Multilingualism | Or the polyglot thread

meisenimverbis

Civis Illustris
I looked for one, and haven't found (among more recent posts), so I decided to open one.

I'm not a polyglot. I have a list of languages I would like to learn, but I'm not quite on my way. However, I'm pretty excited with what that goldlist method may do to my Latin, so, if it does work (which will happen, I confidently believe), I will apply it to other languages (list below). Not that I'm a fan of the method. I guess each person will have their own ways, and find the methods that fit them best. That one kind of works with me for the simple reason that it makes me commit. I've never had so frequent systematic touch with Latin since whatever course I may have had. I have acquired books, et cetera, often do, whenever I find new ones, but none of them made me commit, though I tried with one or the other. Also I had students, and believed that teaching I would get better, but it isn't necessarily the case, specially because the students I had needed very elementary Latin, and it wasn't so much challenging. (...)

If I get rid of studying Latin intensely for having noted enough progress with that method, I intend to go on reading Latin, but I intend to use the method with other languages, one at a time, of course. I believe some will go faster than others, but here's the list of languages I would like to learn. (I will have to study their grammars too, this is why I believe it will take longer than Latin for me to work, because I will have to make both grammar studies and vocabulary.)

Languages I speak:

- Portuguese (10)
- English (8)
- French (6, intermediate level, and enough for me--for now at least)
- Latin (3 or 4, in progress)

(The numbers represent the grades I consider myself in, for each of them. It's a subjective evaluation, not a factual one.)

Languages I would like to learn:

(in that order, for now)

- Italian
- German
- Welsh
- (ancient) Greek¹
- Czech
- Romanian
- Turkish
- Chinese

¹I might try to squeeze Greek after Italian or German.

I imagine that for languages like German, Welsh, Czech, it will take me from 4 to 5 years to get somewhere. Chinese will probably demand a longer time of me. Italian and possibly Romanian will take me less time, from 3 to 4 years... As for Turkish, I have no idea...

--

There are a few polyglots in this forum, I believe...
Let us know! Give us your lists, and stories. (What were the first ones, what methods you use, at which point you considered or decided or realized you were a polyglot, or don't you care about that?)
 

Terry S.

Quaestor
Staff member
For Welsh I would strongly recommend Aran Jones' SSiW The first course is free. He emphasises the importance of going through his courses with no reference to the written word for as long as possible, so that spelling doesn't influence pronunciation in the initial stages.
 

Terry S.

Quaestor
Staff member
I have a feeling that I saw somewhere, that his courses are being used by folk in Patagonia to recover their linguistic inheritance.
 

meisenimverbis

Civis Illustris
There are people from Wales in Patagonia? :eek-2:
(I mean... why not, right? lol...)

Patagonia is a funny word. Specially in Portuguese, because "pato" means "duck", so it sounds a little bit like a land of ducks...
 

Terry S.

Quaestor
Staff member
There's a Welsh colony in Patagonia since the nineteenth century.

 

Adrian

Civis Illustris
There are a few polyglots in this forum, I believe...
Let us know! Give us your lists, and stories. (What were the first ones, what methods you use, at which point you considered or decided or realized you were a polyglot, or don't you care about that?)
I saw a definition (I believe american LSA) which defined Polyglot as person who has fluet command (both spoken and written) in several foreign languages.
In my opinion - a polyglot is a person who has minimum C1 linguistic competence in at least three foreign languages.

I was taught english and german in highschool (traditional teaching method).
I learned french by my own - using : Rosetta Stone (big shit waste of money); then Jennsen's Le Français par la Méthode Nature (also big shit waste of time IMO); then @Quasus introduced me to Assimil (currently working with French without toil).

Morale of the story: if you wanna have results - sign in on a formal course or get yourself a professional tutor.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I'm not much of a polyglot, but here you go:

Languages I speak or "know" to some extent:

French (9.5)
Modern English (9)
Latin (8)
Old English (6)
Attic Greek (3)
Spanish (3)
German (1)

I suppose I could add languages I've never studied at all but can read to some extent, like Italian and Portuguese.

Languages I might possibly consider learning at some point:

Arabic
(more) German
(more) ancient Greek
Italian
Anglo-Norman French
Something exotic like Swahili

And, theoretically, many more, but well...
 

Quasus

Civis Illustris
if you wanna have results - sign in on a formal course or get yourself a professional tutor.
I wish I could disprove you. :) But of course, it depends on the required level. Self-study can take one a long way.

If I may ask, why are you interested in Arabic? Actually, I’m halfway through Assimil’s L’arabe sans peine. Also, I got a bamboo pen to practice the ruq’a script. :) But I’m not sure why I would be doing that if not for fun. I don’t even know a single Arabic writer.

On topic: polyglots? Count me out. :)
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
If I may ask, why are you interested in Arabic?
Hard to say. I guess it's just that I like the sound of it and am mildly fascinated by the culture.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Fair enough. Just not Swahili! God please no... Not Swahili...
It doesn't have to be Swahili necessarily, but probably an African language. Why not Swahili, though? What's wrong with it?
 

LCF

Dr. Freud
It doesn't have to be Swahili necessarily, but probably an African language. Why not Swahili, though? What's wrong with it?
When I was looking into various polyglots on youtube some years back, I noticed a strange trend among them to make it a point to include Swahili into their list. It bothered me, because they were not interested in Swahili per se but instead were just following the trend to make youtube videos... Puke... don't be like them.
 

Iáson

Cívis Illústris
That doesn't mean that Swahili isn't an interesting language. I don't think you could accuse Pacifica of a similar motivation.

Languages I speak, to some degree, in rough order of competence:

- English (9)
- Latin (6)
- Attic Greek (6)
- Japanese (3)
- French (3)
- Hittite (2)
- German (2)
- Modern Greek (1)
- Sanskrit (1)
- Sumerian (1)
- Ugaritic (1)
- Hebrew (1)

Languages on the 'to learn' list:

Italian (have to learn it this summer)
Akkadian
Old Irish (?)
Arabic
Tocharian
Chinese
Russian
Czech
... and countless others I guess.

But to be honest my main priority at the moment is improving my competence in the 11 languages I've started. I think over the past few years I have probably ended up putting too many irons in the fire.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Maybe that's because many polyglots (or would-be polyglots) want to learn something exotic at some point, and Swahili just happens to be the best-known African language, so they just go for what they've previously heard of.
 

LCF

Dr. Freud
Maybe that's because many polyglots (or would-be polyglots) want to learn something exotic at some point, and Swahili just happens to be the best-known African language, so they just go for what they've previously heard of.
Yes. Maybe. Perhaps...
 

meisenimverbis

Civis Illustris
Why (Swahili) might be a valid question... For instance, where's it spoken? What are the main variants? What are the neighbour cultures/languages? What's the culture like? And, among the African languages/cultures, would this one be the one you would prefer to cultivate?

I love the scales some of you gave us. Thanks for sharing! :D

Also, I should be humble, and put my grade for Portuguese at 9.5 too... Maybe even less. There are things I don't know. The 10 meant only that it is my mother language. But I believe I've graded it as 9.5 in my own lists before, if I'm not mistaken...
 
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