Are polyglots an extinct specie now?

Zoxox Digital / Getty Images
Zoxox Digital / Getty Images

A polyglot, sometimes called as multilingual, is a person who can speak many different languages. During recent times, the trend of learning new languages has shown a decline. This is due to many reasons.

There is a famous saying “to every rise, there is a fall”. This trend has also reached its decline. People are no more interested in learning new languages. There is a psychological factor involved. Human being gets bored from a respective idea if there is no addition in it. The same happened here. When this idea was new, people used to make a serious effort in this regard, but with the passage of time, it lost its flavor and people began to take interest in new ideas instead.

The second reason is the role of schools and colleges. These institutions were the places where people used to come and learn foreign languages, but as the time flew, the schools and other institutions stopped offering this service. They stopped giving classes to people. The schools which used to teach student new languages in free now began to charge them, the staff, which was a source of knowledge for students resigned. One of the reasons was that they began to get employed in different sectors where they were much heavily paid therefore they sacrificed the commitment of spreading this skill on economic benefits. The school lost its qualified staff hence the students’ interest started to derail and this trend started to decline.

Another reason was that the universities all around the world, which required the students to learn their languages earlier; changed their policy. They lifted this condition. English began to be used as an official language in most of the institutions so as to keep in line with the “global” popularity of the English language. The students had a luxury. They had to spend three months to learn foreign languages first, but now the only language which they needed to master was English which was probably easier for the majority. They stopped learning new languages as a result.

Moreover, with the passage of time, the most renowned and well reputed polyglots died and so did their services. The people who used to idealize them had now lost their heroes. Their will power diminished. Friedrich Engels, James Augustus Henry Murray, S. Srikanta Sastri, Kenneth L. Hale were some famous polyglots of the history who had given this knowledge to many people, but when they died, the people lost interest in this work. The work of these famed multi-linguals was not preserved the way it deserved to be. Some of the research and writings were preserved in books, but the majority of the work died away with them. This was the reason there was no legendary polyglot after 2003.

These were some of the reasons which accounted for the decline of polyglots. This was an exceptional skill to possess and a lot of people excelled in their respective field due to this skill, but unfortunately this skill died away slowly and now there are a few knowledgeable polyglots left.


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