Who are the most famous polyglots in the world?
Before we start telling you about incredible achievements of people who managed to master more than ten foreign languages as a famous polyplots, we would like to call your attention to one very significant fact and prove it by the experience of one of the writers who work for the blog website. So, the thing you should, or it is better to say you must always remember, is that, yes, you can, and you will learn this language if you want to. Write this idea down or print it on a sheet of paper in large letters and not forget to put three exclamation marks at the end of the sentence.
Well, this is what our dear colleague always keeps saying to herself when she starts to learn another foreign language, as well as to her students. She is teaching German and learning Korean (yes, partly because she likes their doramas). She says, her teaching experience has shown her that a child (and, consequently, an adult) does not need to be a genius to learn a foreign tongue. Motivation is much more necessary for students’ success: they must understand why they do it. She also adds that it is not worth disregarding the reason for learning a language that children usually have: it is fascinating.
So, right, it should be at least interesting for you if you do not need this or that language for your education, career or whatever. Enormously, even this can help. And some of the stories, which you can find below, will prove that direct interest, seasoned with a small pinch of ambition, possesses surprisingly great power. Now let us see how it works!
The Most Amazing Polyglots of All Times
A polyglot can be considered a person who can fluently speak three languages only. However, nothing is as simple as it seems. These three languages must refer to three different families. Well, languages also have families, so do not wonder so much. To set an example and make it easier for you to understand what we mean here, we shall name English, Korean and Russian– they belong to different language families. If you know someone who speaks them all well, tell this person that they are a polyglot.
Nevertheless, we have prepared the stories of people who knew or knew more than ten tongues. That is going to be cool!
He Who Discovered Troy – Heinrich Schliemann (15 Languages)
He is well known as a German archaeologist and businessman who managed to master 10 European languages, including Latin, plus such difficult languages as Arabic, Turkish and Russian. Greek helped him much with his research and excavations.
The Author of “The Hobbit” and the World-Famous Trilogy – John Tolkien (35 Languages)
It can be claimed that such rich knowledge of many natural languages helped Sir John Tolkien, who was, by the way, Professor of English Language and Literature, to invent languages of his widely-known characters. His arsenal included Norwegian, Finnish, Icelandic and even Sanskrit.
Polyglot of the Guinness World Record – Ziad Fazah (58 Languages)
He is claimed to be the most famous polyglot of the 21st century! Although his gift is somewhat controversial as it was not proved by its possessor in “Viva el lunes” TV program in 1997 when 58 native speakers asked him questions, still it has become the world’s “language” record.