Because Italy is more than a geographic expression..

Alessi S.P.A. US

Monday, October 26, 2009

Meet Giuseppe Caspar Mezzofanti: One Smooth Linguist

Mr. Mezzofanti, it is believed, fluently spoke 38 languages and another 30 less so. Don't reach for your calculators. I got one. This means he was able to communicate in 68 languages. Seems fanciful?'

Probably. But even if it was half of this, 'Pep would have no problem asking "where's the bathroom?" or "hold the fries" in most places on earth.

Here's more on the hyperpolyglot.

"The most famous hyper-polyglot was probably Giuseppe Mezzofanti, a 19th century Italian Cardinal, who was reputed to speak 72 languages. The claim sounds preposterous. If you assume each language had 20,000 words, and Mezzofanti could remember a word infallibly after meeting it only once, he'd still have to learn a word a minute, 12 hours a day for five-and-a-half years. Not likely. But Mezzofanti was constantly tested by critics, and they were all impressed. One of them even called him "the Devil" because of his uncanny skill. Even if the stories are exaggerated, he was clearly some kind of linguistic superstar.

Did Mezzofanti have an extraordinary brain? Or are hyper-polyglots just ordinary people with ordinary brains who manage to do something extraordinary through motivation and hard work?"

No comments:

Post a Comment