What is a Polyglot?
A polyglot is an individual who can speak, write and read knowledge in several different languages. To be more specific, a polyglot is defined as someone who can engage in all three of the aforementioned practices in at least three different languages. It is believed that children can easily be taught several different languages since a very young age. Therefore, children who are raised in a bilingual or multilingual environment can carry out a conversation in different languages in a fluent fashion, are considered to be polyglots.
Is it a Rare Practice?
It is astonishing how common this practice of speaking, comprehending and understand multiple languages is. In several different cultures, the practice is common as everyone is expected to know at least three languages. Besides, the fact is that some languages themselves are polyglot in nature. For instance, the English language itself has roots in Latin, Germanic, Greek, Anglo-Saxon and French words. Therefore, it is a difficult task for non English native speakers to be entirely fluent in English as there are multiple ways of saying the same thing. However, this is also true for every language around the globe.
Why Learn Different Languages?
When in Rome be a Roman. For several individuals, the idea of learning a new language is based in an effort to bridge a cultural or communication gap. Besides the effort of engaging in the practice of acculturation, many individuals learn different languages to expand their understanding of the world. No matter the reason behind your motivation for learning different languages, all in all it is an interesting hobby or activity.
As stated previously, it is an interesting and desirable activity and not many individuals have the caliber and the capacity of learning different languages. So if you think you have what it takes to learn different languages and have outstanding fluency at them, you need to embrace patience. The following pointers will help you understand the truest nature of language learning:
- Go for quality and not quantity. It is useless if you learn a language without actually appreciating it inside out. Every language is beautiful in nature and has its unique qualities. Going for quantity and learning languages on surface will not transform you into a polyglot. To be able to communicate in a particular language effectively and knowledgably, it is important to praise it and appreciate minute details relevant to it.
- Being patient is another important ingredient of the process of becoming a polyglot. It is indeed rewarding for you to be able to speak fluently a language that others around you find difficult to understand. It is rewarding indeed, however, it is important to know that there will be times when you feel that you have hit a wall and you cannot get the hang of a particular aspect of the language. This is the time when the weapon of patience comes in handy.
- Setting small realistic goals is another important facet of learning a new language. If you wish to be able to gain fluency at a particular language over night, it is not only impossible to do so, but it is also an unrealistic goal. This is likely to lead you to disappointment and de-motivate you from putting in an effort into the task. Therefore, be consistent in your behavior and take baby steps.
- Know that getting something wrong or making a mistake is a natural part of learning. When you make a mistake in life you realize the ‘don’t’ of it. Similarly, don’t fear or be embarrassed of making a mistake. It is a natural part of learning a new language. It’s like you are gaining a new skill. It is likely to take time, a lot of time. Hence, learn from those mistakes and do not give up.
- At any one point in time, focus on only one or two languages. If you plan on investing your time in multiple languages, it is likely to disappoint you. Make sure that your focus is limited so that you can learn the language the right way and maintain the quality standard of the language. If you do justice to the language and give its due time and focus, you will do justice to the time you have spent in learning a language.
- Make conversation with others who are native speakers of the language. As they say, there is nothing better than communicating with an individual to whom the language is a piece of cake. Speak to a native speaker on regular basis to understand your weak point and your strengths.
- When you speak to a native speaker, be patient and focus on building the quality of your speech and your new language, you will automatically be able to get the pronunciation and the accent right. It is common for many polyglots to find out that their accent and pronunciation is different from the native speakers. Therefore, communication with a native speaker can do wonders for your practice of learning different languages.
- Engage in the practice of using mnemonics and other psychology related techniques to memorize the spellings. Build associations with the words that you learn, it helps in memorizing the words and pronunciation and the spelling right.
- Give yourself the right break before you move onto some other language to learn. It is important to build expertise, the right expertise in a particular language. Be sure that you understand and know the different languages that you are learning before adopting a new language to explore. Lack of clarity is only likely to confuse you and cause distress. The reason for distress is that you will feel that all your efforts went to waste.
Therefore, to be a polyglot, you have to learn to keep the aforesaid suggestions at your finger tips. When you memorize the above mentioned rule of thumbs, it becomes easy to make way through learning the different languages. Remember, make it fun, do not make it a difficult task by running after quantity.