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A question for our smartest people ...

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
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AGBF, used a term that's new to me, polyglot.

Google gave me:
How many languages do polyglots speak?
Multilingual: A person who speaks more than two languages, but used often for four languages or more (3% of world population speak more than 4 languages) Polyglot: Someone with a high degree of proficiency in several languages (less than 1‰ of world population speak 5 languages fluently)


... which brought up another question.
At the end of the quote is, "less than 1‰ of world population speak 5 languages fluently"

What does, "1‰" mean?
Is it different than 1%?
 

Matata

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It represents the tenth part of 1% and I'm not smart, I googled it out of curiosity.
 

kenny

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Cool!
Thanks all.

... I would have saved the hour, to look up how to type that, and just written 0.1%.
 

voce

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It's not me that's not smart. It's my keyboard that's dumb for not having the symbol after the "%". :roll2:
 

OreoRosies86

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My sister in law speaks 5 languages and I had NO IDEA until we all went to Disney a few years ago. I knew she spoke 3, but 5?!
 

kenny

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My sister in law speaks 5 languages and I had NO IDEA until we all went to Disney a few years ago. I knew she spoke 3, but 5?!
Disneyland lets those bad hombres in? :nono:
Who knew? :(sad

Hey, don't get all down on meeee.
I'm just following my awesome president - the most awesome president ever, in all of history.
 
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voce

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My sister in law speaks 5 languages and I had NO IDEA until we all went to Disney a few years ago. I knew she spoke 3, but 5?!
I don't find the NUMBER of languages somebody speaks impressive. I would question how well. For example, some people who speak multiple languages do so with atrocious accents. I actually get offended when they try speaking Mandarin. :lol: Even though they are doing the right things with grammar, it's hell to try to understand what they're saying.
 

OreoRosies86

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I don't find the NUMBER of languages somebody speaks impressive. I would question how well. For example, some people who speak multiple languages do so with atrocious accents. I actually get offended when they try speaking Mandarin. :lol: Even though they are doing the right things with grammar, it's hell to try to understand what they're saying.
She’s fluent in all 5. Mandarin, Japanese, English, Russian, and Mongolian. I think it’s pretty cool *shrug*
 

AGBF

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I don't find the NUMBER of languages somebody speaks impressive. I would question how well.
This is such a complicated subject, voce, and I am really in agreement with you.

When I was studying a lot on Duolingo I became active on some of the discussion groups there. One can see some of another person's history, but by no means all, by looking at his Duolingo profile. If one follows him in discussion groups, one learns more. Some people who appear to be incredibly proficient in a language and who have completed everything that Duolingo can throw at them and more, refuse to call themselves fluent in a language.

As you know, in everyday parlance, many people throw out that they "speak Spanish" or "speak German" when, in reality, they speak only a few phrases.

Then there are the people who cannot keep up with all the languages that they have studied or even in which they had once been fluent. Henry Kissinger said that there was no language in which he did not speak with a foreign accent. My husband said that he now had that trait in common with Dr. Kissinger.

My husband was born and raised in Italy. He attended a classical high school and went on to earn his Laurea in classics at an Italian university. Obviously he had a good grasp of Italian or he would not have been so successful in school. Obviously, since he grew up there, he knew all the slang. It was his native tongue and he read all the classical Italian books one has to read (like I Promessi Sposi) in school.

English was not his first foreign language. I do not know if it was even his second. He studied French at school. His parents spoke Ladino (which he heard all the time) in the house to each other. He thoroughly learned Greek and Latin, not only getting his college degree in them from Italy which would have allowed him to teach them at a university level, but also get a master's degree in them in the US.

And he studied Spanish, German, and Portuguese. He made a bar mitzvah and spent time in Israel with his sister who lives there, learning some Hebrew. But now he has spoken Italian only on the phone to his sister since he came to the US. He does not speak it the rapid way that his cousins do. He has forgotten a great deal. I am sure he could watch and understand an Italian movie, but he has lost a lot of his vocabulary. One can lose fluency, even in one's native tongue, even if one is highly educated.
 
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voce

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Sorry @OreoRosies86 I wasn't questioning the fluency of your SIL, just making the observation that, regardless of fluency, pronunciation gets in the way of proper communication. There have been many people who are perfectly capable of forming sentences in Chinese, but due to their atrocious pronunciation (inability to distinguish different tones) I have to guess from about 100 monosyllabic words EACH SYLLABLE they speak WHICH WORD they meant to say at a rate of 100 syllables/words per minute. This becomes a much more frustrating exercise for the listener than the speaker, and I often wish they would not try to speak in Chinese.

Fluency is a matter of individual perception, really. My SO thinks I'm fluent in 5 languages, but I'd only consider myself fluent in like 2. If it takes me longer to come up with the vocabulary to rapidly converse than a native speaker, I don't consider that fluent. But if I were to claim fluency in X languages, unless there's someone who's a polyglot who can check how much I understand in all X, how would you know whether I were in fact fluent? And the skill is always in flux; you're either improving or forgetting, so it's difficult to assess anyone's fluency with a language unless they use it daily.
 

OoohShiny

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I want to learn Mandarin but I read it takes something like seven or eight years - and even then, I'm sure it would be painful for voce and other speakers! :lol:
 

dk168

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I have never seen percentage being written like that.

DK :confused2:
 

missy

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Do rubbish, gibberish, gobbledegook and carp count, if so, I speak 5 languages fluently? :lol:
Oh then add me to that list. I actually speak 6 then with "missy speak" being one of the languages Greg says I speak fluently. :P2

Screen Shot 2020-07-08 at 6.47.09 AM.png
 

Niffler75

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I speak gobbledygook before I have coffee on a morning, then English and switch to gibberish before bedtime so that's 3 languages for me! ;)2

More seriously I can understand a fair bit of French and can translate some Latin.
 

Slick1

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English is my native language. I did take enough Spanish in college to mostly understand and haltingly speak it, not to be confused with a conversation. That’s a whole ‘nother story. .

I have never seen percentage being written like that.

DK :confused2:
I think we are more likely to see it written like this .10%
 

missy

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The first lady speaks 5 languages, I think.
Just goes to show being a polyglot doesn't mean anything but that one can speak many languages. One cannot draw any other conclusions.
 

AGBF

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The first lady speaks 5 languages, I think.
And I am sure she reads deep philosophical works in all five languages. That is why she wore that jacket when she visited the children her husband had put in cages that stated that she didn't care. She is clearly a deep thinker. Oh, wait. Does this reflect on my opinion of Trump? How awful that would be. I wouldn't want it to show.
 

rockhoundofficiando

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And I am sure she reads deep philosophical works in all five languages. That is why she wore that jacket when she visited the children her husband had put in cages that stated that she didn't care. She is clearly a deep thinker. Oh, wait. Does this reflect on my opinion of Trump? How awful that would be. I wouldn't want it to show.
Send me that reply in 5 different languages then we can talk. :lol:
Ps the cage thing began with Obama, clearly you're not much of a deep thinker either...:oops:
 

737lizakg

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To me a polyglot is a person who can carry on a conversation, and read a novel in 5 or more languages. Meaning their proficiency extends beyond being able to navigate a holiday. Any number below that I would define as multilingual.

I was very proud to be fluent in 2 languages when I lived stateside, as it was quite rare. Moving to a truly international school (127 nationalities), meant that I was surrounded by polyglots. And interesting ones too: I had a classmate who was Zambian, and spoke perfect Mandarin, German, French, English, and several Zambian languages. She was also taking Spanish, I think.
 

anne_h

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As someone who finds learning a new language difficult (I'm intermediate now in French, and getting even that far was tough), I really respect people who speak multiple! We all have skills, and languages is not one of mine...
 
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