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Language master

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Language master

Postby Xurma » Tue 06.26.2007 4:50 am

Hello.

Do you know who can speak most languages than everyone in earth?

Because I tried to find with google but I didn't get any good results that I was waiting for.

When I was young, I've heard that someone could speak about 46 languages, and someone other could speak 26 languages, but I'm not sure about those.

If you know anything then please tell. :)
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RE: Language master

Postby shiohigari » Tue 06.26.2007 5:41 am

I remember hearing about a great linguist called Harold Williams. Apparently he could speak an amazing 58 languages ~ fluently!!! These languages included some European, African and Asian languages, among others.
Take a look here http://www.nzedge.com/heroes/williams.html
Try googling his name and see what else you come up with!
Last edited by shiohigari on Tue 06.26.2007 5:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Language master

Postby spin13 » Tue 06.26.2007 9:29 am

Dr. Kató Lomb, a Hungarian interpreter/translator, worked in 16 languages. You can read about her and translations of texts by her here.

Erik V. Gunnemark, a Swedish translator, was said to have worked in 45 languages.

How many languages were spoken by these two is unknown to me.

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RE: Language master

Postby sei » Tue 06.26.2007 9:46 am

A person who knows many languages is called a polyglot I believe. So you can try and search for that on the internet.

This is the only one I know of - Cardinal Mezzofanti.
Last edited by sei on Tue 06.26.2007 9:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Language master

Postby Sumi » Tue 06.26.2007 1:01 pm

I wish that I could speak more than one language and yes, sei, that is what a polygot is. It just seems so hard.
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RE: Language master

Postby sei » Tue 06.26.2007 2:09 pm

Well, I hope to break the 10 languages bar someday...

As for now, if/when I get to a certain fluency level in Japanese I'll already have reached the 5 languages one. ^^ (That is, excluding Italian, because I don't think one year of study is enough to say that I know the language...)
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RE: Language master

Postby Tspoonami » Tue 06.26.2007 2:46 pm

I think Pope John Paul II was able to speak 26 languages... Enough that he could go to many random places in the world and give orations in the native language.
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RE: Language master

Postby Xurma » Tue 06.26.2007 3:22 pm

That 58 languages is just incredible x_x

I know currently 3 languages fluently, and I'm learning japanese.

I'd like to master some of the top 10 most used languages in the world, like mandarin, spanish, hindi or russian.
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RE: Language master

Postby sei » Tue 06.26.2007 3:28 pm

Now that I remember, there is one very famous Portuguese TV host (I'm not sure that's what it is called...) who speaks 8 languages fluently. He has demonstrated it several times on TV.

Oh, and by the way Xurma, I'm hoping someday you will help me out with the Finnish, as that is one of the languages I will definitely learn. ;) Along with Russian. I am not sure which to study first. But I'm thinking Russian.

Edit: On a side note, I didn't know Hindi was one of the top 10 most spoken languages in the world.
Last edited by sei on Tue 06.26.2007 5:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Language master

Postby shiohigari » Tue 06.26.2007 9:27 pm

sei wrote:

On a side note, I didn't know Hindi was one of the top 10 most spoken languages in the world.


I believe that Hindi is in fact in the top 3, behind Chinese and English. When you consider the number of people living in India and nearby, it makes sense.

I was thinking about the OP's first question about how many languages anyone can speak and in my insomniac state last night, as you do, I thought that a person's ability to speak a great number of languages is only limited by the number of languages in the world and by that person's intelligence and determination to learn. Of course, it would be impossible to know all the thousands of languages in the world, but as we have seen many people can speak way more than the 3 I can speak, and certainly even more than 10 or 20. It makes me want to go out and learn some more!
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RE: Language master

Postby Gundaetiapo » Tue 06.26.2007 9:46 pm

I believe that Hindi is in fact in the top 3, behind Chinese and English. When you consider the number of people living in India and nearby, it makes sense.


ここ. Though bear in mind there is much controversy about what constitutes a common language vs different language.
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RE: Language master

Postby Xurma » Wed 06.27.2007 5:09 am

sei wrote:
Oh, and by the way Xurma, I'm hoping someday you will help me out with the Finnish, as that is one of the languages I will definitely learn. ;) Along with Russian. I am not sure which to study first. But I'm thinking Russian.

Edit: On a side note, I didn't know Hindi was one of the top 10 most spoken languages in the world.


Well I can help you little with Finnish (and the casual finnish too because it's spoken in almost everywhere in finland) :) Though I want sometimes learn Russian too.

Edit:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_noted_polyglots

Oh my god... check that out, there are some who speak a lot more than 58 languages :o
Last edited by Xurma on Wed 06.27.2007 5:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Language master

Postby Oracle » Wed 06.27.2007 6:54 am

I think it would be hard to use all the native idioms and sound 100% natural in a large number of languages, but this guy is certainly giving it a go (9 languages). Check out the "Let me explain in your language" videos near the bottom. His Japanese intonation/accent isn't that great, but grammar is ok and he's definitely understandable - if he can do this in 9 languages then I'm impressed. Make you wonder though how good someone's pronunciation would be if they spoke 20,30 or 40 languages.
Last edited by Oracle on Wed 06.27.2007 8:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Language master

Postby sei » Wed 06.27.2007 7:52 am

Well, the pronunciation of that guy in Portuguese could definitely improve... And his grammar too. Is he English? English people usually repeat "eu" (I) a lot... It's many times not said just like in Japanese. Though the verb says if your talking about yourself or someone else.

And, in the site that I linked about the polyglot I mentioned says:
He never left Italy and yet managed to learn how to speak languages without accent. People from all over the world came to challenge him in their native tongue. They all reported their amazement at this man's fluency.
Last edited by sei on Wed 06.27.2007 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Language master

Postby sei » Wed 06.27.2007 2:01 pm

I was wondering, does gestual language (not sure that is the name in English), count as another language?

I'm not sure if this should go in my previous post, or if it is alright to make a new one. So please tell me if I should just delete it.
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