Notable Polyglots of the Past and Their Achievements

There has been polyglots that have spanned time and the world. Most of the polyglots of notable achievements have since passed on, but the ones that are alive today are making a place for themselves in their world. There are many polyglots that have passed on, but here are the Top 5 Polyglots in the world. Without these famous polyglots we would not have many of the books, poems and dictionaries that are available today. Most of them had studied to become polyglots because they were interested in it, not because they had to.

João Guimarães Rosa passed away in 1967 and was born in 1908 in Brazil. He was one of the top novelists in Brazil and he had authored Grande Sertão: Veredas, which translates to The Devil to Pay in the Backlands, which is said to be the equivalent of Ulysses. He had taught himself to be a polyglot. He was said to have spoken German, English, Spanish, and some Russian. He said he could read others including Latin, Greek, Dutch and Swedish. He said that he studied polyglotism as a passion.

Jean-François Champollion was born in 1790 and died in 1832. Besides a polyglot, he was a philologist, orientalist and a classic scholar. He spoke Greek, Latin, Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, Pahlavi, Zend and Coptic. His claim to polyglotism and fame came when he had become the first person to decipher the transcription that was on the Rosetta Stone. The Rosetta stone had helped with the translating of the Egyptian hieroglyphs.

James Augustus Henry Murray was born in 1837 and died in 1915. He was a lexicographer born in Scotland and claimed he could speak Italian, Catalan, Spanish, Latin and French. He could speak other languages, but not fluently, including Flemish, Dutch, and Danish. He was instrumental in the development of the Oxford English Dictionary. He also held the title as the primary editor from around 1879 until he passed away.

John Milton was born in 1608 and died in 1674. He could speak many languages including Latin, German, French, Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic and many more. He had penned the poem, Paradise lost, and was a famous poet. He is also well-known for coming up with at least 630 words of the English language.

Ludwig Zamenhof was born in 1859 and died in 1917. He spoke 3 different languages as his mother tongue, including Yiddish, Volapük, and Russian. Besides those 3 he also spoke French, Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Polish and many others. He had created the Esperanto language, which around 100,000 to 2,000,000 people speak fluently.

All of these deceased polyglots have given a lot of their efforts to the people of the world. Without some of them there would be quite a gap in history. These are not the only dead polyglots who have made contributions to the linguistic area, but some of the top ones. Polyglots all over the world have made different and numerable contributions to the different languages, including English and many other languages.


Only registered users can comment.