The Most Famous Polyglots (Alive)
What is the meaning of Polyglot?
if you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” – Nelson Mandela
A polyglot is a person who knows and can use many languages. But, there is a difference between a polyglot person and a bilingual person. A bilingual person speaks 2 languages and a polyglot usually speaks and uses more than 2 languages to communicate.
When you think about famous polyglots, one of the first names that come to mind is without a doubt, Antonio Guterres. He is the Secretary-General of the United Nation. His words on the pandemic “Unless we act now, the COVID-19 pandemic will cause unimaginable devastation and suffering around the world… We need to respond with unity and solidarity.”
He is determined to make human dignity the core of his work and to serve as a peace broker, a bridge-builder, and a promoter of reform and innovation.
Mr. Guterres was born in Lisbon in 1949 and graduated from the Instituto Superior Técnico with a degree in engineering. He is fluent in Portuguese, English, French, and Spanish. He is #31st on the Forbes list of the world’s most influential people.
The most influential man in sports is also polylingual. Gianni Infantino is the current president of FIFA. He is fluent in Italian, French,(Swiss-)German, English, Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic.
He introduced Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology and successfully executed it for the first time at the 2018 World Cup.
FIFA World Cup 2026 will take place in three countries, and 48 national teams instead of the usual 32 teams will participate. It is because the President of FIFA has introduced this freshness as well as other changes. He became the President of FIFA in 2016 and announced that the popularization and growth of soccer in all regions was the priority. Clearly competent, professional, exuberate more evidently with passion than personality. He says:
“You hide, or you stand up and do what is right to do for football, do what is right to do for Fifa. Fifa needs football, now more than ever.”
Roger Federer, is one of the most famous polyglots(born August 8, 1981, Basel, Switzerland), Swiss tennis player, who ruled the sport in the early 21st century with his extraordinary all-around game. His total of 20 career men’s singles Grand Slam championships is the most in tennis history.
He can articulate in German, Swiss-German to be precise. He is also fluent in English and French. Furthermore, he can speak Italian and Swedish.
He has once voted the second most appreciated individual in the world (after Nelson Mandela).
In 2003, he instituted the Roger Federer Foundation, which supports poor students to have an education.
At 38 years of age, he is still playing some of the best tennis of his career and turning it into tournament trophies.
Fernando Alonso is a Spanish racing driver and former Formula, One racing driver. In addition to Spanish, Alonso is fluent in French, Italian, and English.
He was born in Oviedo, in northern Spain. He remained in England until the time he went to Switzerland in 2006. Recently he is in a relationship with an Italian model, maybe this is where he acquired it from
Overall Alonso won 32 Formula One races, 22 pole positions, and 1,899 points from 311 starts. He was the first Spanish Formula One Driver to win the World Championship and was the youngest at the time.
Alexander Sabino Argüelle
Alexander Sabino is an American linguist praised for his work on Korean. He is very committed to the learning of different languages. He is one of the most famous polyglots listed in Advanced Proficiency and Exceptional Ability in Second Language and has been described by The New Yorker as a legendary figure in the polyglot community.
He believes that we should all learn six languages that fall into four categories:
- Classical languages ( gives us insight into our past, present, and future).
- Major living languages ( helps us to understand the experiences around us).
- The international language (puts us in touch with the world at large).
- Exotic languages (challenges us to look at the world in a very different way).
He an American physicist, and honorary architect, Swedish engineering academician, former Oxford don, and Harvard and Oxford dropout is one of the famous polyglots. He taught at ten universities, most recently Stanford’s School of Engineering and the Naval Postgraduate School. He also cofounder and chairman of Rocky Mountain Institute, where he served as chief scientist and now an independent contractor.
He has been an advisor to major firms and governments in 70 countries for 45 years; a practitioner of integrative design for advanced energy efficiency in buildings, vehicles, and industry; a member of the National Petroleum Council; author of 31 books and over 650 papers; and recipient of the Blue Planet, Volvo, Zayed, Onassis, Nissan, Shingo, and Mitchell Prizes, MacArthur and Ashoka Fellowships, 12 honorary doctorates, and the “Alternative Nobel,” Heinz, Lindbergh, National Design, and World Technology Awards.
In 2009, Time named him one of the world’s 100 most influential people. One of the 100 top global thinkers. In 2016, the President of Germany awarded him the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit. His latest book is Reinventing Fire.
Ziad Youssef Fasah is a Liberian born Lebanese polyglot who claims to speak 59 languages and maintains that he has proved this in several public appearances in which he “successfully” communicated with native speakers of a large number of foreign languages. According to Fazah, a greek orthodox, his abilities to learn languages are a gift bestowed to him by God. He currently lives in Brazil.
The Guinness Book of world records, up to the 1998 edition, listed Fazah as being able to speak and read 58 languages and is obviously one of the most famous polyglots alive.
We expect you have learned a little more about the most famous polyglots, and bilingual people, and more about world leaders. If you liked this article you can also check our other articles like
Don’t forget to subscribe and comment on the next article you want us to write.