Journalist’s multilingual coverage of Ukraine conflict goes viral

A reporter for the Associated Press (AP) has received a lot of attention for his multilingual coverage of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Philip Crowther, a Luxembourg-born British-German correspondent for AP (and several other international networks), works as a broadcast journalist in English, German, Luxembourgish, Portuguese, Spanish, and French. Crowther’s coverage of the conflict in Ukraine received widespread praise earlier this week — in just a little more than 24 hours, a montage of his coverage for different outlets received more than 14 million views and 120,000 likes on Twitter.

The montage includes coverage of the conflict in Ukraine for several news outlets, including AP, De Journal, and Voice of America. Several users on social media commended the polyglot for his coverage in six different languages.

“Imagine being able to do this,” award-winning film director Ava DuVernay wrote in a tweet sharing Crowther’s video — to which language learning platform Duolingo responded “But don’t *just* imagine.”

A handful of users complimented Crowther’s accent in each language — one native Spanish speaker joked that Crowther spoke better Spanish than him, while another user said she couldn’t tell which of the six languages was his native language.

Born in Luxembourg, Crowther is currently based in Washington, D.C., and his work mainly focuses on U.S. foreign policy and diplomacy. He speaks English, Luxembourgish, and German natively — according to his website, he joined AP’s Global Media Services team in 2019. 

It’s important to note that multilingualism is quite common in Crowther’s home country of Luxembourg. The state uses Luxembourgish, German, and French as administrative languages, while Luxembourgish serves as its national language. Additionally, Portuguese — another language in Crowther’s repertoire — is spoken by about one-fifth of the population in Luxembourg, which hosts a large population of immigrants from Portugal.

Andrew Warner
Andrew Warner is a writer from Sacramento. He received his B.A. in linguistics and English from UCLA and is currently working toward an M.A. in applied linguistics at Columbia University. His writing has been published in Language Magazine, Sactown Magazine, and The Takeout.


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