Twenty-year-old Alex Rawlings has won a national competition to find the UK’s most multi-lingual student.
Entrants in the competition run by the publishers Collins had to be aged between 16 and 22 and conversant in multiple languages.
They also have a longer article on other “hyperpolyglot” people, the most interesting part of which, in my personal opinion, is the suggestion that 11 languages is a significant watershed, with those who speak more languages than this being particularly rare. This is apparently the opinion of the author of Babel No More: The Search for the World’s Most Extraordinary Language Learners by Michael Erard, which sounds like it might be an interesting book.
Unfortunately I couldn’t get the videos attached to the two articles to display, so can’t comment on those. I also haven’t found the announcement from Collins itself.
- The cult of the hyperpolyglot (bbc.co.uk)
- VIDEO: How did this man learn 11 languages? (bbc.co.uk)
- Inside the Mind of a Polyglot (billzart.wordpress.com)
- Are You a Hyperpolyglot? The Secrets of Language Superlearners (healthland.time.com)
- ‘Babel No More’ – Adventures with an Extreme Polyglot (translaborberlin.wordpress.com)
- REVIEWS: Babel No More: The Search for the World’s Most Extraordinary Language Learner (macleans.ca)
- The Road to Hyperpolyglottery with Michael Erard (patrickcox.wordpress.com)
- Speaking in Tongues (thedailybeast.com)
- Being a bilingual / multilingual family (mothertonguesblog.com)
- Babel No More: Inside the Secrets of Superhuman Language-Learners (brainpickings.org)
- Celebrate Your Mother Tongue (mothertonguesblog.com)
- Are You Postmonolingual? (psychologytoday.com)