Hyperpolyglots and Polyglots - A sneak peek into the world of multilinguists

“Necessity is the mother of invention”, so goes the famous well-known proverb and does its meaning even imply to learning new languages? Well! I would say that this would be true to a certain extent! When you have to thrive in a land where the communicating medium remains unknown then the process of picking up a language remains quicker. This article sheds light on the world of polyglots and hyperpolyglots and some quick tips if you have an urge to take the road of becoming one! Now, first things first! Let me first explain as to who are ‘polyglots’ and ‘hyperpolyglots’?

Polyglots Vs Hyperpolyglots:
Polyglots are those who have mastered two or more languages while hyperpolyglots are those who are proficient in more than twelve languages. In other words, when you are fluent in more than 12 languages then you can enter the present finite set of hyperpolyglots.
Interesting facts about polyglots and hyperpolyglots:
  • While polyglots learn languages because of their need and exposure to surroundings, the hyperpolyglots purely dedicate their lives to learning new languages.
  • Polyglots and hyperpolyglots have unique neural activities in their brain which are much different from those who have no affinity for learning languages.
  • Ziad Fazah, a Liberian Lebanese hyperpolyglot, is the person who holds the Guinness record for the most languages spoken by one person. He can speak a whopping number of 58 languages fluently and that is quite impressive indeed!
  • The term ‘Hyperpolyglot’ was introduced to the world by Richard Hudson who was determined to find out the person who had amassed the knowledge of the world’s greatest number of languages by carrying out an internet search.
  • It is a myth that polyglots are highly extroverted and are nomads to learn and practice their new language skills. One of the best examples of an introvert hyperpolyglot is Emanuele Marini, an Italian, who can speak a total of 30 different languages.
Adding an extra language to your mental kitty has its own advantages. Let us have a quick glance at them.
  • A research conducted at the University of Edinburgh has found out that the knowledge of an additional language increases alertness and improves cognitive skills.
  • Multitasking becomes a very easy job for the polyglots as per the research conducted by the Pennsylvania state university. According to the research, the reason for their effortlessness in switching between jobs may be attributed to their mental ability in handling more than one language with total ease.
  • Increased concentration on work at hand is one of the major advantages of being multilingual. According to a study in the journal Brain and language, the knowledge of several languages adds to increased focus and thus can add be an added advantage to efficient work output.
  • Also learning multiple languages can shoot up your travel and business opportunities drastically.
  • According to a study conducted by Ellen Bialystok, at York University, Canada, learning an additional language gives sufficient exercise to the brain thus delaying the onset of dangerous diseases dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Tips to become a polyglot:
Having learned this far let us move on to some suggestions and tips to take up the road of becoming a polyglot if you desire to become one.
  • Determination and drafting a well-planned schedule of your available free time for learning a language can immensely boost its rate of acquisition.
  • Without taking the stress of devoting exclusive time for language learning, a person can combine other chores with it. Some tips are listening to language dialogues or songs during cooking, gardening, driving etc.,
  • Also, choosing to read one’s favorite book in multiple languages can go a long way in improving an individual’s vocabulary.
  • To put the language learned into use either by traveling or by getting some help from social media is an obvious way out to improve one’s language skills.
  • Passionate and a step by step approach of learning a new language can help to fulfill the wish of becoming a polyglot with ease.
All said and done, the goal of becoming a polyglot requires some sincere effort but in the long run, can prove to be quite satisfactory and fruitful. Exploring languages is an art and can be a very interesting passion indeed. Happy language discovery!