AR

BE

BG

BN

BS

CA

CS

DE

EL

EM

EN

EO

ES

ET

FA

FI

FR

HE

HR

HU

ID

IT

JA

KA

KN

KO

LT

LV

MR

NL

NN

PA

PL

PT

PX

RO

RU

SK

SR

SV

UK

VI

ZH

Linguistic geniuses

Most people are pleased if they can speak one foreign language. But there are also people who master more than 70 languages. They can speak all these languages fluently and write them correctly. It could be said then that there are people who are hyper-polyglots. The phenomenon of multilingualism has been around for centuries. There are many reports of people with such a talent. Where this ability comes from has not yet been thoroughly researched. There are various scientific theories on this. Some believe the brains of multilingual individuals are structured differently. This difference is especially visible in the Broca Center. Speech is produced in this part of the brain. The cells of this area are constructed differently in multilingual people. It is possible that they process information better as a result. However, further studies to confirm this theory are lacking. Perhaps what's decisive is just an exceptional motivation. Children learn foreign languages from other children very quickly. This is due to the fact that they want to blend in when playing. They want to become a part of the group and communicate with others. With that said, their learning success is dependent on their will to be included. Another theory implies cerebral matter grows through learning. Thus, the more we learn, the easier learning becomes. Languages which are similar to one another are also easier to learn. So a person who speaks Danish learns to speak Swedish or Norwegian quickly. Many questions are still unanswered. What is sure, however, is that intelligence doesn't play a role. Some people speak many languages despite low intelligence. But even the greatest linguistic genius needs a lot of discipline. That is a little comforting, right?

text before next text

© Copyright Goethe Verlag GmbH 2018. All rights reserved.