Are polyglots and hyperglots different?

Polyglots and hyperglots are two terms that are associated with people who can speak in several languages and many people think that polyglot and hyperglot means the same. But, there is a thin line of difference between the two, and this article deals with the difference between polyglots and hyperglots. Educators, translators and foreign language experts associate the terms with different meanings and they are:


A person who is fluent in three or more languages is termed as a polyglot. Multilingualism is something that is common in few countries of the world like India, Iceland, Quebec and few more and you will find many polyglots in these countries. While many people become polyglots without a choice as most students in countries like India and few other countries learn two more languages apart from their mother tongue, there are people who become polyglot by a choice for the love of the languages.


Hyperglot is a person who is fluent or proficient in at least six or more languages. Many experts also claim that a hyperglot is a person who is proficient in at least ten languages. So basically, you can be a hyperglot only by choice as you need to be a master in a minimum of six different languages and that surely is a not an easy task.

How to be a hyperglot from a polyglot?

There are many polyglot experts in the world and most polyglots aspire to become hyperglots by learning more and more languages. Once, you become a polyglot, it becomes easier to become hyperglots as you already have the experience of learning languages and you become an expert in the methodology as well.

When do you stop being a polyglot and become a hyperglot?

A hyperglot is said to be a master in 6 or more languages and to be become hyperglot, a person must possess a natural love for languages and be a gifted language accumulator. They have a unique neurology that makes it possible for them to acquire new languages and use them as well. There are many multilingual communities in the world and in most, the maximum number of languages that the members could speak is five and hence, six is considered to be the cutoff as far as being a hyperglot is concerned.

How common are hyperglots?

Hyperglots are not common and they are actually very few in number. Polyglotism is more common. But the number is growing day by day and that is because of the way the world is becoming. This is the era of globalization and the digitalization of almost everything has made the world a very small place. More and more people are pursuing many languages as it is opening many doors of opportunities for them.

In order to become a hyperglot, you need to be very dedicated and patient and you possibly won't have any time to waste. ‘Giving up’ should not be a part of your dictionary and you should choose your own method of learning a language and choose one that you are most comfortable with.


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