In the linguistic environment and in modern translation companies, a polyglot is traditionally considered a person who, in addition to his native language, knows at least four more languages belonging to different linguistic groups and use japanese translator. He speaks them fluently, without an accent, knows how to write and translate correctly.
At the same time, vocabulary acquisition occurs in adulthood, consciously. This distinguishes polyglots from multilinguals – people who grew up in a multilingual environment and speak with people of different nationalities from birth.
The stories of the most famous polyglots of our time surprise and at the same time inspire us. Looking at how fluent they are in foreign vocabulary, you inevitably ask yourself: “How do they do it? Why do they learn many languages and is it easy for them? Do they make money on this? ” We studied the biographies of several of our contemporaries, and tried to find out if polyglots can provide language translation services.
For more than twenty years, the leader among polyglots according to the Guinness Book of Records is the Brazilian Ziad Fauzi, a teacher at the University of São Paulo. He teaches foreign languages, of course. In total, he knows 58 of them, fluently owns fifteen. Engaged in translations, and in any language pair, is engaged in the publication of textbooks. In his opinion, he owes his achievements to life in different countries, including African ones, where he could receive new knowledge.
Canadian polyglot Steve Kaufman has mastered 17 languages by his own method by the age of seventy. The essence of the method comes down to expanding vocabulary through content – you need to listen and read a lot. In this case, grammar acts as an auxiliary element. Together with his son, Kaufman founded the online natural language learning system LingQ, runs a You Tube channel and the popular blog “The Linguist on Language”, where he shares the secrets of those who speak all languages. He is the author of the book “The Way of the Linguist. An Odyssey of Learning Languages.
The arsenal of the Russian poet and photo artist Willie Melnikov contains 103 languages. He was also nominated for inclusion in the Book of Records. He is an active employee of the Institute of Virology. He is fond of speleology, painting, history. Conducts linguistic trainings on the methods of language learning. In one of the interviews he remarked: “Translation is not my business at all, I don’t like it”. He mastered many of the languages only in order to read his favorite works in the original.
Another famous polyglot in our country is Dmitry Petrov. Knows 30 foreign languages to varying degrees. Teaches simultaneous translation at Moscow Linguistic University. One of the best translators in the country. As a simultaneous interpreter, he accompanied many leaders of our state on foreign trips. He is actively involved in educational activities outside the university. In 2012 he founded the Center for Innovative and Communicative Linguistics. He developed the author’s method of intensive training, on the basis of which a special language application for smartphones “Polyglot-16” was created.
As we can see, despite the fact that the ways of making a living with famous polyglots are somehow connected with languages, not all of them are professionally engaged in translation activities. Professional activity, both written and oral, involves not only the study of vocabulary and grammar. Knowledge of modern translation methods and in-depth development of the topic in which translation services from foreign languages are provided.