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Linguaholic
Accredited Online TEFL

Have you ever met someone who could speak multiple languages.


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I can speak multiple languages, but I am only fluent in English (it's my native tongue). A friend of mine from high school can speak English and German fluently. She goes back and forth between the two depending on who she is talking too.

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I know one guy at work.

He is Serbian but speaks English, Russian, Polish, Hungarian and German all fluently. He traveled a lot and met many different people, also has close German friends and Hungarian wife. His Polish skills are great and he claims he only learned it from co-workers!

No idea how he manages it all but his knowledge (not just about languages but also culture) is really impressive.

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My grandfather could speak 9 languages: Portuguese, English, Spanish, French, Deutsch, Dutch, Russian, Chinese and Japanese. He learned some of them when he was a student and the remaining during World War 2 tho, amazing.

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If you're restricting it to in-person and non-teachers? Not really. Unless the bilingual Mexicans that live around here count.

If you mean polyglots and aren't restricting it to in-person, then I have met several online who know between 3-7 languages.

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I study in the Modern Languages department, so there's a lot of people around speaking multiple languages. One of my teachers is fluent in Japanese, English, Italian, French and Polish...

It's pretty depressing, because I feel so stupid compared to them! :P

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Living in Vancouver there is quite the gamut of multi-lingual people. Almost all people who come from Asian families speak their mother language on top of English. There are also a lot of bilingual European people around here (some of my Russian friends know Ukrainian as well, making them tri-lingual). On top of that, many friends of mine were enrolled in French Immersion courses in high school. These days it would seem I'm the only one around who doesn't speak multiple languages fluently.

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I know a Filipino girl who speak 5 languages completely fluently (Tagalog, English, French, Spanish, Italian). Needless to say, she was less than impressed about me being only bilingual. Unsurprisingly she's also one of the most successful person I've ever met; she's only in her late 20's and could retire already if she wanted to.

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Where I live because people of different ethnicities live together, it's not uncommon to find that most kids grow up speaking at least three different languages. And I'm not just talking about basic knowledge. It's fluency we're talking about. I for one, speak three different languages fluently. 

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Here in the place where I am currently living I met a friend who could speak English, Korean and Chinese and up to now he is still continuing in learning more about the said languages. I admire him for his dedication in learning multiple languages and he is also had an eye of learning my Tagalog language which I had already introduced to him often in most of our conversations and its great because he is fast learner. :)

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Many years ago (over 10 years have passed) I had a girlfriend who was Ukrainian, her Russian was on native level as well (very common for eastern Ukraine), but what surprised me she has learned French in school and decided to learn all the other languages in Romanian group. Her Spanish and Italian were decent and she was learning Romanian too.

Til then I've never met anybody who knew more than their native + 2 languages, this girl knew 6 very well and was intermediate level in at least 2 more, Polish and Czech.

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My mother was fluent in several languages.  Born in the US but raised in Italy, she spoke English, Italian, Slavik and some German.  She was able to communicate fairly well with Spanish and French speakers as well.  I think people who speak several languages are typically very bright individuals and I wish I could master a few more.

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Most people speak two languages nowadays, so I consider it normal. The strongest language learner I've seen was a coordinator at a university, that could speak 9 languages. I was just amazed!

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Majority of the schools in my country require English as part of the curriculum, so it's rare that I meet anyone here that doesn't speak multiple languages. Most only speak two, though, but some of the kids with parents from other countries almost always speak 3, such as the friends I have who are Indian and Chinese.

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I know of somebody who speaks a number of languages. He is South African that speaks all 11 of South African languages, Spanish and Portuguese. He is a Doctor by profession but I guess his languages are paying him more as it has been a couple of years since he stopped practicing. I only speak 5 of the 11.

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  • 3 months later...

I knew a girl in college who could speak 7 different languages. I was always amazed by her and thought it must be hard to keep up to date with all of those languages and idioms. She was pretty well traveled and from Brazil. She spoke English flawlessly.

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