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Now this is some language skills!

pseudoid

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Merci beaucoup, @amirm,

Oh, to be a polyglot!
It would be worth a poll to see how many languages each of the members have mastered. (IMO - Nearing #3 below.)

Types:
  1. Monolinguals—40% of the world population
  2. Bilinguals — 43% of us (majority)
  3. Trilinguals — 13%
  4. *{?Quadrilinguals?} - x% 4 languages?
  5. VIP polyglots — 3% more than four languages.

All polyglots:
  • Queen Elizabeth I of England
  • Nikola Tesla
  • Ho Chi Minh
  • J.R.R. Tolkien
Fact or Fiction? “Polyglot personality shift
ADDED: *I did not find enough information on the 4th group (includes me)
 
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Duke

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Just amazing how many languages he has learned and so quickly:


I wonder if he speaks Audiophile?

Seriously, that is incredible. I cannot help but notice how people light up with joy that someone unexpectedly understands them, and they can understand him. It seems that understanding and being understood erase barriers and create instant friendships.

Too bad so many people who speak the same language never come close to understanding one another. This video shows that it doesn't take all that much to establish adequate common ground.
 

JSmith

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Trilinguals — 13%
I'd be in this category, although I'm surprised it's so low actually.

I knew a person about 20 years ago that could speak 8 fluent languages... I thought that was quite an effort and very much respected their talent in this regard.

It's best to start young if wanting to become fluent in multiple languages, however what helps the most is living in a country that speaks that language for at least a year.


JSmith
 

pseudoid

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The funniest nationalistic trait I've observed is when an (monolingual) American tourist visits a foreign country: Even fully knowing that the person(s) they are speaking to do NOT understand English; they continue to speak English but they slow down their speech.... like that is going to make the person(s), all of a sudden, start understanding English.
It's a classic.:D
 
D

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The funniest nationalistic trait I've observed is when an (monolingual) American tourist visits a foreign country: Even fully knowing that the person(s) they are speaking to do NOT understand English; they continue to speak English but they slow down their speech.... like that is going to make the person(s), all of a sudden, start understanding English.
It's a classic.:D
It's not everyone though. But those in your example may also be a bit mono-minded.. It's plain stupid behaviour. :facepalm:
 

JSmith

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The funniest nationalistic trait I've observed is when an (monolingual) American tourist visits a foreign country: Even fully knowing that the person(s) they are speaking to do NOT understand English; they continue to speak English but they slow down their speech.... like that is going to make the person(s), all of a sudden, start understanding English.
It's a classic.:D
I've seen American tourists getting very angry with people because they don't speak English, basically yelling at them... in some ways it's hilarious, but also cringe-worthy.

I've also seen Russian tourist abusing Thai people for not speaking Russian or English. I've seen many western tourists totally disrespect the people and area they are visiting too, showing no cultural understanding.

I find it's a good idea to learn a few basic words at least before travelling to a foreign language country and the people tend to respect you more if you at least try. I also find if you make an effort, suddenly people are more inclined to try and use any English they know with you.

A funny story... I was in Paris 25 years ago travelling with some friends. We were a bit lost on the archaic Paris metro network and decided to ask for some help at a ticket window. My friend tried, but the lady at the window just said "no English" over and over. So I tried, however I explained first I was Australian and not English, then mentioned kangaroos. Suddenly she smiled, said "oh, Australian" and broke into fairly fluent English, gave me a free map and even marked in pen on there where we needed to go. I learnt that day the idea that the French don't like the English was alive and well.


JSmith
 

pseudoid

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I wonder if he speaks Audiophile?
Thanks!
That adds to my count and I have just joined the 3percenter club.
I also have some Italian (married one) and some Spanish (a must in SoCal): Added together; I musta entered the Mensa of languages.
This new math doesn't make me feel any different but I really never had done the math before!:facepalm:
 
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dlaloum

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3 languages fluently, 4th used to be fluent but now rusty (comes back if I am around speakers!).... and enough high school on a 5th to muddle along a bit...
 

Rja4000

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Merci beaucoup, @amirm,

Oh, to be a polyglot!
It would be worth a poll to see how many languages each of the members have mastered. (IMO - Nearing #3 below.)

Types:
  1. Monolinguals—40% of the world population
  2. Bilinguals — 43% of us (majority)
  3. Trilinguals — 13%
  4. *{?Quadrilinguals?} - x% 4 languages?
  5. VIP polyglots — 3% more than four languages.

All polyglots:
  • Queen Elizabeth I of England
  • Nikola Tesla
  • Ho Chi Minh
  • J.R.R. Tolkien
Fact or Fiction? “Polyglot personality shift
ADDED: *I did not find enough information on the 4th group (includes me)
In Belgium, category 3 or above represented 26.9% in 2016.
In Luxemburg, 51.2%.

(See here for other European countries)
 

voodooless

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In Belgium, category 3 or above represented 26.9% in 2016.
In Luxemburg, 51.2%.

(See here for other European countries)
Those are strange stats where in 5 years 20% of a population can lose one or more languages…

I’m at 3, 4 if you count dialect (which isn’t officially a language on the could of being slightly different in every village). And I’m horribly dyslexic, no idea how I learned them all..
 
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dlaloum

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Those are strange stats where in 5 years 20% of a population can lose one or more languages…

I’m at 3, 4 if you count dialect (which isn’t officially a language on the could of being slightly different in every village)
A language is a dialect with an army and navy!

Lots of examples of languages where differences from one nation to the other are of dialectic scale.... German/Dutch/Flemish
 

voodooless

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A language is a dialect with an army and navy!

Lots of examples of languages where differences from one nation to the other are of dialectic scale.... German/Dutch/Flemish
There is no such thing as a dialectic scale. In fact dialect isn’t very well defined in the first place.

There is something like dialectic continuum, which deals with intelligibility of languages over short distances, forming long geographical chains, yet on either end of the chains, people still can’t understand each other.

Like wise, my Dutch (Limburgs) dialectic translates fairly well to the German dialect spoken just a few km away (by very few to be fair nowadays, far less than the Limburgs dialects). Yet the Germans coming to visit where I live, cannot understand normal Dutch (for the most part)… well they do have to, because in all the shops your spoken to in German anyway ;). Like in Amsterdam your spoken to in English most of the time.
 

LTig

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A funny story... I was in Paris 25 years ago travelling with some friends. We were a bit lost on the archaic Paris metro network and decided to ask for some help at a ticket window. My friend tried, but the lady at the window just said "no English" over and over. So I tried, however I explained first I was Australian and not English, then mentioned kangaroos. Suddenly she smiled, said "oh, Australian" and broke into fairly fluent English, gave me a free map and even marked in pen on there where we needed to go. I learnt that day the idea that the French don't like the English was alive and well.
In France I think this is rather typical.

But even in countries where you can easily communicate in english like Norway it makes a big (positive) difference how the locals react to you if you address them in their mother tongue, no matter how bad you speak it.
 

Bleib

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I speak 3 and 2 poorly. I could add them to OK list at least if I used them more.
 

dlaloum

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There is no such thing as a dialectic scale. In fact dialect isn’t very well defined in the first place.

There is something like dialectic continuum, which deals with intelligibility of languages over short distances, forming long geographical chains, yet on either end of the chains, people still can’t understand each other.

Like wise, my Dutch (Limburgs) dialectic translates fairly well to the German dialect spoken just a few km away (by very few to be fair nowadays, far less than the Limburgs dialects). Yet the Germans coming to visit where I live, cannot understand normal Dutch (for the most part)… well they do have to, because in all the shops your spoken to in German anyway ;). Like in Amsterdam your spoken to in English most of the time.

And of course, english is english is english and completely comprehensible across all accents/dialects....

 

napfkuchen

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A coworker has family roots in Sri Lanka so she is fluent in Tamil. All I can say is "how are you?" in this language.
My English is fluent... sort of...but just when listening. Speaking or writing on the other hand is very difficult for me as there are only rare occasions for practice in my daily routine. Yesterday I had to speak to a "customer" on the phone and as his German skills were worse than my English we chose his mother tongue. Was many times lost for words because outside my job I never encounter tax terms. As soon as you leave the comfort zone of everyday conversations the challenge begins ...:D
 

bloodshoteyed

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A funny story... I was in Paris 25 years ago travelling with some friends. We were a bit lost on the archaic Paris metro network and decided to ask for some help at a ticket window. My friend tried, but the lady at the window just said "no English" over and over. So I tried, however I explained first I was Australian and not English, then mentioned kangaroos. Suddenly she smiled, said "oh, Australian" and broke into fairly fluent English, gave me a free map and even marked in pen on there where we needed to go. I learnt that day the idea that the French don't like the English was alive and well.

that ain't funny, but sad reality
from my own experience, not only the french, italians also love to play dumb with tourists
 

pseudoid

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I speak 3 and 2 poorly. I could add them to OK list at least if I used them more.
Since I just grand-fathered myself into that lonely 'elite' linguist club, I would like to invite you to join me!;)

NOTE: My original 1st reply was to give a continuum to @amirm's great topic. Unfortunately, the data I posted was poorly (not enough) researched; as it was an extraction from ONLY this link.
 
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