When hearing the word “polyglot” you probably think of some fancy upper-class genius speaking 6-7 or more languages. Unfortunately this idea that being a polyglot is an “unreachable” is way too common nowadays. Technically, you can be considered a polyglot if you can fluently speak 3 or more languages. Well 3 or more languages isn’t that hard to achieve, considering one is your native one and the other two can be studied in a matter of years. Still, being a true polyglot requires much more and it requires you to know a higher number of foreign languages than just 2. The following article will try to give you some general tips on how to learn a foreign language with ease and a few ways of easily attaining the status of “polyglot”.
If language count is all you’re after or if you want to become a specialist in a specific geographical area, all you need to do is focus on a single language in that area or language group and study it thoroughly until you’re fluent. The other languages in its family will prove to be a lot easier to study, since you’ll already hold most of the basic rules and a great deal of the vocabulary. For example, if you study Russian, you’ll have an easier time studying other Slavic languages such as Ukrainian afterwards. Whereas Ukrainian will be very similar to Russian, there will be a few other Slavic languages such as Bulgarian, Serbian, Polish, Croatian and so forth, which won’t be quite as closely resembling but they will still be easier to learn once you have a solid grasp on Russian. The effect is similar from the other perspective as well, so if you know any of the above mentioned languages, it will be easier to study Russian.
This does not apply only to Slavic languages though. Latin languages share a lot of common patterns and rules and becoming a Latin language polyglot is quite easy once you grasp firmly on these rules. Some Latin languages are closer to one another, such as Portuguese to Spanish or Italian to Romanian and vice versa.
Another way of becoming a true polyglot, not necessarily relying on the “related languages” technique is to study a few general rules that are at the base of a larger group of languages and then build upon them. For example, most European and American languages share the same grammar and structure rules, whereas certain similarities can be found in Asian languages. Study the basics and from there on you can build in any direction you like, learning the vocabulary associated to a particular language. Further more, combining this technique with the related languages one will prove to be even more effective and that sought after polyglot status will soon be yours.
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