Polyglots? it’s all Bulshit!!!

Yesterday a friend of mine called me ”

Hey Stone I got a surprise for you! I’ve got a friend who actually speaks 6 Languages!!! I think you could come over, meet him and have some exchange with him

After having that phone call, I was really eager to meet that guy because the truth is I love languages but I rarely find people like me so it was like an amazing occasion for me to practice more than three languages at once and get some Advice as well!!!

So I got prepared (as as usual) , and I went to meet the guy ! He looked really interesting at a first glance ! We started our conversation in English ( obviously) after 4 minutes or so, I decided to switch to Italian cuz he had told me he actually speaks 5 languages (English, French, Italian, Chinese , Arabic).

When I switched to Italian our conversation became really boring because I was like the only one talking and he was just listening and saying “si”…. “No” which actually means “yes” …”no” and whenever I mentioned the name of a place or a food he knows he would be like “siiiiiiii molto bene” . I felt really uncomfortable with that so I said to myself ” I better take another language.”. So ,I said ” tu parles français “(do you speak French?) and he answered “oui! ” with such enthusiasm . we pursued our conversation and it was the same scenario ! The guy was saying nothing relevant he was just like reciting his French phrasebook . out of a sudden the guy stopped me and said 

listen guy the reality is that I’ve visited 5 countries and I can actually just say “good morning” in 5 languages so, do not take it bad, but I’m not a polyglot, I’m just a traveller!

I was really disappointed after this, but this situation thought me a very important lesson that I want to share with you guys!!!

The time you spend telling people the number of languages you speak , you could spend that time learning and improving your skills in languages! ( we all know the process!).

The objective is not to look like a polyglot but to be able to communicate like a polyglot. The countries you visit are not the languages you speak… The fact that you know some words in a language does not mean you are a speaker of that language if not I would say I speak more than 250 languages!!! Hell yeah! Because there are more than 250 languages in Cameroon and I know at least two words in each of these languages.

So guys! Stay cool and learn languages. From your way of expressing yourself , people are going to tell you “wow !! You speak very well” 

See you guys it was your folk Stone


7 Comments Add yours

  1. panglossa says:

    It can also happen that people who don’t understand the first thing about languages will see someone doing something in another language and automatically assume that the person speaks it. It has happened to me a few times. For instance, when I was 12, I loved drawing, and one of my favourite subjects for drawing were Japanese anime & similar. So I usually copied the names of the characters, the way I found them, in Japanese. That was enough for my schoolmates to assume that I was a fluent Japanese speaker. I only found out about that when an exchange student from Japan came to our school. Everybody enlisted me right away as a translator. Needless to say, it was rather embarassing. Fortunately, the guy already spoke Portuguese, and he understood when I showed him my drawings and explained the situation.


    1. Livingstone says:

      But the difference is that unlike my polyglot friend you did not pretend you were a Japanese speaker!!


  2. guillaumelp says:

    Small typo: « but this situation TAUGHT me » 😉
    Good post! I speak 8 and can actually converse in all of them ^^


    1. Livingstone says:

      Thanks bro!!!
      Which langages do y ou speak?


      1. guillaumelp says:

        French, English, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Esperanto and German 🙂 BTW I invite you to drop by by my blog: guillaumelp.wordpress.com 😉


  3. Elina McGill says:

    You’re on to something here. It’s taken me more than two decades to get to the level I’m at in my native language, English. How could anyone possibly claim to have that much experience and exposure to 5+ languages? They can’t unless they lived in a multilingual environment since birth.

    For those of us aspiring to be multilingual or polyglots, we have to use different metrics to judge our language skills. Certified tests and certificates are the best way, but not everyone can afford to pay for tests. The majority of us are self-taught and self-evaluated.

    Polyglot is vaguely defined as “able to speak or write several languages.” Then one must ask what is meant by “ability”. One can be a conversational polyglot or an advanced polyglot.

    What are your thoughts on what qualifies someone as a polyglot?


    1. Livingstone says:

      I think Being exposed to man languages in not the only factor that can make omeone a Polglot!
      They are people naturally gifted with languages! Languages geniuses if we can say so!
      One can only be said a Polyglot if he goes through an actual test with native speakers who can attest of his level
      Thaks for the comment!


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