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The world greatest linguists

I was just looking at the amazing collection of nationalities and spoken languages we have here in the office of Myngle, and the couple of language-geeks who are moving towards 8-10 languages spoken (yes, Elisa & Tetyana, I am talking about you here), when I had to find the answer: how many languages is it possible to learn?

I know it is a part of a specific brain intelligence, the capacity of assimilating new languages, different from the visual or the quantitative IQ. But it has always amazed me to hear stories of people learning languages like they were reading books.

So I went to look for the most impressive polyglot of all times. There are different sources and people claiming different incredible amount of languages, but most of them have not been verified. Many belong to the past, which makes it in any case difficult to prove now.

But if you look for the ”confirmed” ones I found two names that stand-out:

The world greatest living polyglot is Ziad Fazah, a Lebanese immigrant currently living in Brazil, who is fluent in 56 languages, and won the mention in the Brazilian edition of the “Guinness World Book of Records”.

The greatest linguist ever as recognized by the Guinness book of Records is the New Zealander Harold Williams, who was born in 1876 and is said to have spoken over 58 languages fluently.

Pretty amazing! It makes you wanting to learn more…
And for the stars in our team: you still have a long way to go! 😉


Explore posts in the same categories: Language Facts, Language Learning

8 Comments on “The world greatest linguists”

  1. tetyana Says:

    Wow, pretty amazing! I would love to see Ziad Fazah as a student learning more languages in Myngle! 🙂 And I still have 49 languages to go…

  2. egbert Says:

    I wonder where they found their teachers 🙂

  3. Klara Says:

    Wow! Incredible and inspiring. Can anyone provide the Time Machine so we can ask this incredible guy how he did it?
    Egbert is right. Where did he find his teachers? But now, it’s so easy to find teachers of all languages. ANYONE CAN JUST CLICK ON TO MYNGLE AND HE CAN FIND MORE THAN HE NEEDS. And I will be there, too.

  4. elisa Says:

    I feel really small with my 10 langugages (besides, only some of them I speak fluently! and I admire these people a lot, wow what a brain. well, I still have some years to go ;-), let’s see where I will get! I am for sure in the right place for this!

  5. Klara Says:

    Hi Tetyana and Elisa. What a brain you’ve got!!!. (Elisa, 10 and Tetyana, 7) Come on, you can break the record. You are still too young so you have much time for it. Let’s say, you learn 2 languages in a year multiplied by the remaining years of age before you reach 60, I’m sure you’ll beat him. But even with the languages you have now, that’s so great of you! Congratulations for being linguists.

  6. Michael Says:

    This is really incredible. Am only affluent in two languages. But I know with the sort of interest I have now, I can learn more with time.
    But to do this I really need a teacher of different languages

  7. Agbo Emmanuel Michael Says:

    I liked their abilities to acquire many languages, but the word Linguist should be used appropriately for persons that studied Linguistics and have contributed meaningfully to Language development. Those people are just polyglots ;and not Linguist. For me, the best Linguist is Noam Chomsky based on what he has done for Linguistics.

  8. Mouhammed LNG Says:

    HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh you have no idea about me in the next 4 years i will break their numbers now i can speak 36 languages fluently and i can translate to 42 languages I WILL BE THE BEST POLYGLOTS EVER AFTER 3 YEARS