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How many languages is it possible to know?

I admit that I am not a genius. I have never had an idea that I would end up speaking more than one language but it happened.. in my early 20s I found myself speaking more than 4 languages... few years later a coupe of languages came along and I learned them as well... Why? I don't know.
true to be told I didn't go to university for this, I only went for Communication Science. after learning all those languages, it made me believe;
if I can, then anyone can (but maybe not everyone)

How many languages do you speak?
If you could learn one more foreign langues, what would it be?
What stopped you from learning more than one (if you speak only one)
why is it so important to learn any foreign language when we want a global village, and what language should be spoken in that village?

an interesting article to be read about the capacity and ability of human brain in learning and knowing languages:



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  • Mar 15 2013: Hi Edwin,

    I was browsing through the website (that I have just discovered) and when I saw your question, I couldn't help myself to register and answer you.

    I do think there is a limited capability to learn and retain, but it is possible to extend this capability (by doing memory exercises for instance). But anyway I could get off-topic here and I don't think I'd want that as my first comment on this website.

    I have the chance to have parents from different origins: my mother is from the US and my father is from India. Also, I was born in France.
    I have to admit that even if english should be my first language it is not. I spoke only french until I was 10 years old and fed up with the fact that I couldn't communicate properly with my family in India and in the States.

    So I got lucky and got into an international school in my hometown where I started to work on my english and spanish as a second language. I'm now 20 years old, I can speak french and english fluently and I can speak spanish and chinese (that I started as a third language in High school).

    Even though it might sound good I still want to learn more. I have this friend I've known since junior high and he now speaks fluently: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and as a good knowledge of Chinese, Russian, Arabic and maybe some others... At only 20 years old !

    I still hardly believe it sometimes and your story amazed me.

    I just want to conclude on the fact that languages are important to learn because they give us the power to communicate with each other and to know about different cultures.
    • Mar 17 2013: Hi Samuel

      Many thanks for your comment. I am glad you find such a interests in learning languages.
      surely this is one of the ways to get to know others and their culture.

      wish you all well.

      and welcome to TED Community.


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