Two questions that almost everyone would ask when talking about polyglots are;
- Are they geniuses?
- Are they child prodigies?
Just in case you do not know the meaning of a polyglot, a polyglot is someone who is able to speak many languages. Have you ever met someone who speaks 2, 3, or 4 languages at the same time? That's the ideal definition of a polyglot.
Well, it might interest you to know that polyglots are not geniuses, some of them started learning languages at a very tender age based on their environment at the time, while most of them actually started learning languages at an older age. Most people even got their inspiration for learning other languages by using translation and localization services such as The Word Point, while others admitted to using Youtube as a starting point.
Have you ever dreamt of speaking more than two languages, maybe you wished you could speak French and then switch to German the next minute?
There are lots of misconceptions or myths concerning individuals who are bilingual or trilingual; some people would even believe that polyglots are super humans or that they possess inherent natural traits and abilities which gives them the ability to speak numerous languages with ease.
If you have this kind of belief, then, it may be impossible for you to reach your dream of becoming a polyglot.
Have you ever dreamt of becoming a polyglot? You can achieve your dreams of becoming a polyglot with these invaluable tips from online sources.
Here are six tips you can use that would come in handy if you desire to become a polyglot.
#1 Have a Good Reason for Becoming a Polyglot
Why do you want to become a polyglot? And for what reason? If you are looking to be bilingual or trilingual just to impress others, or for you to add it to your resume, then, you probably may find it difficult reaching your dreams.
Don't get me wrong; there are no bad reasons for wanting to become a polyglot; however, there are some reasons that are not so good either, and these not so good reasons may not take you far enough to achieve your dreams.
The truth is, becoming a polyglot is no easy task; it demands lots of perseverance, discipline, practices over a long period; it might even be up to 5, 10 - 15 years.
The question is, how long would you be able to go? Your reasons would be your propellant to continue to put in the effort, and your reasons are not strong enough, you might give up on the way.
One strong reason is that you should desire to become a polyglot because of your love for languages because you love to learn new things and speak to other people in their languages.
Secondly, you need to choose a language that really resonates with you. You shouldn't choose a language because it probably sounds easier and therefore, would be much easier to learn.
#2 Schedule How You Learn Each Language
To avoid burnout, you should not attempt to learn several languages all at once. You don't want to end up mixing things up.
The best way is to come up with a schedule. You can plan to learn a single language for a whole year or two languages in two years.
On the off chance that you decide to learn two languages at once, you need to ensure that both languages are vastly different in structure, grammar, and vocabulary. For instance, if you decide to learn Portuguese and Spanish at the same time, you could quickly mix them up.
On the other hand, if you choose to learn Chinese and German at the same time, you're more likely to put them in the correct perspective.
In order not to forget any new language you learn, keep reading a lot of books in that new language, watch shows on TV that are in those languages, and ensure that you put yourself in an environment where you are always communicating with native speakers.
If you do not find offline resources, you can then rely on online translation
#3 Stick to Your Plan no Matter How Tough
If you are looking to become a polyglot, you have to be disciplined enough to stay on task. You have to be focused on attaining the goals that you set out for yourself. Furthermore, you'll need to set daily, weekly, monthly goals and work towards them diligently.
Talking about sticking to your plan, you also need to take some time off. Schedule some days, probably weekends where you take your mind off anything that has to do with learning languages. You can decide to play a video game, watching movies, or listen to music related to your target language.
#4 Occasionally Measure Your Language Abilities and Progress
You need to assess your progress from time to time. This will enable you to know if you are really making any progress at all.
The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is a good international standard you can use to assess your progress. Better still, you can search online for a test that could help you measure your progress.
Part of assessing yourself also includes measuring your progress in relation to your goals. What were you able to achieve in six months? Were you able to have a good conversation with a native speaker in one year? Were you able to understand a non-subtitled movie in your target language? These are important questions you need to figure out.
#5 Follow the Plan that Works Best for You
One good thing about testing yourself regularly is so you know the best plan that gives you the best result.
Where you able to improve on your vocabulary when you listen to music in your target language? Perhaps you were able to effectively engage with your target language when you had conversations with native speakers.
Whichever one it is, you need to identify a plan that gets you to learn more effectively and then you stick to it.
#6 Have a Partner for Accountability
This could be one of your greatest assets towards achieving your goals of becoming a polyglot.
It would be even better if your accountability partner happens to be a native speaker in your target language. Your accountability partner could also be someone who shares the same goal of being a polyglot with you. You can support one another and share tips and resources that would enable both of you to stay on course.
If you are looking for a great way to find accountability partners, you can check out MeetUps in your area. Better still, you can join language forums where you can get access to thousands of intending polyglots that are willing to partner with you.
Becoming a polyglot is a daunting task that requires careful planning. You need to come up with actionable steps and follow them thoroughly. Polyglots are not made overnight; they are made by taking conscious practical steps to ensure that they achieve their dreams. Are you ready to start your journey?
Blog written by Dominic Beaulieu a gaming enthusiast turned tech writer who covers an impressive variety of topics like design, development process, game marketing, and helps developers with spreading the word about their creations. He is a fluent French speaker, who also has mastered Dutch, Norwegian, and Swedish. He uses his experience in translation at The Word Point translation service as a localization specialist and counselor. Also he’s a writer for Translation Client Zone.