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the ability to speak multiple language

Multilingualism is when a person can speak more than one language. People who can speak two languages are called "bilingual". Bilingualism is a type of multilingualism. Many immigrants are bilingual, speaking languages of both their old and their new country. Multilingualism is useful in many kinds of work, partly because international trade is bigger than in past centuries. Bilingual people can do business between countries that speak different languages.

Most people have a first language that they learned as babies. Most that speak more than one language learned the others much later.

Some linguists think there are more multilingual people in the world than monolingual people. (Monolingual people only speak one language.)[1][2]

People who can speak several languages are called "polyglots". Those who can speak many, such as Heinrich Schliemann and Ghil'ad Zuckermann, are called "hyperpolyglots".[3]

Related pagesEdit


  1. "Multilingual People - Are you a polyglot?". Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  2. Tucker, G. Richard (August 1999). "A Global Perspective on Bilingualism". Carnegie Mellon University.
  3. Are You a Hyperpolyglot? The Secrets of Language Superlearners, The author of Babel No More explains what it takes to become super-multilingual. By Katy Steinmetz, Jan. 30, 2012.