Hyperpolyglots

aarhus

www.johnboyter.com
Jun 10, 2008
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I have never mistaken a Danish accent for a south African one, and I am very familiar with both. My neighbours for 19 years were from South Africa and I have many Danish relatives.
Well I have been asked many times during the years or they can’t pinpoint it. My mother is English so I am almost bilingual. I don’t have a strong Danish accent. I would say I am fluent in English. There is just slightly something people hear. Also Americans have thought I was British. I just find it more interesting when someone has asked if I was South African.
 

bob saunders

Platinum
Jan 1, 2002
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dr1.com
Well I have been asked many times during the years or they can’t pinpoint it. My mother is English so I am almost bilingual. I don’t have a strong Danish accent. I would say I am fluent in English. There is just slightly something people hear. Also Americans have thought I was British. I just find it more interesting when someone has asked if I was South African.
My Grandmother was a war bride and came to Canada when she was 20 in 1922. She returned to England twice in 70 years and her British accent was evident until she passed at 94.
 

aarhus

www.johnboyter.com
Jun 10, 2008
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My Grandmother was a war bride and came to Canada when she was 20 in 1922. She returned to England twice in 70 years and her British accent was evident until she passed at 94.
My mother is British but has lived over 60 years in Denmark. I am with her right now in England where she has a second home. And my oldest brother just arrived from Denmark. Family meeting.
 

Auryn

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2012
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My Grandmother was a war bride and came to Canada when she was 20 in 1922. She returned to England twice in 70 years and her British accent was evident until she passed at 94.
My grandmother was a war bride from Glasgow and came to Canada in 1949. When I was young I never understood why she called me a wee “kettle”until I figured out she rolled her Rs. My dad and his siblings had the thick accent until about Grade 3. She never lost it.
 

Auryn

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2012
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Michel Thomas was a polyglot linguist, and his method helped me learn the majority of Spanish that I know. His methodology is very relaxed and informal.

His story reads like a novel or Hollywood movie. Polish Jew, survived concentration camps(partly due to his linguistic abilities), and went on to do counter intelligence for the US.

He had his share of controversy and stated “there are no students with learning disabilities, only teachers with teaching disabilities” which I don’t agree with. But his method worked for me.

He was reputed to have mastered 10 languages and could speak 12-15. He died in 2005.
 

Lucifer

Silver
Jun 26, 2012
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Michel Thomas was a polyglot linguist, and his method helped me learn the majority of Spanish that I know. His methodology is very relaxed and informal.

His story reads like a novel or Hollywood movie. Polish Jew, survived concentration camps(partly due to his linguistic abilities), and went on to do counter intelligence for the US.

He had his share of controversy and stated “there are no students with learning disabilities, only teachers with teaching disabilities” which I don’t agree with. But his method worked for me.

He was reputed to have mastered 10 languages and could speak 12-15. He died in 2005.
I remember an episode of Tick Tack Doug, with Wink Martindale, in which a contestant claimed to be fluent in 20 languages, and had a not-so-fluent understanding in 20 others.
 

AlterEgo

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 9, 2009
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South Coast
In opinion, if you speak more than 2 languages, I'd say you're great at learning languages.
Most of us struggle with a second language, and you've gone way beyond that. Kudos to you.
I heartily agree with you. I believe some people have a natural ability to learn languages. I grew up exposed to Italian but never spoke it; it did, however, help me a lot with understanding Spanish.

Mr AE learned English as a teenager in SD working as a lifeguard at the Hispaniola Hotel, talking to tourists. He was the only one who understood them, and he had to translate their orders to the waiters (in exchange for a cut of their tips 🤣). Portuguese has always interested him, and he’s learned quite a bit of it. (When he recently did Ancestry DNA, we were shocked that Portugal was his highest ancestry, beating out Spain). He speaks English with a definite accent.

Our son is truly tri-lingual. When he speaks Spanish, he sounds native. When he speaks Italian, Italians ask him what part of Italy he’s from because they’re sure he’s native but can’t place from where. Taught both languages for 15 years.
 

Lucifer

Silver
Jun 26, 2012
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Remarkable that your son can sound like a native in two other languages, in addition to his native English.

I've met several people who have been able to cross into native-sounding territory after learning Spanish as adults.
A former co-worker, caucasian from East Texas, developed an interest in Spanish after visiting Mexico with his church when he was about 18. Today, he has a hard time convincing people he's NOT Mexican.
He once told me he has a harder time preparing an English sermon, preferring to do it in Spanish.

He's so good that he's bad, having mastered all the bad habits: <<Oiga, José, mi compu no jala, y no sé qué le pasó, pues no se me ha cáido>>.

compu: computadora (laptop); jala: no funciona (inoperative); cáido: caído (haven't dropped it).
Cáido,
with emphasis on the first vowel is obviously wrong, but this guy knows it, and depending on his audience, he can navigate in and out flawlessly.

He's probably the fastest English-Spanish translator I've ever met. And he's now translating Hebrew into Spanish for his church.

I met a speech therapist, African American, whom I mistook for Colombian from Buenaventura, who could speak 5 languages.
Her command of Spanish was incredible, but she assured me her Portuguese and French were even more fluid.