Everyone is capable of speaking at least a single language for the daily conversational functionality. Monoglots do exist but may not be as omnipresent as ever though. The ever-increasing and intense competitions have heightened the needs and maneuvered the society into a multilingual populace. The knack to write and converse in more than two languages is now a requisite instead of an advantage. People who are conversant in two to five languages or better known as polyglots, are unlikely to incite any hubbub anymore. But how about a hyperpolyglot?
A hyperpolyglot is blessed with the aptitude to converse and write in at least six languages. Accurately mastering several fundamental languages are no longer a mandatory in order to stand out and stay competitive in the rat race, but hedonism in the eyes of the hyperpolyglots. Blessed with astute language acumen, language learning is more of a leisure pursuit to the language superlearners.
An average hyperpolyglot is able to master a range of 12 to 30 languages. There are still some hyperpolyglot extraordinaire that could comprehend and correspond in above 30 languages. They have a vast repertoire of language proficiency albeit not all are active languages due to mankind’s finite brain capacity. Nevertheless, provided with a little warm-up, the hyperpolyglots could effortlessly amaze you without even trying.
The late hyperpolyglot of Bologna in the 19th century, Cardinal Mezzofanti, was a real secular saint who could switch between 40 and 50 active languages with ease. Mezzofanti was believed to have a flair for 72 languages. If you think 72 languages is already a mind-boggling figure, then you are definitely wrong. The current world’s record holder of hyperpolyglotism is Professor Carlos Amaral Freire. Professor Freire does not speak all 115 languages which is humanly impossible. Nonetheless, he could adeptly translate texts into 115 languages without a dictionary!
According to some conducted studies by professional linguists, hyperpolyglots are deemed to share some similar characteristics besides the incredible degree of language decipherment. Do not drop your jaw if you encounter someone who is independent, introvert, pragmatic, and left-handed with also poor sense of direction. To add on to the list, he is usually a man who utterly immerses himself in the world of grammar. With a healthy dash of skepticism, these are the seemingly joint characteristics of the contemporary hyperpolyglots.
So, are you a hyperpolyglot?