter page.

Twitter user Jennifer Thurman was so taken by the reporter’s ability to speak six languages she asked about Crowther’s marital status on her account.

Within 48 hours of posting the video, Crowther had returned to his home in Washington, D.C., and appeared on the MSNBC show “Dan Abrams Live” to talk about the viral video. During the interview, he humbly admitted he could possibly speak a seventh language, Catalan, in an “emergency,” but he considered it a stretch.

When asked about the viral video, Crowther explained that he edited the video himself and was the one to post it on his account. At first, it didn’t seem like the video got much attention, but suddenly, the retweets started and then it began to take off.

“I’m not complaining,” Crowther told Abrams. “A lot of people go viral for the wrong reasons for doing something silly or stupid. In this case, you know, the comments are all positive. So really, I’m quite grateful.”

When Abrams asked the reporter if there was one language that made him more nervous during live reports, Crowther smiled and gave a demure reply.

“I’m more nervous doing this than doing what I did over there,” he joked.

On his webpage, Crowther’s profile lists English, German and Luxembourgish as his native languages. In his interview with Abrams, he said he grew up in Luxembourg with parents who spoke English and German at home. His friends taught him Luxembourgish, and French is also a common language in his home country.

Crowther is currently still in the U.S. but said he may be traveling back to Ukraine in the next week or so. In the meantime, he shares updates on the Ukraine situation from fellow correspondents, as well as other newsworthy events, on Twitter.

Curiosity, Good News, Life, News, Travel
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About the Author
Marie Rossiter
Marie is a freelance writer and content creator with more than 20 years of experience in journalism. She lives in southwest Ohio with her husband and is almost a full-fledged empty nest mom of two daughters. She loves music, reading, word games, and Walt Disney World. Visit Scripps News to see more of Marie's work.

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