What is a Polyglot?
“A polyglot is defined as someone with a high degree of proficiency in 5 or more languages.”
40% of people in the world are monolingual. They are fluent in only one language and a majority of them are American, Brit, Aussie or Kiwi. They do not see the need to pick up a second language as majority of the world speaks English as their first or second language.
Others have the luxury of growing up being effectively bilingual. This group of people (43%) is most noticeable in communities like the Hispanic in the US (English + Spanish), French speaking countries in Africa (French + Mother Tongue) as well as immigrants who grew up in another country.
Exhibiting similar traits are Trilinguals and they have the added benefit of being able to speak a third language. 13% of the world belong in this category and many of them are found in countries like Hong Kong (English, Chinese, Cantonese), Norway (Norwegian, Swedish, English) and the Philippines (Tagalog, Spanish, English).
4% of the world fall into the category of Multilinguals (4 languages) and less than 1% are known polyglots. These people reside mostly in countries like Switzerland (German, Italian, French, Romansh, English) and Morocco (Arabic, French, Spanish, Moroccan, English).
Foreign influences and cultural diversity are main reasons why people from these countries are able to pick up so many languages so easily. The Moroccan language is filled with foreign words with origins from Arabic, French and Spanish and this gives them a natural platform to transition to pick up these languages easily.
So what are the advantages to knowing more languages?
1. Better Job Opportunities
For many, the lack of job opportunities in their home country would prompt them to seek greener pastures elsewhere. The knowledge and fluency of another language would open up new doors to secure that new job you have been eyeing. Chances for better job opportunities would increase massively since a major stumbling block, the language barrier, is no longer existent.
2. Business Expansion for Business Owners
In order to fulfill a need in the market, you have to find out what the consumer wants. In order to communicate with customers from a different market, you have to first speak their language. Finding contractors, suppliers or even using a translator is highly inefficient and exorbitant. This is where the knowledge of another language comes into play and helps you establish better working relationships with your foreign counterparts.
3. Better travel experience
Travelling to exotic countries is often on everyone’s bucket list these days. However, the language barrier experienced during travelling could pose a major stumbling block towards fully immersing yourself in the country and culture. Miscommunications that often happen due to a language barrier can be overcome if you pick up a certain fluency in the language of the country you are visiting. The locals would also be more forthcoming once they realize you can speak in their native tongue.
4. Become better in your first language
As you pick up the nuances and grammar of a foreign language, you will learn to appreciate your native tongue more and more. This is because your brain subconsciously compares the new language you are learning to the existing languages you already know and this provides you with a better understanding of the grammar, sentence structure and pronunciation of your first language.
No matter your reason for learning a new language, be it for work, a new livelihood or even a hobby, you will definitely feel a sense of fulfillment upon completion of the course. That feeling of pride is immeasurable knowing you have taken another step towards not only becoming a polyglot but also understanding the nuances and culture of a different country.
Headstart Language is your one stop centre to pick up languages at affordable prices. Check out our courses at www.headstartlanguage.com.sg
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