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Do you consider yourself a polyglot?

 Language Learning Forum : Polyglots Post Reply
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beano
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 Message 81 of 89
11 October 2013 at 7:33pm | IP Logged 
Medulin wrote:
C2 English means you know words like snarky or internecine.


I can't agree with that. As it happens, I do know what internecine means, it is the opposite of a symbiotic
relationship. Snarky I have heard of, but never used. Sounds like an American term to me.

But nobody knows every word in the dictionary. Even "less educated" native speakers may well use words
that are specific to their hobby or profession that the wider public might struggle with.

For example, any bricklayer will be able to tell you that the finishing stone placed on top of a brick wall is
called the cope. So can I say that if you don't know that definition, you aint C2?

Edited by beano on 11 October 2013 at 7:34pm

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beano
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 Message 82 of 89
11 October 2013 at 7:56pm | IP Logged 
Iversen wrote:


Personally I prefer a flexible lower bottom that takes into account how much trouble it took to get there (based
on the circumstances and the choice of languages). The alternative would be to choose the limit downwards
as X languages and then accept that you can 'cheat' by having the right life history and choosing a bundle of
easy languages. If you against the odds could get a consensus on a specific number, then you would just
have to accept that some candidates more or less were born to get there, others took a shortcut and still
others had to fight a heroic battle because of their background and/or linguistic preferences. But maybe that's
just how the world functions.



Good shout. Apparently in Luxembourg, it's totally normal for people to grow up speaking Luxembourgish,
French, German and English. If a Luxembourger then decides to learn, say, Russian of his own accord, he
would then speak 5 languages - a polyglot by many people's standards but it could be argued that he only
really had to work independently for one. Now consider someone from a staunchly monolingual society. If
they labour away at two foreign languages, they "only" speak three tongues, but they have put in twice the
effort.

Edited by beano on 11 October 2013 at 7:57pm

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Jheavner724
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 Message 83 of 89
29 October 2013 at 7:51am | IP Logged 
Yes, I do. Sometimes I feel like people consider the term to be arrogant, but I don't
mean it in that sense, after all it's just a term. I considered myself a polyglot after I
learned two modern foreign languages (this added to my three ancient ones: Latin, Greek
and Hebrew).

However, I do not consider myself a linguist, even though I'm one of the few who actually
enjoys reading linguistic papers and learning about linguistics as a discipline. I
realize that the word "linguist" can mean many things, but I don't use it to avoid
confusion about whether or not I have a degree in linguistics or something.
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Tollpatchig
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 Message 84 of 89
09 December 2013 at 5:18pm | IP Logged 
Reviving a dead thread.

No, I am in no way shape form or fashion a polyglot. I'm not sure if being a polyglot is a goal of mine since I really only have two languages I REALLY want to be fluent in and any other after that would really just be a "oh let's try this ONE!" type of deal. I figure that polyglots have serious and concrete reasons to know they languages they do. Mine are just because I like German and Finnish language rock music.

I don't know how many languages you have to speak in order to considered a polyglot. I've never heard of any set bar for it but for me I would say someone who speaks four languages or more. Reason being is because I think the definitions go as the following:

One language = monolingual
Two languages = bilingual
Three languages = Trilingual
Four languages or more = Polyglot


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Serpent
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 Message 85 of 89
09 December 2013 at 7:49pm | IP Logged 
Tollpatchig wrote:
I figure that polyglots have serious and concrete reasons to know they languages they do. Mine are just because I like German and Finnish language rock music.
These are my reasons too hehe. And European football :)

(i listed some great Finnish bands here :))) feel free to write in my log if you want more recs!)
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Iversen
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 Message 86 of 89
10 December 2013 at 10:09am | IP Logged 
If you learn Finnish and German in order to understand rock lyrics from Finnish and German bands then that's a perfectly valid reason, but if that's your only reason then maybe you don't go on also to learn to speak and write Finnish and German. And the question is whether purely passive languages count.

Personally I wouldn't count languages which I only to some extent can read because I know a related language or two -like Frisian or Sardic. Those I can read because I actually have studied them deserve a honourable mention - like Ancient French and Ancient Occitan, which I can read fairly fluently, but not speak or write. And if there are enough of those or they are very exotic I would certainly be impressed - and I'm certainly impressed when people can read Egyptian hieroglyphs off the wall or understand what Finnish rock bands sing (especially if they sing or growl in Finnish). But the consensus is probably that you need to be able to speak your languages at some hard-to-define level in order to put the poly- prefix on -glot.


Edited by Iversen on 10 December 2013 at 10:24am

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Zireael
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 Message 87 of 89
10 December 2013 at 12:45pm | IP Logged 
Spotted this beautiful description and can't resist quoting it!

Quote:
Now I have started to glance across the slightly higher fence around the Asiatic languages, but I have decided not to make the jump at the place where the fence rests on a towering mountain of 30.000 Chinese illegible signs or at the place where the Japanese have erected a triple barbed wire defence - the alternative is Bahasa Indonesia where the learning curve seems to be fairly moderate.


Quote:
But the consensus is probably that you need to be able to speak your languages at some hard-to-define level in order to put the poly- prefix on -glot.

Yeah, it seems so, but then, tell me why I should care? (the only thing I got of my so-called "polyglottery" so far is random people telling me "omg you are great with languages" "omg you've got a brilliant brain"
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Iversen
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 Message 88 of 89
10 December 2013 at 1:18pm | IP Logged 
You don't need to care, and in most cases you can't earn money on learning more than few languages.

As for the 'consensus' I just summarized what I can see most in most posts in this thread, and in spite of my respect for scholars who can read weird old languages and other passive language learners I also support that 'glots should be able to speak their languages.


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