What is a Polyglot?


When you hеаr the аdjесtіvе ‘polyglot’ dеѕсrіbіng ѕоmеоnе, іt is mоѕt likely for you tо thіnk thаt thе реrѕоn іѕ a sheer genius, ѕіnсе he mау hаvе thе ability tо ѕреаk in 6-7 languages оr more. Hоwеvеr, уоu will bе аѕtоnіѕhеd to knоw that bеіng a ‘роlуglоt’ hаѕ become vеrу common thеѕе days аnd is very muсh undеr уоur ‘rеасh’.

Are you a Polyglot?

As реr dеfіnіtіоn, уоu can call a реrѕоn ‘polyglot’ if he оr she саn ѕреаk 3 lаnguаgеѕ оr go bеуоnd that numbеr. Lеаrnіng 3 languages іѕn’t thаt dіffісult, since 1 іѕ your nаtіvе language аnd the other 2 lаnguаgеѕ can bе lеаrned in a mаttеr оf some уеаrѕ. Hоwеvеr, bеіng a ‘роlуglоt’ іn the true ѕеnѕе wоuld mеаn thаt the person ѕhоuld bе well-versed with аt lеаѕt mоrе thаn 3 lаnguаgеѕ.

Cоmіng fоrwаrd іntо the 1970’ѕ, thе tеасhіng of modern languages ѕtаrtеd tо bе іntrоduсеd іntо thе ѕуllаbuѕ of аll schools, until tоdау we ѕее that Frеnсh, Gеrmаn аnd Sраnіѕh аrе соmmоnlу offered аѕ a ѕubjесt орtіоn іn еvеrу school.

Counting languages

If the соunt оf languages іѕ аll that уоu wаnt tо increase or if you wish tо become ѕоmе kіnd оf ѕресіаlіѕt in оnе оf the geographical аrеаѕ, then уоu wоuld need tо focus уоur attention оn one particular lаnguаgе аt a tіmе аnd ѕtudу аnd lеаrn that language until уоu become fluent іn іt. Thіѕ wіll make lеаrnіng оthеr lаnguаgеѕ іn the ѕаmе regional area a lot easier, by then you would have known most of the common rules of that language and a lot of its vocabulary too. Tаkе аn еxаmрlе whеrеіn you have lеаrnt Ruѕѕіаn. In this case, іt wіll become muсh easier for уоu tо lеаrn Ukrainian or аnу other Slаvіс language.

Thіѕ еffесt саn аlѕо be аррlісаblе vісе-vеrѕа. Thuѕ, if уоu hаvе learned аnу other Slavic language, thеn learning Ruѕѕіаn wіll еvеntuаllу become аn еаѕу tаѕk for уоu. Thе ѕаmе gоеѕ wіth the Lаtіn languages аѕ wеll. There аrе certain соmmоn rulеѕ аnd раttеrnѕ that are followed асrоѕѕ all Lаtіn languages. Aсtuаllу ѕреаkіng, it іѕ еаѕу tо bесоmе a Lаtіn ‘роlуglоt’ іf уоu hоld uр tо thе rulеѕ firmly. Latin lаnguаgеѕ ѕhаrе ѕеvеrаl соmmоn rulеѕ with Spanish bеіng ԛuіtе сlоѕе to Pоrtuguеѕе аnd Rоmаnіаn bеіng vеrу nеаr tо Italian.

So are you a Polyglot? How many languages do you speak? Share your thoughts below.

108 Replies to “What is a Polyglot?”

  1. I only speak one. I tried to take Spanish & German in school. It just wouldn’t keep me interested. I guess it would take some desire to learn another language. I was also stationed in Korea while I was in the military. I think I could have learned that language if I was there longer than a year. Because I was there I really was inclined to pick up on the native language. I think it wouldn’t be a bad thing to be Polyglot. That is the first time I heard it being called that. Thanks for the information.

    1. Hi Ronnie, being bilingual, more so a Polyglot is really a challenging feat. As you said, it really takes a desire to deliberately learn a new one, unless you grew up in a multilingual environment and the languages are just second in nature. But I believe it is not yet too late. If there is one language that sounds music to your ear, then go for it. You may not be as fluent as a native, but it would definitely be a big badge of honor in your heart. Thanks for dropping by.

  2. It is common for us here to learn 3 languages in school, namely Bahasa Malaysia, English, Mandarin Cantonese. I did study my French for a year in India. My wife speaks beside the 3, she speaks Hainanese and Bahasa Iban.

    1. That’s amazing Jamin. It is fascinating to get to meet individuals who speak more than 3 languages. I am very glad you dropped by. Merci =)

  3. I manage to communicate in two languages. Today I have learned a new word. “Polyglot.”
    English is not my mother tongue. Though it is fairly easy for me to carry a conversation in English, it always takes more concentration than rambling in my mother tongue. …to master a 3rd language? …I think it will rather be a challenge for me 🙂

  4. Hey!
    I love your site! Is this something you are interested in or are you a Polyglot? It is so wonderful to think of the boundaries that could be broken if people took the time to immerse themselves in other cultures. Sadly, I only speak English. Even worse, I took Spanish in school from the 2nd grade to the 8th, for 1 year in high school and a year and a half in college. Then I bought Rosetta Stone, Spanish, Latin America! It’s almost embarrassing, but I choose to laugh at myself. I saw you had some banners up for Babbel on here, do you prefer them over Rosetta Stone? Thank you for my new word for the day and I may be back, I am still trying to learn Spanish. Oh, if you are going to Coachella, I am jealous to say the least!
    Have a great evening! Keli

    1. hi Keli, thank you for passing by my blog =) I am so happy to read comments like yours =) Oh, I am no polyglot, I am fluent in two.. English and Filipino =) Actually, I am also immersed in several languages so I know the basics of Spanish and Arabic, but to be a polyglot, you must be at least fluent in more than two… so that leaves me out in that category, as of now… hehehe =) But I have a lot of polyglot friends and that was my inspiration for this blog =) Great to know you studied Spanish… I did too, but I havent practiced it that’s why it kind of withered… but the basics are still present in my head, I guess yours too =) Lo siento pero no habla Espanyol… only poco poco… hehehe =) As for Babbel and Rosetta Stone, I have no exact preference but I believe though they may have different brand names, they posses the same quality lessons =) As for the Lady Gaga concert, I wish i can come.. lol.. i just ended up promoting it so whoever can come can share to me pictures and their experience =) Thanks again Keli.. hope to see you back here =)

  5. Must I confess that this is the first time I saw this word? I like that you pointed out that the rules are similar for some languages, thereby making it easier to learn another language. This is a smart tip. Thank you.

    With the world opening up the way it has, learning other languages could prove beneficial. I see so many shows I would love to watch without reading, but I don’t understand the languages. I tried Chinese some years back, but that suffered a natural death.

    1. Hi Josephine, thanks for dropping by =) The internet has expanded our knowledge and made it easier to interact and learn new languages. It is for the reason I am so happy to see and meet polyglots. You can still try learning Chinese, or at least the basics. This will be a big of honor in your heart. =)

  6. Hi, JR!
    Great article!
    I agree that if you know one Slavic (or latin) language, it is easier to learn another Slavic (or latin) language. I don’t speak in Russian or another Slavic language. But when I lived 3 months in Poland and wanted to learn Polish, it felt much easier for me than my Spanish friends because I grew up in the country where many people speak Russian and I remember some words etc. Polish has some similarities with my language too.
    I fluently can speak in two languages, I know German too and a little bit Chinese.

    1. hi Linda, thank you for dropping by. Having regional language commonality can truly make learning a new language faster =) I amazed that you are on the way of becoming a certified polyglot. Aside from English, what other language are you fluent too? =)

  7. I must say, I really enjoyed this article and I have never heard of the word polyglot. Looking at the comments, I feel a little better knowing that I’m not the only one. I have an interest in learning Spanish just because it’s so common but to learn a 3rd language? Lol I’m not sure my brain could function with all that information. Great article!

    1. hi Lea, thank you for visiting =) I am happy to have shared the word “polyglot”. Learning a new language is very challenging but very doable =) So you already speak two? what other language aside from English do you speak? =)

  8. Thanks!
    I wondered what that word was. My cousin is a Polyglot because she speaks 4 languages and this is due to her mother being a diplomat and traveling all the time.
    Me, however, I don’t even like my own language… lol… I’m lucky I can say hello and goodbye in 2 languages.

    1. Hi Damien, yeah, your cousin is a certified Polyglot. Aren’t they amazing? just to shift from one language to the other instantaneously =) Thanks for visiting brother =)

  9. I never heard that word before -but then I have trouble with English too – I guess. A lot of the US is spoiled with a vast area and in theory one common language – us old folks who grew up in small rural towns weren’t always exposed to other languages – and its a shame. I always felt it was a deterrent in some of my business dealings.

    1. hi Dave, thank you for visiting =) With the quick rise of information technology, various languages are now within reach by almost anyone. This truly helped in the business world as more people, whether you share the same language or not, can now understand your product and what you have to offer. The big challenge now is how do we cope because the competition became tougher. =) Again, thanks for visiting =) I’m looking forward seeing you again here =)

  10. I have never heard the word Polyglot before. Now I know what it means if I am ever asked about it. You learn something new everyday. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Hi Stephen, thanks for visiting =) I am happy I shared a new word… I invite you to visit my other articles as you might find a new and interesting article too =) Thanks again =)

  11. I have always wanted to learn Spanish and French. I may have an opportunity to learn French through immersion in Cameroon. I know they speak English there as well, but it is my hope to be exposed to it. Maybe someday, I can be a polyglot myself.

    1. Hi Alan, that’s awesome. It’s not yet too late to learn new languages, more so Spanish and French =) They are great languages. Is your immersion to Cameroon upcoming, that’s pretty exciting. By being in the country, it will help you learn the new language faster =) I’ll be looking forward to your journey =) Thanks bro =)

  12. I love it, your script, and no, I am not a ‘polyglot’.

    I have an interesting situation, I am a Sottish person, who after I retired moved to Portugal.

    I have struggled over the past four and a half years to attempt to come to terms with this language.

    I have learned many words but I cannot find the correct verbs to connect them.

    But is there a light at the end of the tunnel, I can order in Portuguese some of my groceries for example; cheese(Queijo), Ham(Fiambre), cow/beef(Vaca), pork (porco) chiken(frango), turkey(peru), liver(fígado), and Lamb(cordeiro).

    I did some research and Portuguese is amongst the top two or three most difficult languages to learn, no matter what linguist companies say.

    At the age of almost seventy-five, I shall plod on at my steady pace, maybe one day, when I am one hundred I may be able to have a conversation.

    I do not know whether this qualifies as being a polyglot, as a Scot, I have lived and worked and lived in many areas of England, and found no problems with dialects, within several weeks I could speak as one of them.

    1. Hi Tom, what you shared is very inspiring. I am so honored to know that your quest to learn new languages knows no age nor boundaries. Being bilingual or polyglot doesn’t really matter as long as the love of languages is there. Rephrasing it, the love to communicate to others is still there =) It is thru the act of communicating that we all become connected. Thanks again Tom, you are such an inspiration =)

  13. I so enjoyed reading this article. When I was a child we lived in Europe. I was the first one to pick up languages and became the family’s unofficial translator. When we returned to the US there was so much peer pressure to speak only English, that sadly I lost my confidence and use of other languages.But to this day, I have to admit, I am so excited when I get to be around a multi-lingual group. It just stirs my soul!
    I hope that more children become polyglots or even bilingual as it ends up being the connector to all that truly we have in common no matter where we are from.
    Learning another’s language is such an exuberant process of sharing.
    Thank you for this article. It gave my faith that we will cross boundaries and see our similarities not differences.
    Loved the video of your daughter. Precious!
    In peace and gratitude, ariel

    1. Hi Ariel, thank you for visiting and for sharing your story =) It is truly a magical feeling when you start to hear various languages. If only we can learn all of these in a snap.. hehehe… but yeah, children nowadays have a vast information on several ways to learn new languages. I can imagine more polyglots will be produced in the next generations to come. Oh and thank you for watching my daughter sing. She’ll soon be 4 years old and she still remembers the Chinese song =) Thank you again =)

  14. When i clicked this website…i had no idea what a polygot is…. Now i do 🙂
    As for me, is there such thing as a Duogot? 🙂 I speak native english and above basic spanish. It’s a lost cause for me with French and Arabic, I don’t even hear the words (ever see the episode of FRIENDS where Joey tries to learn french?)….. #truestory


    1. Hi Savita, thank you for visiting =) It is my pleasure to have introduced to you the word =) For peeps like you and me, we can simply be called “Bilinguals”. But whether we be bilinguals or polyglots, we all share the same unique abilities to be able to communicate in two or more languages =) I have yet to watch that episode but now it intrigued and will search for it =) I am happy you visited. Feel free to hover around as I’ve shared several stuff about the beauty of universal communication =) Thanks Savita =)

  15. I had never heard the word polyglot until I found your website. I had always known someone who spoke a number of languages as multilingual. I have learned something new today – thank you! I, however, do not speak any language but English and am saddened by this but it’s my own laziness to blame. I have worked with people from non-English speaking backgrounds for many years and have never taken the opportunity to learn from them!

    1. Hi Megan, Thank you for visiting =) I am glad to have shared the term polyglot. It is truly a magical moment meeting people who speak different languages. Thanks again Megan =)

  16. Great site! I’m a home school mom, and I truly had never heard the term polyglot. Thank you so much for enlightening me and sharing your wealth of information with us! So fun!

    1. Hi Shelli, I am glad to have shared it =) Feel free to hover around the site as it features many articles about beautiful languages =) Thanks again for visiting =)

  17. I speak only one language fluently but I have take two German courses in college and one Spanish course. I have these little phrase I throw around from what I remember but I have never been able to make the change to speaking them fluently or even well enough to understand someone who speaks the language quickly.

    Is it true that it’s best to travel to the country that speaks the language or is there another way to learn the language well if you don’t have the money to travel?

    1. hi Rick, thank you for visiting =) Having known German and Spanish, aside from your English mother tongue, is such an astonishing feat =) Visiting and immersing in the country will be the best but with globalization and internet, we can always learn wherever we are. The key, for me, is constant practice with the newly learned language. It is thru constant practice we perfect it =) Thanks Rick =)

  18. Great article, I agree with the points you have mentioned about polyglot. This is something new that I have learned and will share this with others. Such a great and useful read, looking forward for more useful articles from you.

    1. Hi Sarah, thanks for visiting =) I am glad to have shared this information =) Feel free to browse more and you’ll find interesting articles too on languages =)

  19. HI, very interesting article!

    I speak only 2 languages, Portuguese (native) and English. In the past, I had more motivation to learn a third language such as Germany or Italy. But not anymore. Maybe in the future when I have more free time.

    I remember I had a Portuguese teacher in college, he was a super Polyglot as he speaks over 10 languages. It’s incredible!

    1. Hi Stefan, thank you for visiting =) Great to know you speak Portuguese =) It’s also good to continue pursuing the third language, it will take time, but at least, the fire is still within =) and wow, 10 languages… that is AMAZING! Imagine the possibilities of understanding almost everyone in the world… well not really all but majority… still wow!

  20. Hi great article ,
    I never heard about polyglot before, but now after I have read this article I can tall you that I am polyglot because I can speak at this time 5 languages Slovak is my mother language than Czech, Hungarian, Polish, and English.Best thing about it is that I never learned in school this languages. I think I can be proud of my self. Thank you for new information.

    1. Hi Tiboor, fantastic! I am honored to meet you… a Polyglot! I am really in awe when I get to meet one =)To top it all, as you said it wasn’t formally learned in school, that makes me more in awe =) Thanks for the visit brother =)

  21. I have never heard the term “polyglot” before. This post was really educational for me. Living in Hawaii (America) I feel like learning a foreign language isn’t stressed as much as in other countries. I studied French in high school and college, but it was pretty useless being in Hawaii and not being able to use it practically. In my opinion, you really need to visit and use the language with native speakers on a daily basis.

    1. Hi Valerie, Aloha! Thanks for visiting =) I am glad you find the article interesting =) I do agree and share your opinion. Constant communication and daily practice indeed helps a lot in mastering the language. And wow, you studied French. Comment ça va?… Merci Beaucoup =)

  22. Interesting post about polygot and for sure now days most people speak couple of languages that may be due to diversified background or due to urban lifestyle requirement. And Myself too know fluent three languages along with decent knowledge of other languages. It really exciting for me to learn new language, as It really helpful in getting acquainted with people belong to different diversity and nations.

    1. Hi Ganesh, thanks for visiting =) Wow, you speak three languages =) Learning a new language also fascinates me, hearing new languages is music to my ears =) Thanks brother =)

  23. This is a cool post, well i speak Spanish which is my native language, but i speak English, french and italian. As you said, latin languages share a lot of similarities, italian and french for example in the word cheese, in italian is formaggio, in french is fromage, and are pronounced very similar, but is very different from spanish which is queso. Is interesting t see all those similar words… it only tells me that we are not so different from each other, no matter where in the world you are.

    1. HI Ileana, thanks for visiting =) You are a certified Polyglot, I am honored to meet you =) I have a little knowledge of Spanish too as I’ve studied Spanish in my University years, plus we Filipinos share common words with you. In fact, I believe that the majority of us Filipinos speak a mix of Filipino, English, and Spanish in our daily conversations, subconsciously. When we tell time, common for us to say alas-kuwatro, alas-diyes, etc… these are borrowed Spanish words but ingrained in us =) Truly, language is magnificent. It bridges the boundaries of different countries and cultures =) Thanks again Ileana. Muchas Gracias!

  24. I have been interested in learning another language for a couple years now but I cannot make my mind up on which one to learn first. I have Spanish and Canadian French mates who I met in New Zealand. I’m not into the French language however. I think I will start with Spanish. Thank you for your post!

    1. hi Kody, thanks for visiting =) Choosing a new language can be a daunting task, for me, I know I would learn a new language fast when it sounds music to my ears. Something I can memorize easily, even at first I don’t know what it means. From there, I start learning deeper =) Spanish is amazing =) Thanks again bro =)

  25. I’m no polyglot for sure. I can speak a little Spanish and that’s where it ends lol. My little brother, on the other hand, can speak eglish, spanish and italiatn and he’s 4. Who knows maybe he’ll grow up to be the only polyglot in our family.

    1. Hi William, thanks for the visit. Wow, your li’l bro must have astounded a lot of people. I can imagine the “wow” factor when people hear him speak =) Thanks for sharing bro =)

  26. Interesting article. I’ve never heard the term Polyglot before – I refer to people who know more than one language as linguists. You learn something new every day.

    I studied French at school as part of the curriculum ,but learning a language at the time wasn’t really pushed at it is these days so I didn’t take it seriously. I now wish I had as being able to converse in more than one language is a great skill.

    I started to learn Hebrew about 5 years ago as I found it interesting how the Hebrew language craft words. I would love to become proficient in this language before I start to learn another one. I didn’t realise that Biblical Hebrew is different to Modern Hebrew – different nuances – does that mean I know 3 languages including my native English? 🙂

    Thanks for sharing such a great article.

    1. Hi Jacqueline, thank you for dropping by =) I was also happy to learn about the word polyglot. I am also amazed you have some knowledge about French and Hebrew. I love how the French language sounds and oh Hebrew, I started appreciating it also especially when I heard Natalie Portman speak it. My jaw dropped. It was fantastic! =) Thanks again Jaqueline =)

  27. Polyglot … strange word. I know folks who speak more than 3 languages. I didn’t know there was a word like that for folks. I use the word multi-lingual to refer to someone who speaks more than one language. Good to know in case I hear it, I’ll know what it is.

    1. Hi Sylvia, thanks for the visit =) I share the same sentiment when I first heard the word… multilingual was also my default term =) It’s interesting to know that the word polyglot exists =)

  28. Wow what a word. I speak one language but have learned bits and pieces of others, when I first came back from Germany I thought in two languages, in turn spoke mixed up too. I understand more than I can speak in Spanish and German. I would love to be fluent in more than one language. I think all languages are beautiful to just sit and listen to. Thank You for the insite on a new word for me.

    1. Hi Dusty, thanks for visiting =) Knowing Spanish and German languages are amazing =) I agree that all languages are lovely… there are some that we are attracted to and they sound music to our ears =) I am glad to have shared this new insight =) Thanks again =)

  29. Huh, I never knew that that was what a polyglot meant. I am in the process of learning Spanish as a second language, and I might make Japanese my third.

    I had no idea that so many people were into learning more than 3 languages! Very interesting! Thanks!

    1. Wow, fantastic Jacob =) Estoy totalmente de acuerdo! =) Great to know you are learning Spanish and you have the passion to learn Japanese =) Both languages are fantastic! I love Spanish in particular as I also studied it way back in the University.. and my Filipino language has some borrowed Spanish words =) Oh and Japanese, I also know how to sing a Japanese song… hehehe =) Thanks Jacob! Keep up the amazing journey you are in =)

  30. I speak only 2 languages, Greek is my native, and English because here in Greece almost everyone speaks them. But my children will know for sure 3 languages. As their mother speaks to them in Russian and i speak to them in Greek they will have 2 native languages from birth and they will for sure learn English at school. So who knows? Maybe they will learn a fourth? I believe it is very important to speak a lot of languages as this will give them more opportunities for work.

    1. Hi Stratos, thanks for visiting, That is awesome! Your kids will be brought in a multi-language household =) Soon they will be polyglots and that is such an amazing feat =)

  31. Polyglot! Great to know! so polyglot is the one who can speaks 3 languages. I would say the one speaks 2 language is called bi-lingual. Guess what we should call the one who speaks one language?……..American!!
    I wish all Americans read this fantastic article and start going off our nests and learn new languages.
    Looking forward for more.
    Thank you so much

    1. Hi Ray, thanks for the visit =) It is truly an interesting thought to learn new languages as it not only enhances learning but we also embrace a new way of looking through the world and understanding others’ language and culture =) Super thanks and feel free tow browse the site at it covers interesting topics on languages =)

  32. Hello JR, thanks again for sharing another interesting blog on your site. I was unaware of the term “Polyglot” until I came to your blog, and read about it, how interesting!!! Unfortunately, I only know one language, English of course. I do plan to learn more languages in the near future. Thanks again, and as always, I wish you much success!!!

    1. Hi Ahmad, thank you for visiting =) I am glad I introduced to you the word =) Learning a new language is actually a badge into our own heart. Take it at your own pace and choose where the language sounds music to your ears =) Thanks brother =)

  33. Thank you for this wonderful post that has opened my eyes.
    I wasn’t aware I am actually Polyglot. I speak English as a second language.
    My mother language is Shona.
    I was born in Zimbabwe where 3 languages are official. So, I ended up knowing all 3 languages through association and from learning at the workplace.
    There was a time I went on a study tour and stayed 1 week in Sweden, 1 week
    Denmark and 1 week in Norway.
    I learned how they say thank you for the food in 3 languages there.
    Tack för maten; tak for mad and takk for mat.

    1. Wow, that’s amazing Femia =) I am honored to meet another polyglot =) Really, I am fascinated =) Great to know you speak those languages =) Very interesting words you learned there too =)

  34. OK so I speak one language, but a little Russian, but the fact that I have never even heard this term before blew my mind. I work with someone that speaks 3 languages and it blows my mind. Really like how you have put this together. How many do you speak, or want to planning on speaking?


    1. Hi AJ, thanks for visiting =) Great to know you also speak little Russian. That’s a great start =) and yeah, with your friend who speaks 3 languages, isn’t fascinating =) As to how I came up with this, I am officially fluent in two languages, but I am exposed to multiple ones (Arabic, Spanish, Hindi, French and Mandarin) both at work and personal. I am still mastering my Arabic but French seems to linger more in my brain =) Hopefully in my lifetime, I get to fluently speak these two additional languages =) Shukran Jazilan! (Thank you in Arabic)

  35. Hi
    I when I was reading your article on What is a Polyglot? I first thought I am a polyglot lol… then after reading further, I noticed am not since I know 3 languages including my native, I wanna be a Polygot now I have to do another language.Thank you

    1. Hi Mercy, thank you for visiting =) You still are a polyglot =) I am glad to meet you =) Speaking 3 languages fluently is a feat in itself =)

  36. I didn’t know the word polyglot. Now I know. I wish I were one of them would be wonderful to meet people from everywhere in the world if you are. A language is also a way to learn its culture. I’m always interested to know a new one.

    1. Thank you for visiting =) Here on the site, a lot of polyglots have visited and you will be amazed =) Yeah, I absolutely agree that by learning one’s language, we also take a peek into there culture =) There’s always time to learn a new language… take your time and be at your own pace and soon, you’ll have the basics =)

  37. Thanks for introducing me to Polyglots JR.
    I’m definitely no Polyglot but I can see how the skills can be built and developed.
    I have a broken second language of Italian. I’m intrigued to learn Spanish, Mandarin and Greek.

    1. Hi Vince, thank you for visiting =) Great to know you also speak Italian =) and yeah, Spanish, Mandarin and Greek are such lovely ones too =)

  38. Like most here I have never heard of the “polyglot” but find the term both very interesting and beneficial. My native language is English and it is the only language I know. I have tried to learn Spanish using the app Duolingo but I found it very difficult to remember the terms. Maybe for lack of interest but some is due to my my current state of cognitive issues. I have a lot of comprehension and memory issues because I am epileptic and on a lot of meds. It is pretty frustrating because I really want to learn another language but I am sure I will one day. Thanks for the interesting article.

    1. Hi Melissa, thanks for visiting =) One key way to learn a new language is to take it at your own pace, especially for us adults… once you get the hang of it, the words will become second nature =) By experience, I started with numbers. Arabic numbers are the first ones I mastered by heart =) Now If I hear the language, my brain immediately picks up the numbers out of the sea of sentences in Arabic =) Sometimes I surprise myself when I completely understood what was being said in Arabic =) So I guess, the key is finding a language that us music to your ear and learning it at your own pace =) Soon, you’ll be immersed and be part of the language already =) Thanks again =)

  39. You are exactly right about Russian. My friend learned Russian a few years ago and now he can speak fluently Ukrainian as well. I hope I can be also a polyglot someday and I also think of learning Russian so I can speak more languages.

  40. I’ve dabbled casually in studying many languages. I don’t speak any of them…well, maybe some passable Spanish and very basic Korean, but nothing where I could have a lengthy conversation. But I like learning about the mechanics and sounds of languages, so maybe I’m a pre-polyglot?? I’d love to learn another language inside and out, that’s for sure.

    1. Hi Penelope, interesting insight. I guess millions of us are “pre-polyglots” =) Great to know you speak Spanish and Korean =) Muy Bien! =)

  41. I have never heard of the word “polyglot” before, I thought it was called multilingual? I can speak 2 different languages fluently which is English and Welsh as I am from Wales which not many people from Wales can actually speak our mother tongue which is quite surprising. They say you learn something new every day, and today I have certainly learned something new, thanks

    1. Hi Matthew, thanks for visiting =) Before I started this blog, multilingual was also my term… I am as astonished as you are now when I learned about “Polyglots” =) Great to know you speak Welsh too =) Super thanks chief =)

  42. I love reading your posts because I always learn something new! I’d actually never heard the term polyglot until reading your article. When I lived in Sicily I had many Spanish speaking friends and they absolutely thrived in our new country. The Italian language is so very close to Spanish that my friends didn’t even miss a beat in conversations with locals. The different dialects even in one country has always amazed me as well. The Sicilians had a very different dialect than even the Northern Italians-it was like two totally different languages! But it was the same! What courses (books, etc) do you recommend for people who’d like to delve into learning a new language? I’ve always wanted to learn Spanish but I can’t even make it past the 1st Cd on the audio learning discs I purchased! lol

    1. HI Jennifer, thanks for visiting =) So you speak Italian? That’s fantastic! and yeah, Spanish is great! As for books or apps, Babbel and Rosetta Stone are great.. Duolingo as well =) But no one beats having a real person teach you as the conversations will be more dynamic =) Thank you for sharing your insight with the Spanish language audio CD, don’t pressure yourself and take your time… soon, when the brain is ready… it will be breeze =) Muchas Gracias! Grazie Mille =)

  43. Hi JR,

    I am one of those polygots. 😉 My mother tongue is Finnish, I live in Sweden where we speak Swedish, and I use English every day in my work. I have also studied Spanish in high school, but not used it so much after that.

    I agree that if you learn one language from a Slavic, Latin, or Indo-European branch, it makes it so much easier to learn another language in those groups.

    That is however not the case for the Finno-Ugric language Finnish. Finnish belongs to a group that includes Hungarian, Estonian, Sámi (spoken by the indigenous people of northern Finland, Sweden and Norway and northwestern Russia) and several lesser-known languages spoken in areas of Russia. But, similarities between Finnish and the other languages are few. According to a post I found on Google these are the similarities between the Finno-Ugric languages:

    1) absence of gender (the same Finnish pronoun, “hän,” denotes both “he” and “she”)
    2) absence of articles (a and the in English)
    3) long words due to the structure of the language
    4) numerous grammatical cases
    5) personal possession expressed with suffixes
    6) postpositions in addition to prepositions
    7) no equivalent of the verb “to have”

    In short, if I hear Hungarian, Estonian or Sámi, I have no clue of what they talk about, even though I am fluent in Finnish. I think Estonian sounds like Finnish, but the words are totally different.

    It is totally the opposite with Swedish. Swedish has a lot of common words with the other Scandinavian languages, English and German. They all belong to the Indo-European family and the north Germanic branch.

    Languages are very fascinating. Thank you for sharing this post, and the term polygot which I now can add to my vocabulary. 🙂


    1. Hi Marika, it’s my honor to meet a certified polyglot. Individuals like you inspire me so much, both in learning a new language and how you manage to be ambassadors of these languages =) If only the world can speak and understand many languages, I guess it will be a more peaceful world… hehehe =) Thank you for sharing your insight on Finno-Ugric languages. I have learned something new too =) Thank you very much again =) Muchas Gracias!

  44. Thank you for this info 🙂 I can speak Arabic, English, and some French: can I be considered a polyglot? Also, not only for counting, learning languages is quite important, as it gives you the option to travel more, expand your business, know other cultures, and numerous other benefits.

    1. Marhaba Mohamed! As-salamu alaykum =) Shukran Jazilan for visiting my site =) I know basic Arabic too and I am happy to meet you =) I am also honored to meet a polyglot like you =) I totally agree with what you said. Learning a new language can open our world in various cultures. This enables us to see the world thru a nation’s perspective, this broadening our perspective too =) Super thanks =)

  45. Well, I really only speak one language. And sometimes I remember stuff from high school French (I am Canadian, so French is out other secondary language in school). And I took conversational Spanish a couple of years ago, but that was not helpful since I could not get to Mexico when I wanted to, so I have lost most of that knowledge.

    However, my daughter learned French in grade 8 and Japanese for the rest of high school, so I guess she qualifies as polyglot.

    Personally, I think they should teach kids another language in elementary school and a different language in High School, so that they know three languages upon graduation. I think that would be so helpful, since there is so much work online and abroad now.

    Great post!

    1. Hi Irma, thanks for the visit =) Knowing French and Spanish is amazing already. Though as you said it seems “rusty”, our long-term memory will trigger it and that for me is a feat in itself =) Great to know your daughter will potentially speak many languages. I love how French sounds and Japanese, they are music to my ears too =) I hope your daughter continues to master those languages as it will be very beneficial in her life’s journey =) I totally agree that new languages must be taught early on to children. This will enable them to master the craft faster. Super thanks again =)

  46. Hi JR,
    I am so happy to learn a new word, Polyglot. 🙂

    Yes, I am a polyglot. I speak English, Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin, Cantonese & Hakka. By the way, do dialects count as languages?

    I guess it is easier for us in Malaysia to be a polyglot. As we are a multi-racial country, we are exposed to many different languages in social interaction, education, business and entertainment. There are the mother-tongues, for an example as a Malaysian Chinese, I was brought up learning Mandarin and the family’s dialects. Then we have Bahasa Malaysia (our National language) and English which are compulsory in our education system.

    So yes, many opportunities for us to be polyglots here. Oh… and I noticed with the K-pop & K-series fever, many are learning up the Korean language too! 🙂

    1. Hi Alex, it is a big honor to meet you =) You are such an inspiration. Imagine being able to be the bridge between nations, that in itself is such a feat. Though as you said, your geographical location was a big factor in having learned all of these, but still, not all will have the passion to practice and speak it, furthermore, be fluent in it. It’s really amazing =) And yeah, Korean language is fast growing. I for one have appreciated their language with the rise of K-Pop =) Kamsahamneda! =)

  47. I am familiar with the word “polyglot” 🙂 I am speaking in two languages: English – which is a Germanic language and Polish – which is a Slavic one and indeed it does make sense to try to make an interest in the group of languages from the same family of languages as it is easier to learn – certain basics have got a lot in common. But I am interested in Japanese which is far from German or Slavic… and I keep on promising myself I’ll study properly and for so many years I haven’t done much progress. Child, work life – online business and many others. But I am aware these are only excuses. We all have a busy life. I love your article! Best wishes! Gosia

    1. Hi Gosia, thanks for the visit =) Great to know that you speak Polish too. Oh and I share the same passion for the Japanese language. As a Filipino, we grew up watching Japanese Sentai series. Up to now, I even know by heart several Japanese songs from these series. I even surprise some people in pretending to speak Japanese, but I am just actually declaiming the Japanese songs I know… hehehe =) Yeah, soon, like you, I’ll also find time to master the Japanese language. It will be a big effort amidst our busy lives but will get by it, I claim that =) Arigatou gozaimasu!

  48. I’m eager to learn different languages, as I only speak English. I have a few German friends, and they speak multiple languages. I try to pick up words from them or constantly ask them how to speak certain phrases in German. Our daughter is learning Spanish in school, so we’ll be learning as well!

    1. Hi Allie, that’s awesome =) It starts with the interest and sooner or later, you’ll realize you now understand the new language =) Great to know your daughter speaks Spanish. I bet you are also brushing up to learn the language too =) Muchas Gracias! =)

  49. Hi, thanks for your post – now I finally know what “polyglot” means!! I live near a theatre called the Polyglot Theatre. I knew it must have had a meaning, but I never knew what it was.
    I only know one language. Does that make me a monoglot? When I was at school we learnt 3 languages – Italian, French and German. I loved German, for some reason it really resonated with me. I liked the structure of it. I found it very logical. Italian I studied for several years, though I wasn’t even close to being fluent in it. Now my kids study Italian at school, and it’s amazing how much of it I remember!
    Anyway, I loved your article. Thanks for sharing. I learnt something and I can see from the comments above that lots of others have also learnt something.

    1. Hi Melissa, thanks for the dropping by =) Glad to know that there is a place called Polyglot Theater. I bet they show international movies there… hehehe =) I am not sure if there is a word “monoglot” but don’t worry, billions speak one language and that’s perfectly awesome =) But you said you studied Italian so that is an amazing feat too =) I am glad you liked this topic. This is my way of keeping all of us together. We may all speak different languages, but we share one common experience, at the very least, here online =)

  50. Wow what an interesting article! I had never even heard of a polyglot before but i definintely feel a lot more well informed 🙂
    I only speak English, I did spanish at school and loved it, but i kind of lost it all after i left school.
    I have always wanted to learn irish, i live in northenr ireland and identify as irish, but i only know a few phrases, you have definitely inspired me to get going with my irish, to be able to speak another language fluently is definitely on my bucket list, and i guess if you learn little bits at a time, it will culminate into a large grasp of the language over time.
    I guess travelling loads is another way to learn a language best, so more of an excuse to get travelling!
    Great post!

    1. Hi Colleen, thanks for visiting =) I’m glad it brought back your interest to learn Irish =) Learning or re-learning a new language especially for us adults is a very daunting challenge, but it is definitely doable and will inspire us to learn more =) Super thanks Colleen =)

  51. Yes, I am a Polyglot! My mom is from Kabul, Afghanistan and speaks farsi fluently, so I speak mmm…70% farsi, if we could put a numercal value on “how much of the lauguage I know” and my father is mexican, but my spanish is so-so 50%…. but still, according to your article that makes me a polygot 🙂 YAY

    1. Hi Sophia, wow. It’s an honor to meet you and thanks for visiting my site =) After all the languages you shared, yet you speak I assume 100% fluent English. You are indeed a polyglot and that’s very inspiring =) Eres una gran inspiración! Muchas Gracias! I hope you enjoy more of the site =)

  52. What an interesting article! I have never been called a polyglot but that must be because I don’t speak 3 different languages!

    I learn’t a lot from your awesome article! i’d like to learn a new language but I haven’t had enough time. I think I will continue French soon… Duolingo is a great app to learn languages for free!

    1. HI Jeremy, thanks for visiting =) Oh wow, so aside from English, what else do you fluently speak? and yeah, French is fantastic..also I’ve also tried Duolingo and they are excellent =)

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