Who is a polyglot?
Ask anyone on the street to give you the definition of the word “polyglot” and he’ll mutter out something about “a person speaking many languages”. Still, if we go in depth we will find out that a polyglot is much more than this and they can be categorized through various means.
There are different types of polyglots. Let’s see how you can “earn” your place in one of these categories. When counting the number of languages one speaks, you always consider his native tongue as well.
Still, a person that only knows one foreign language (thus can speak two languages fluently) is not considered a polyglot. Instead, he is considered a “bilingual speaker”.
There’s a debate on whether or not people speaking three languages fluently should be called polyglots or simply trilingual speakers, but it’s generally acknowledged that a person is only considered a true polyglot when he can fluently speak 3 foreign languages or above, plus his native tongue.
How Do You Define A Person As “Speaking A Language”?
Knowing how to say “Hi my name is Joe” in 8 different languages won’t mean you can speak those languages and it will definitely not make you a polyglot.
In order for you to be considered a speaker of a certain language you need to have a moderately solid base of vocabulary as well as an average grip on grammar, spelling, pronunciation and other similar elements of that language.