US teenager Timothy Doner from New York City can speak 20 different languages.

After first learning Hebrew, he moved onto Arabic.

The 17-year-old now speaks and studies various others, including French, Latin, ancient Greek, Mandarin, Chinese, Japanese, Hindi, Indonesian, Dutch and Italian.

Some of the more unusual languages he speaks are Wolof, Hausa, Swahili, isiXhosa, Ojibwe, Farsi and Pashto.

The polyglot said he started studying Hebrew seriously because he was interested in learning about Israeli history and Middle East politics.

He began to memorise song lyrics from Israeli tunes, was soon able to form new sentences, after which he started having more fluid conversations with people.