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How to Become a Polyglot

The first step to becoming a polyglot is to learn one more language. Hi there, Steve Kaufmann here and today I want to talk about how to become a polyglot. Now, remember if you enjoy these videos, please subscribe, click on the bell for notifications. If you follow me on a podcast service, please leave a review.

I do appreciate it. So how do we become polyglots? Now the reason I'm talking about this is because, um, my wife and I were playing golf the other day at our golf club with a couple, uh, probably in their sixties. And often you, you know, you're, you're teamed up with people you don't know, this was our first chance to meet this couple.

And they told us they were going on a bicycle trip with their friends, eight couples going to Girona in Spain, uh, to bicycle around in Catalonia. So I said, are you going to learn Catalan or Spanish? Of course, I was going to push LingQ, you know. So, which I did of course, but to no avail. Uh, and so I said, are you gonna learn Catalan or Spanish or Spanish?

And the answer was, well, I've heard that you can get by with English. All right, true enough. Perhaps, maybe, maybe not. I don't know. In the city of Girona, uh, certainly at the hotel and the restaurants you can get by in the shops, but then, um, outside of Girona I don't know. I think if you're in a little town and you get a flat tire and you're in trouble, uh, maybe English is not so common.

I simply, I just don't know. But for me, if I were going on a bicycle trip to Catalonia, I would learn Catalan. Now I speak Spanish, but so I have the mentality of a polyglot to me that would be fun. Fun to explore Catalan, if I learned Catalan, I would read books about Catalonia in Catalan.

I would speak to people in Catalan. I, that gives me a great sense of pleasure. I, I feel that I'm enriching my life by learning another language, connecting with people in their language. I have the mentality of a polyglot. Uh, I tweeted about this and I called this the English language disease, that English speakers, they have the option, or they think they have the option of not learning the language because we can get by.

And most of the responses to my tweet, we're very much in agreement. Gee, that's too bad, blah, blah, blah. But one fellow from England, or maybe he was somewhere else. But his, his description showed that he's from Manchester, he says where I live, there was just a Portuguese person showing a Danish person around our compound and they were speaking English.

That's just the reality. That's how it works. Too bad. So that person also doesn't have the mentality of a polyglot. So number one, to become a polyglot, you have to want to become a polyglot. You have to like speaking languages, not just one, but several. So that is a mindset. Okay. The second thing is, you know, I didn't set out to become a polyglot.

I had not really heard the term polyglot in English. To me, a linguist was someone who spoke several languages, but I also didn't set out to become a linguist. I got interested in French. And then I had the opportunity to learn Mandarin and then I was in Japan, so I learned Japanese on my own. And stepping back when I was in France, I would hitchhike around in Europe and I would always try to speak uh, the local language. So I think what I find, what I think is useful to note there is that the first step to becoming a polyglot is to learn one more language. Okay. Because for people who have never really acquired fluency in another language, who have never converted themselves into a fluent speaker of another language, they don't have that feeling. So the... you can't, sort of skip past the stage of learning one language to become a polyglot. You learn one language. You now feel confident that you can learn languages. You enjoy the process, or maybe you don't. Um, I think if you're doing it the right way, you can enjoy it. And then what happened to me and I think what would happen to a lot of people is you... "gee, I learned one language. Now I'd like to learn another language." Because the experience of speaking another language, of connecting with people in their language is so rewarding that we want to do it again and again, and that sense of satisfaction that actually we were able to succeed in, in this task, which is not such an easy task, uh, but that sense of satisfaction makes us want to do it again. Now, another thing about becoming a polyglot, in my opinion, we shouldn't be afraid. Obviously, when we go from language now B to language C and then language D that means that we aren't spending time on language B. So we're leaving language B because I firmly believe we never master another language.

We can always improve in that other language. And yet we make the decision, I'm not going to become even better. Let's say my best foreign language is French. So I'm not going to become even better in French. Or let's say that the next language is Japanese. And I know there are great gaps in my Japanese learning.

Okay. I'm not going to work on becoming even better in Japanese. I'm going to go and explore a new language. So there's a choice there. You sacrifice sort of what I would consider the futile pursuit of perfection. Now other people can disagree and they want to pursue perfection, that's fine. I'm not sort of making any value judgements, but I think to be a polygloy, it's different than trying to become perfect in one language. So we accept the fact that we're going to not be as good in some of the languages that we have learned. We even accept the fact that there's going to be interference, not only from our own language, which is always the case, but there's going to be interference from these languages that we have learned in the new languages that we are trying to learn, because I find myself sometimes when I'm searching for words in Russian the other day I hadn't spoken Russian for a long time and I was speaking Russian I'm searching for words and up comes Persian. So the more languages you have in your head bouncing around as your brain is going down different pathways to find words there greater likelihood is that it's going to go into some rabbit hole, as they say.

Uh, where you're into an yet another language. So I think part of becoming a polyglot is accepting that you're going to be less than perfect. That means you're going to speak with mistakes. Your pronunciation may not be perfect, but you have this, this, um, sense of achievement and the, the, uh, intellectual stimulus of discovering a new world yet another new world with all of the people, and as you learn another language, then the people of that language come alive, the history comes alive. And so I think the secret to being a polyglot is to be interested in many different languages and cultures. Um, it may be that some people are motivated to learn languages in order to demonstrate that they they're able to learn languages and, and you know, like another notch on my belt.

I only had eight languages now I have nine. And that can also be a valid, um, you know, motivation for becoming a polyglot, just to demonstrate your prowess at learning languages. Uh, I wonder if that can sustain you though, because if all you want to do is show off. Look, I can say a few things in this other language. That doesn't take a lot of, of time and effort and you can get to where you can say hello, how are you in many different languages.

And, uh, that too is fun. I'm not criticizing that, but in so far as my own motivation as a polyglot, if you look at my experience, not with Persian and Arabic, which are my 19th and 20th languages, I've been at them for more than two years. It's not a, it's not like three months. And, uh, I'm continuing to discover new things about those languages in those cultures.

And I do want to get back to Turkish and I hear that we have, we may have our LingQ mini stories done up in Urdu, in which case, once we get LingQ 5.0 launched, we will add Urdu and then I would like to get into Urdu as my approach into the south Asian languages, because then because I'm a bit lazy at learning new writing systems, then I won't have to, you know, learn either Hindi or Punjabi writing systems.

And I'll still be able to get some sense of the sounds of, of those languages. I may still end up learning the writing system, we'll see. But you know this again, as a polyglot, I have this tremendous world of languages to look forward to, and I don't know which languages I'm going to explore in the future. Uh, I think we'll have Tagalog.

We'll have Vietnamese at LingQ. Thai, maybe, uh, maybe Indonesian, maybe Swahili something on the African continent. I don't know. But as a polyglot, my motivation is to get in there and explore these, but I recognize that each and every one of them is going to be a lot of work, uh, but enjoyable. And, but for me, that's fine.

That's what I have to look forward to. So perhaps that's my perspective on how to become a polyglot. But to summarize, you have to be motivated to learn languages. You have to be interested in learning these languages. You have to be interested in a particular language. You learn them one at a time. And as you achieve success in one language, you may find that you're motivated to learn another language.

You have to be unafraid of interference from languages that you have previously learned. You have to be unafraid of the fact that some of the languages that you have learned will actually get very, very rusty. You may in fact, not be able to speak in that language. Like if you were to ask me now to speak in Romanian or Greek, I would, I wouldn't be able to do it.

And yet I know that I have learned those languages to a level where I went to the country and I was able to communicate and that's okay because I can't, you know, if you have 20 pots on a stove, it's very difficult to keep them all, you know, simmering without burning any one of them or without the fire going out here and there.

So that's fine. So all of those things, I think, uh, are part of the, the, um, you know, at least in my case, the attitude of a polyglot, I can't speak for other polyglots. So there you have it. How to become a polyglot. I hope you enjoyed it. Thank you for listening. Bye.



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How to Become a Polyglot

The first step to becoming a polyglot is to learn one more language. Hi there, Steve Kaufmann here and today I want to talk about how to become a polyglot. Now, remember if you enjoy these videos, please subscribe, click on the bell for notifications. If you follow me on a podcast service, please leave a review.

I do appreciate it. So how do we become polyglots? Now the reason I'm talking about this is because, um, my wife and I were playing golf the other day at our golf club with a couple, uh, probably in their sixties. 今私がこれについて話している理由は、ええと、私の妻と私が先日私たちのゴルフクラブでカップル、ええと、おそらく60代でゴルフをしていたからです。 And often you, you know, you're, you're teamed up with people you don't know, this was our first chance to meet this couple.

And they told us they were going on a bicycle trip with their friends, eight couples going to Girona in Spain, uh, to bicycle around in Catalonia. そして、彼らは友達と自転車旅行に行くと言っていました。8組のカップルがスペインのジローナに行き、カタルーニャで自転車に乗っています。 So I said, are you going to learn Catalan or Spanish? Of course, I was going to push LingQ, you know. もちろん、私はLingQをプッシュするつもりでした。 So, which I did of course, but to no avail. Donc, ce que j'ai fait bien sûr, mais en vain. それで、もちろん私はそれをしましたが、役に立ちませんでした。 Uh, and so I said, are you gonna learn Catalan or Spanish or Spanish?

And the answer was, well, I've heard that you can get by with English. 答えは、まあ、英語でやっていけると聞いたことがあります。 All right, true enough. Perhaps, maybe, maybe not. I don't know. In the city of Girona, uh, certainly at the hotel and the restaurants you can get by in the shops, but then, um, outside of Girona I don't know. I think if you're in a little town and you get a flat tire and you're in trouble, uh, maybe English is not so common. Je pense que si vous êtes dans une petite ville et que vous avez un pneu crevé et que vous avez des problèmes, euh, peut-être que l'anglais n'est pas si courant.

I simply, I just don't know. But for me, if I were going on a bicycle trip to Catalonia, I would learn Catalan. Now I speak Spanish, but so I have the mentality of a polyglot to me that would be fun. Maintenant, je parle espagnol, mais j'ai donc la mentalité d'un polyglotte pour moi, ce serait amusant. Fun to explore Catalan, if I learned Catalan, I would read books about Catalonia in Catalan. カタロニア語を探索するのは楽しいです。カタロニア語を学んだら、カタロニア語でカタロニアに関する本を読むでしょう。

I would speak to people in Catalan. I, that gives me a great sense of pleasure. I, I feel that I'm enriching my life by learning another language, connecting with people in their language. 私は、他の言語を学び、その言語の人々とつながることで、自分の人生を豊かにしていると感じています。 I have the mentality of a polyglot. Uh, I tweeted about this and I called this the English language disease, that English speakers, they have the option, or they think they have the option of not learning the language because we can get by. Euh, j'ai tweeté à ce sujet et j'ai appelé cela la maladie de la langue anglaise, que les anglophones, ils ont la possibilité, ou ils pensent qu'ils ont la possibilité de ne pas apprendre la langue parce que nous pouvons nous en sortir. ええと、私はこれについてツイートしました、そして私はこれを英語の病気と呼びました、英語を話す人、彼らには選択肢がある、または彼らは私たちが通り抜けることができるので言語を学ばないという選択肢があると思っています。

And most of the responses to my tweet, we're very much in agreement. Gee, that's too bad, blah, blah, blah. But one fellow from England, or maybe he was somewhere else. But his, his description showed that he's from Manchester, he says where I live, there was just a Portuguese person showing a Danish person around our compound and they were speaking English. しかし、彼の説明によると、彼はマンチェスター出身で、私が住んでいる場所には、私たちの敷地の周りにデンマーク人を見せているポルトガル人がいて、彼らは英語を話していました。

That's just the reality. それが現実です。 That's how it works. Too bad. 残念な。 So that person also doesn't have the mentality of a polyglot. So number one, to become a polyglot, you have to want to become a polyglot. You have to like speaking languages, not just one, but several. So that is a mindset. C'est donc un état d'esprit. Okay. The second thing is, you know, I didn't set out to become a polyglot. La deuxième chose est, vous savez, que je n'avais pas l'intention de devenir polyglotte. 2つ目は、私はポリグロットになるつもりはなかったということです。

I had not really heard the term polyglot in English. To me, a linguist was someone who spoke several languages, but I also didn't set out to become a linguist. I got interested in French. And then I had the opportunity to learn Mandarin and then I was in Japan, so I learned Japanese on my own. And stepping back when I was in France, I would hitchhike around in Europe and I would always try to speak uh, the local language. Et en prenant du recul quand j'étais en France, je faisais du stop en Europe et j'essayais toujours de parler euh, la langue locale. So I think what I find, what I think is useful to note there is that the first step to becoming a polyglot is to learn one more language. ですから、私が見つけたもの、つまり多言語になるための最初のステップはもう1つの言語を学ぶことであることに注意するのが役立つと思います。 Okay. Because for people who have never really acquired fluency in another language, who have never converted themselves into a fluent speaker of another language, they don't have that feeling. 他の言語を流暢に話せるようになったことがなく、他の言語を流暢に話せるようになったことがない人にとっては、そのような感覚はありません。 So the... you can't, sort of skip past the stage of learning one language to become a polyglot. Donc le... vous ne pouvez pas, en quelque sorte, sauter l'étape de l'apprentissage d'une langue pour devenir polyglotte. だから...あなたは、多言語になるために1つの言語を学ぶ段階をスキップすることはできません。 You learn one language. You now feel confident that you can learn languages. You enjoy the process, or maybe you don't. Um, I think if you're doing it the right way, you can enjoy it. And then what happened to me and I think what would happen to a lot of people is you... "gee, I learned one language. そして、私に何が起こったのか、そして多くの人に何が起こるのかはあなただと思います...」そう、私は1つの言語を学びました。 Now I'd like to learn another language." Because the experience of speaking another language, of connecting with people in their language is so rewarding that we want to do it again and again, and that sense of satisfaction that actually we were able to succeed in, in this task, which is not such an easy task, uh, but that sense of satisfaction makes us want to do it again. Now, another thing about becoming a polyglot, in my opinion, we shouldn't be afraid. さて、ポリグロットになることについてのもう一つのことは、私の意見では、恐れるべきではありません。 Obviously, when we go from language now B to language C and then language D that means that we aren't spending time on language B. So we're leaving language B because I firmly believe we never master another language. 明らかに、現在の言語Bから言語C、そして言語Dに移行するとき、それは言語Bに時間を費やしていないことを意味します。したがって、他の言語を習得することは決してないと確信しているため、言語Bを離れます。

We can always improve in that other language. And yet we make the decision, I'm not going to become even better. Et pourtant, nous prenons la décision, je ne vais pas devenir encore meilleur. それでも私たちは決断を下しますが、私はこれ以上良くなることはありません。 Let's say my best foreign language is French. So I'm not going to become even better in French. Or let's say that the next language is Japanese. And I know there are great gaps in my Japanese learning. そして、私の日本語学習には大きなギャップがあることを私は知っています。

Okay. I'm not going to work on becoming even better in Japanese. I'm going to go and explore a new language. So there's a choice there. You sacrifice sort of what I would consider the futile pursuit of perfection. あなたは私が完璧の無駄な追求と考えるようなものを犠牲にします。 Now other people can disagree and they want to pursue perfection, that's fine. 今、他の人々は反対することができ、彼らは完璧を追求したいと思っています、それは問題ありません。 I'm not sort of making any value judgements, but I think to be a polygloy, it's different than trying to become perfect in one language. 私は価値判断をするようなものではありませんが、多言語だと思います。1つの言語で完璧になろうとするのとは異なります。 So we accept the fact that we're going to not be as good in some of the languages that we have learned. ですから、私たちが学んだいくつかの言語では、私たちがそれほど良くないだろうという事実を受け入れます。 We even accept the fact that there's going to be interference, not only from our own language, which is always the case, but there's going to be interference from these languages that we have learned in the new languages that we are trying to learn, because I find myself sometimes when I'm searching for words in Russian the other day I hadn't spoken Russian for a long time and I was speaking Russian I'm searching for words and up comes Persian. 私たちは、常にそうである私たち自身の言語からだけでなく、私たちが学ぼうとしている新しい言語で学んだこれらの言語からの干渉があるという事実さえ受け入れます。先日、ロシア語を長い間話さず、ロシア語を話していたときに、ロシア語で単語を検索しているときに、単語を検索していると、ペルシャ語が出てくることがあります。 So the more languages you have in your head bouncing around as your brain is going down different pathways to find words there greater likelihood is that it's going to go into some rabbit hole, as they say. Donc, plus vous avez de langues dans votre tête qui rebondissent alors que votre cerveau emprunte différentes voies pour trouver des mots, plus il est probable qu'il ira dans un terrier de lapin, comme on dit. したがって、脳がさまざまな経路をたどって単語を見つけるときに頭の中で跳ね回る言語が増えると、彼らが言うように、それがウサギの穴に入る可能性が高くなります。

Uh, where you're into an yet another language. ええと、あなたはさらに別の言語に興味があります。 So I think part of becoming a polyglot is accepting that you're going to be less than perfect. ですから、ポリグロットになることの一部は、あなたが完璧とは言えないことを受け入れることだと思います。 That means you're going to speak with mistakes. それはあなたが間違いで話すつもりであることを意味します。 Your pronunciation may not be perfect, but you have this, this, um, sense of achievement and the, the, uh, intellectual stimulus of discovering a new world yet another new world with all of the people, and as you learn another language, then the people of that language come alive, the history comes alive. And so I think the secret to being a polyglot is to be interested in many different languages and cultures. ですから、ポリグロットになる秘訣は、さまざまな言語や文化に興味を持つことだと思います。 Um, it may be that some people are motivated to learn languages in order to demonstrate that they they're able to learn languages and, and you know, like another notch on my belt. ええと、彼らが言語を学ぶことができることを示すために、そしてあなたが知っているように、私のベルトの別のノッチのように、言語を学ぶことに動機付けられている人もいるかもしれません。

I only had eight languages now I have nine. 私は8つの言語しか持っていませんでしたが、今では9つの言語があります。 And that can also be a valid, um, you know, motivation for becoming a polyglot, just to demonstrate your prowess at learning languages. そして、それはまた、言語学習の腕前を示すためだけに、多言語になるための有効な動機になる可能性があります。 Uh, I wonder if that can sustain you though, because if all you want to do is show off. Euh, je me demande si ça peut te soutenir, parce que si tout ce que tu veux faire, c'est te montrer. ええと、それがあなたを支えてくれるのだろうかと思います。 Ik vraag me af of dat je kan ondersteunen, want als je alleen maar wilt pronken. Look, I can say a few things in this other language. That doesn't take a lot of, of time and effort and you can get to where you can say hello, how are you in many different languages.

And, uh, that too is fun. そして、ええと、それも楽しいです。 I'm not criticizing that, but in so far as my own motivation as a polyglot, if you look at my experience, not with Persian and Arabic, which are my 19th and 20th languages, I've been at them for more than two years. It's not a, it's not like three months. And, uh, I'm continuing to discover new things about those languages in those cultures.

And I do want to get back to Turkish and I hear that we have, we may have our LingQ mini stories done up in Urdu, in which case, once we get LingQ 5.0 launched, we will add Urdu and then I would like to get into Urdu as my approach into the south Asian languages, because then because I'm a bit lazy at learning new writing systems, then I won't have to, you know, learn either Hindi or Punjabi writing systems. トルコ語に戻りたいのですが、ウルドゥー語でLingQミニストーリーが完成する可能性があります。その場合、LingQ 5.0がリリースされたら、ウルドゥー語を追加します。南アジアの言語へのアプローチとしてウルドゥー語を学びます。新しい書記体系を学ぶのが少し怠惰なので、ヒンディー語またはパンジャブ語の書記体系を学ぶ必要がないからです。

And I'll still be able to get some sense of the sounds of, of those languages. そして、私はまだそれらの言語の音のいくつかの感覚を得ることができるでしょう。 I may still end up learning the writing system, we'll see. Je finirai peut-être par apprendre le système d'écriture, on verra. 私はまだ書記体系を学ぶことになるかもしれません、私達は見るでしょう。 But you know this again, as a polyglot, I have this tremendous world of languages to look forward to, and I don't know which languages I'm going to explore in the future. しかし、あなたはこれを再び知っています、多言語として、私は楽しみにしているこの途方もない言語の世界を持っています、そして私は将来どの言語を探求するのか分かりません。 Uh, I think we'll have Tagalog.

We'll have Vietnamese at LingQ. Thai, maybe, uh, maybe Indonesian, maybe Swahili something on the African continent. I don't know. But as a polyglot, my motivation is to get in there and explore these, but I recognize that each and every one of them is going to be a lot of work, uh, but enjoyable. しかし、多言語としての私の動機は、そこに入ってこれらを探索することですが、それらのすべてが多くの作業になることを認識しています、ええと、しかし楽しいです。 And, but for me, that's fine. そして、しかし私にとっては、それは問題ありません。

That's what I have to look forward to. C'est ce que je dois attendre avec impatience. それが私が楽しみにしていることです。 So perhaps that's my perspective on how to become a polyglot. だから、多分それはポリグロットになる方法についての私の見解です。 But to summarize, you have to be motivated to learn languages. You have to be interested in learning these languages. You have to be interested in a particular language. You learn them one at a time. And as you achieve success in one language, you may find that you're motivated to learn another language.

You have to be unafraid of interference from languages that you have previously learned. Vous ne devez pas craindre les interférences des langues que vous avez déjà apprises. あなたは以前に学んだ言語からの干渉を恐れてはいけません。 You have to be unafraid of the fact that some of the languages that you have learned will actually get very, very rusty. あなたが学んだ言語のいくつかが実際に非常に、非常に錆びてしまうという事実を恐れてはいけません。 You may in fact, not be able to speak in that language. Like if you were to ask me now to speak in Romanian or Greek, I would, I wouldn't be able to do it. もしあなたが今私にルーマニア語かギリシャ語で話すように頼んだら、私はそうするでしょう、私はそれをすることができないでしょう。

And yet I know that I have learned those languages to a level where I went to the country and I was able to communicate and that's okay because I can't, you know, if you have 20 pots on a stove, it's very difficult to keep them all, you know, simmering without burning any one of them or without the fire going out here and there. それでも私はそれらの言語を私が田舎に行ったレベルまで学び、コミュニケーションをとることができたのを知っています、そしてそれは私ができないので大丈夫です、あなたがストーブに20個の鍋を持っているなら、それは非常に難しいですそれらすべてを、あなたが知っているように、それらのどれも燃やさずに、またはあちこちで火が消えることなく、煮てください。

So that's fine. だからそれは大丈夫です。 So all of those things, I think, uh, are part of the, the, um, you know, at least in my case, the attitude of a polyglot, I can't speak for other polyglots. ですから、これらすべてのことは、ええと、ええと、ええと、少なくとも私の場合、ポリグロットの態度の一部だと思います。他のポリグロットについて話すことはできません。 So there you have it. How to become a polyglot. I hope you enjoyed it. Thank you for listening. Bye.

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