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Do you think that knowing more than one language is a sign of intelligence?


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What do you guys think?  I've noticed smartest people seem to know more than just one language, so sometimes I think knowing more than one language is a sign of intelligence, but sometimes I just think that capacity is just a talent to learn languages.  Because some of those persons I know aren't good at other things, like for example math or lack a lot common sense.  Some are tho.  I guess everyone has strenghts and weaknesses.

I know someone who speaks 4 languages, he's a very smart person, but lacks a lot common sense.  He didn't got a formal education tho, mostly a religious one... since he's an ultra orthodox jewish man.  His intelligence has always anazed me!  Too bad he never got to have a formal education :(  I also know another man who speaks 6 freaking languages (puts me to shame :P ).  He's very articulate and educated :) 

What's your opinion on thid?  Do you really think that knowing more than just one language is a clear sign of intelligence?

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I think that each one's personal intelligence play an important role when it comes to learning language, but also how much a person is willing to learn them.

I know very smart people, but some of them don't find useless learn at least a second language or have personal reasons to exclude foreign languages from their cultural baggage.

This person I say believes that English is taking over the world and refuses to learn it but to enrich his own to show off his pride to speak it and learn all about it.

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It may indicate intelligence, but I think that they just had the time and environment or had the needed immersion to be able to be fluent in it. Because being fluent in many languages can't assure that you're witty or good in academics, you just know how to speak a language fluently.

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I don't think if one is a bilingual or multilingual for that matter is presumed to be intelligent or smart. Knowing or learning more than one languages doesn't necessary follow that one is knowledgeable in things but it's just that he/she is able to speak and understand the said languages. :) The same thing with having a good accent, doesn't necessarily mean one is a genius. :)

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I think that those who know (well) at least a second language have some more developed brain faculties. I don't think it's only about the talent, because learning a new language is hard work and not everybody can do it. I know people who lived in my country for 10 years and still don't speak the language.

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I don't think people who speak more than one languages or multilingual would consider intelligent or smart. It is what I called talented, but it has nothing to do with being smart because those are two different things. I think it is what people are able to learn the languages and able to use them effectively. They probably have smart ways to learn the languages, but doesn't mean they consider intelligent.

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I think smart people know more languages more than knowing more than one language is a marker of intelligence. Smart people didn't wake up smart they studied and learned what studying techniques worked for them which made it easier for them to learn new languages. However, some people just know languages but nothing else.

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What we can definitely establish about people who know more than one language is that they are patient. Seriously, learning a language takes a lot of time, dedication, and willingness to study.

Then, there are the people who are born into a family that speaks a different language than the one being taught in schools. Many of these people are lucky because they get to become multilingual more easily.

I know many very smart people who do not learn other languages. I don't think any less of them, but I actually believe that they should go learn other languages because it is important for their success in the future.

People who take the time to learn other languages probably also understand the fact that languages are important for communication, and communication is vital for progress.

Finally, knowing more languages mean that you have opened up more brain pathways to understand and comprehend material. If this is true, then it should be helpful to know more than one language. I know that people who speak multiple languages are less likely to get Alzheimer's as they age.

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It think that knowing more than language is not a sign of intelligence. Each person has their own intellectual capacity or what we called intelligence quotient in their brain as to how they can learn easily something or things for deeper understanding. Like what had been said by many in this post thread there are people who can speak many languages without formal education. While there are those who had finished a high degree of education but yet can speak only one language. So it doesn't mean that if a person can speak many languages they are totally genius and smart.

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Yes, I do, but not much more than any other skill. A highly skilled mechanic is equally as intelligent, in my opinion. It's just that knowing more languages may afford a person more opportunities to show his or her skill and profit off of it, but at the end of the day, I think a lot of things are hard to learn and some people are just more dedicated more often than not rather than just being intelligent.

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I don't think knowing more than one language makes you smarter than the next person. However I think those who learn multiple languages, have some type of ambition or drive pushing them to doing so. I mean it takes a lot of hard work to learn another language that just doesn't happen overnight.

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  • 1 month later...

Learning a language is quite different for each individual. The person has to have a mind set and determination and not necessarily intelligence. I think a person could lack intellect and yet speaks several languages because that person has grown up around others that speak these languages. In another case, someone may be quite intelligent and is put in a position where they need to learn a new language but is not desirous so that person actually struggles to excel.

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What do you mean when you say knowing? How did the person learn the languages? Many people grow up in bilingual environments and may speak multiple languages but not be "educated" in either. If a person studies multiple languages in a scholarly way or becomes very fluent in mulitple languages through"street" learning it probably indicates intelligence. :wacky:

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That depends on why they are multilingual. If it is simply from circumstance of living in a multilingual society then no, not necessarily. If they have learned it off their own motivation, then perhaps it is an indicator that they are the sort of long-sighted person. If successful at learning their language, then it would show good time management skill and perseverance.

So in some circumstances I would say it is an indicator, but by no means a guarantee.

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It's actually a form of intelligence. Being a linguist and having a variety of languages in your memory is actually a form of intelligence that some people do not have. IQ is no longer the intelligence determinant at least this was taught to us in our psychology subjects.

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I think it is sign of intelligence, not many people can speak fluently more than one language. As said above can be fruit of the circumstances or of hard work, but even so you have to be smart!

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Knowing more than one language can be a sign of intelligence. It can also be a sign of growing up in a place where you need to know more than one language. I've known quite a few people that aren't that intelligent, but they know 2 languages. It's the people that know 3 or more languages that are really impressive to me.

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Knowing more than one language is hardly the best means of gauging someone's intelligence. There are places in the world [especially in Africa] where everyone as to learn English because all their educational material is written in English. But you find that these people speak their native languages and also another language that's widely spoken in the region [it could be some of form of pidgin] a hybrid of the local languages. . .whatever. But fact is most of them speak no less than four different languages. Does that prove they are very intelligent? It doesn't.

Intelligence varies from person to person regardless of their linguistic abilities.

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