“Multilingualism: what a wonderful talent to possess. Alexander Arguelles, an American linguistics specialist, is able to communicate with more than four billion people in 50 different languages, including Arabic, Persian, Greek, Swahili and even Sanskrit.
And he has proven it is possible to learn multiple languages to an incredibly high standard. Studying up to six languages a day in 15 minute bursts, Arguelles would either listen to and speak along with voice recordings (called ‘shadowing’) or read aloud while transcribing texts by hand (called ‘scriptorium’). Formal study and immersion also complimented this autodidactic approach to language learning.
Ok, so learning one language can be challenging enough, but interestingly Arguelles maintains there is no secret formula. Just plain hard work and dedication. His achievement goes some way to proving the astounding capabilities of the human brain. It is worth noting here that language learning can help slow the onset of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s.
Aptly, Arguelles observes that his wealth of languages has given him “a comprehensive overview of the world”. A satisfying achievement for any language learner.”