Of polyglots and multilinguals

Itchy Feet: Polyprefixation

“Polyglot” is an interesting word. It may sound a lot more like some type of insect larva (“after metamorphosis, the squirming polyglot will transform into the majestic glotted spiderfly!“) or perhaps a forensic term for bloodstream splatter (“we’ve had a body within the family room, detective, and polyglot all around the curtains“). But it’s nothing quite as entertaining. Should you not know, to be the language learner that you’re, a polyglot is just the word for somebody who speaks several languages. “Poly” obviously to be the Greek for “many” and “glot” being Greek for “insect larva.” Sorry, I am talking about “speaking, studying or writing a language.”

Now, “someone who speaks multiple languages” is a pretty vague definition. Wikipedia defines a polyglot as somebody who has “mastered” multiple languages, then procedes to ruminate without citation on which “speaking” a language might really mean. The dictionary offers anything concrete with “knowing or using several languages.” Let’s say I’ve one mother language that I’m fluent in, and I’m a novice in ten other languages? Let’s say I’m fluent in 2 languages, but one of these is really a dialect? Let’s say I’m fluent in C++ and Fundamental? Shall We Be Held a polyglot?

All of the polyglots I’ve ever spoken with, in the Polyglot Gathering or on my Itchy Ft site, conserve a very loose meaning of what “speaking a language” means. Like a group, polyglots are very inclusive. In the end, their hobby is learning new languages to achieve new cultural perspectives and call new categories of people – they’re obviously a really open-minded bunch. As being a “polyglot” isn’t a rank or mark of status. It simply means that you enjoy learning new languages. So if you wish to call your polyglot or otherwise, that’s fine through the polyglot community. The greater the merrier!

But if a polyglot is somebody that speaks multiple languages, what on the planet is a multilingual person then? Both Wikipedia and also the dictionary consider polyglot and multilingual as interchangeable. Why is this so? In the end “multi” may be the Latin for “poly”, and “lingual” may be the Latin for “glot.” So multilingual generally is the very same word as polyglot, just inside a different old language.

Exactly what a shame! Listed here are two perfectly good words that seem different, but they’re used interchangeably. I believe this can be a waste, and I wish to suggest that we learning enthusiasts popularize a distinction backward and forward. What distinction? Well, I’m glad you requested! I’ve only the one (I can’t take credit for this, when i heard it from another person, consider I can’t remember who that’s, we’ll just pretend many of us are inventing this at this time):

I suggest that a polyglot is somebody that has actively, consciously learned more than a single language, where a multilingual individual is someone who grew up speaking several language. Have it? If you increased in northern The other agents and also, since childhood speak Moroccan Arabic, French, Spanish and Tamazight, you’re multilingual. If being an adult after this you gone to live in Asia and selected up Chinese, Korean and Thai, you’d be also a polyglot. Obviously, there’s lots of wiggle room because well (let’s say you learned a language in class like a teen?), however i think the excellence between individuals which were elevated with multiple languages and individuals that learned them by themselves is a vital and fascinating one. We’ve two words, let’s use ’em!

What is your opinion?

P.S. – a “dodecalingual” looks like it’s somebody that speaks twelve languages. They are doing exist!

Resourse: https://blogs.transparent.com/language-news/2016/06/29/of-polyglots-and-multilinguals/

Multilingual Manhattan | The Polyglot Tour


Olaf Antiböse: Your videos are so motivating! Love it, keep it up! It's awesome (y) :)

Babbel: We'll keep it – we enjoy doing it too much.

Abby Gold: Carajo como habla tan bien el español? Dios mio

Matheus G. S.: Abby Gold soy brasileño y él es irlandés. Hablo portugués como lengua materna, lengua muy próxima del español; sin embargo, él habla español muy mejor que yo lo hago. ¡Que vergüenza siento ahora! 😭😭😭

Clad_in_shadows: Su frances y su italiano no son tan buenos como su espanol. Sin embargo, es impresionante que hable tantas lenguas.

PassionforDreaming: He's living the dream, doing multilingual interviews!! Really cool!

Angyliv: Acento español. El seguro que ha vivido en España. Es demasiado fluido para haber aprendido en "clases" solamente.

Camilla Chopinet: Angyliv Jaja había empezado a escribir el comento en Inglés sin darme cuenta.\nDe todas maneras, no es tan necesario vivir en el país del idioma que estudias para tener buen acento. Podría tener varios amigos españoles por ejemplo… Pero igual, el Español es la lengua que el me parece hable mejor. Hasta su Italiano de vez en cuado tiene acento español jaja

KingdomofSmileys: Angyliv Soy nativo del Inglés, y yo creo que el Español es uno de los idiomas más fáciles de pronunciar.

Diego Primo: Just loved it