panjomin (panjomin) wrote in linguaphiles,
panjomin
panjomin
linguaphiles

Hey, we're famous!

Check out this new book about our lot:

http://www.economist.com/node/21542170

OK, so who knows (or is) a hyperpolyglot? 

I know several people who can speak three languages at a native or near-native level.  But all of them had lots of exposure to the languages as children.

I know several more people who can read twice that many languages with relative ease.  Decipherment, esp. of related languages, seems the easiest skill to acquire--or maybe I just think that because it's easy for me.

I have one friend who is able to use about fifteen languages, nearly all of them learned in adulthood.  But his level of proficiency varies from jaw-droppingly good to merely functional.

In any case, I've never seen anyone with the crazy numbers they talk about here. 

There may be so many variables involved--number of languages, level of proficiency, type of proficiency, dead vs living languages, etc.--that comparisons between people are meaningless.  But it's still fun to think about--or try and touch--the extreme end of linguaphile lunacy.
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