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What’s it like to speak and communicate in many languages?
While investigating the life and language skills of nineteenth century Cardinal Mezzofanti who, it was claimed, could speak seventy-two languages, Michael Erard, author of Babel no more interviewed modern polyglots to discover how people learn and communicate in multiple languages. In his quest he meets professional and obsessive language learners, neurologists who study language functions in the human brain, winners of a hyperpolyglot language contest, and members of an Indian community who may communicate in four or more languages in the course of a day.
Here he describes how one person learns and retains many languages
Are you an aspiring polyglot? With your San Jose Public Library card you can study various languages online through our subscription to Mango languages. You can also check out language learning videos and CDs from your local library.
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