A certain number of languages in the head or who are polyglots

Polyglot – is the person, who masters of lots of languages.

Are they Genius people or just diligent and laborious? Have they got talent or severe training and self cultivation? So who are they – polyglots?

There are lots of languages in modern society, but neither of linguists will tell you the exact amount. Western academicians consider them to amount to 2796. Russian scientists think that about 3 thousand. If we talk about different dialects, than the number will be much more impressive. In present the linguists all over the world worry about the languages extinction. Approximately 150 USA Hoosiers languages more than 200 Abostralian languages and nearly 1000 New Guinea languages are on the edge of dying out nowadays.

I’m going to list the most to my mind popular world polyglots.

The most prominent polyglot is Italian cardinal Dzhuzeppe Meccofanti (1774-1849), he has never left Italy, but knew on a different levels nearly 38 languages, besides ne was familiar with 50 dialects of different languages.

John Paul II – the Pope of Rome. Spoke fluently 10 languages, besides knew still a number of languages.

Richard Francis Berton – British traveler, writer and translator, ethnographer, linguist, hypnotist, fencer and diplomat, who could speak by some assessments 29 languages, related to different language families.

Boris Lvovich Brainin – translated poems into German, spoke freely 15 languages, translated without ponies from 26 languages.

Harold Williams – British linguist, journalist, scout, famous polyglot. He has studied more than 50 languages over his life.

Agafangel Krymskij – Ukrainian soviet historian, writer, translator, orientalist, specialist in Turkic philology and semitologist, could speak at least 16 alive and classic languages, due to some sources nearly 60 languages.

Dolph Lundgren – actor and sportsmen; knows 9 languages, including Finnish, Japanese and Russian.

Giovanni Pico della Mirandola – Italian humanist, affirmed to know 22 languages.

Dmitrij Petrov – psycholinguist, lecturer, simultaneous interpreter, author of the immersion English studying course. He could speak nearly 30 languages.

William James Sidis – famous child prodigy of XX century, in 8 years old could speak 8 languages, to 30 years old he knew nearly 30 languages.

Jean-Francois Champollion – French orientalist and founder of Egyptology, who decoded Rozett Stone. In 20 years old could speak 13 languages.

Shutskiy Julian Konsyantinovich – soviet orientalist, could speak 18 languages, related to the different language families.

Pol Robson – singer and actor, performed songs and spoke more than 20 languages.

Kato Lomb – translator, writer, one of the first simultaneous interpreters in the world. She could speak 16 languages.

Re-reading this list which can be added by a lot of translators you become just fascinated with all these people or at least treat them with a great interest. They say that it cannot be that the person can’t study a language it is just wrong teaching method. But on the other hand why it is so that every nation has its own language? The question ruined more than hundred people. Let’s remember history about the Tower of Babel. Why can’t we live in peace and talk one similar language? Just to avoid misunderstandings and troubles. But it appears another problem, which of the languages are have to be chosen and why. And there is an arguing question again “which of the languages are better”. After all these aspects we come to the conclusion that the translator profession will exist for many years to come. This is so natural when a person tends to know more and more languages – it is some kind of passion, like in the sport game or tournament. You want to inquire about new countries, new cultures, new traditions and dialects – what can be more excited!

I want to accent the last name in our list of the famous polyglots – Kato Lomb. Chemistry by profession, she became the first simultaneous interpreter in the world. Prominent Hungary translator and writer could translate fluent into 8 languages, and in the whole understood and worked with 16 languages. In 1993 this purposeful woman started to master English with the help of self-created method – reading the foreign literature. In such a way, having mastered English she continued with the other languages – while bombing in 1943 she was reading “Dead souls”(“Miortvie dushy”). In her bestseller “How I learn languages” Kato Lomb formed 10 simple rules for studying language:

  1. To learn foreign languages requires 10 minutes per day. The most optimistic hours – in the morning.
  2. If the desire to learn language is eased, do not give up working, just change the type of activity, hear foreign language radio, thumb a magazine, and watch a film.
  3. Learn the words only in the context, because one particular word can have lots of different meanings
  4. Write out and memorize numerous “set expressions” as more as you can and use it while communicating.
  5. Translate into foreign language everything that you see, every your thought, every people’s talk. This gives a rest and a language practice simultaneously; even if you have not possibility to practice your language such an exercise will help you not to forget your knowledge.
  6. Do not learn texts by heart if you are not sure about its rightness. Better re-ask and learn entirely correct phrases.
  7. Phrases already prepared for the usage, idioms write out and keep in memory from the first person. For example: ‘I’m only pulling your leg!” (I am just joking with you)
  8. Use all possible ways of studying and practicing of foreign language – read books and newspapers, watch films, visit different speaking clubs, hear the radio, get acquainted and speak with the native speakers.
  9. The major is to master speaking and to be not afraid of making the mistakes! Speak as you can and you will start to be corrected – don’t worry but be happy! Be happy over the possibility to improve your skills!
  10.  Just believe in your success! Fully expect that you will speak foreign language! Believe in your gift and strong will to the language studying and there will be result!

 And after all, when 86 years old Kato Lomb has met her 54 years old friend she uttered the last phrase to him: “Steve – you are so young! So many years are ahead so many languages can be learned!”

I think such stories and such rules have to inspire and show that there is nothing impossible. In spite of age, living conditions, historical events – if you want you will achieve it. Of course the question “are the translators born or turned to?” is not completely examined, but to disclaim or prove something is always possible.

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