TED Conversations


This conversation is closed.

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:



Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Mar 20 2013: One of my closest friends speaks 6 languages. His mother knows 8 and his grandma knows 11. In this case it seems that there is no limit. as you keep aging. Its awesome that all animals except for humans communicate to others of the same species in one language. dogs bark, crows squawk and owls hoot. Us humans we have thousands of different languages.
    • Apr 1 2013: This is probably due to how widespread the human race is and the complexity of what humans have to say. For example, if I yell loudly and angrily most humans, regardless of their native language, will be able to understand that I am angry. Other animals, as far as my knowledge goes, simply display simple ideas like this when they meow or bark.
      Now if we later find out that dogs are actually reciting the events of the day when they bark to each other then we can all be impressed.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.