Big_Dog Review Part 3 – Cons (chapter 9) In this chapter he defines polyglot, discusses how one goes about learning several languages, limitations to the number and knowledge levels of languages a polyglot can learn, how to keep from mixing up languages, Richard Simcott and learning grammatical terms. 1) Not to be confused with a linguist, a polyglot is someone who speaks multiple languages well. One definition of a linguist is someone who speaks multiple languages well. I wonder if this was thrown in there for the benefit of Steve Kaufmann. 2) Trying to become a polyglot is a terrible goal. Not at all. It’s my goal, and it seems to be working just fine. Again, long term goals aren’t necessarily a bad thing. 3) You need to pick your languages carefully. My languages pick me. By that I mean circumstances in my life determine what languages I should learn. I think this is the case for most people. Letting a language choose you supports motivation. 4) You should study a language to at least B2, because at that level, if you drop it, it doesn't take much time to get back to where you used to be. I prefer C1, because I feel this is the level where maintenance is no longer required. 5) A true polyglot avoids giving quick answers about his level. I don’t. And people who ask usually aren’t looking for long answers. Polyglots can give quick, honest answers about their level if they want; there is no “polyglot code” that says they can’t. 6) There are downfalls to learning many languages short term. This is true, so why does Benny do it? Most of his advice is geared towards people who want to eventually take a language to a high level. I’m wondering why there wasn’t material about the advantages of flirting, or whatever he calls all these mini missions where his involvement in the language ends when they end. 7) A hyperglot is someone who speaks 6 or more languages. I wonder where this definition came from. I’ve always heard it was more than 10. 8) Benny respects Professor Arguelles, who writes book reviews in foreign languages. Benny would find that exercise demotivating. First, his name is Alexander Arguelles. Second, considering how big of an influence he has had on the language learning community, I’m surprised that the only mention he gets is about him writing book reviews in foreign languages, and it’s mentioned in a negative context. For those reasons, Benny doesn’t sound very respectful to me. 9) Benny and Richard Simcott agree on many things. I get the uneasy feeling that Benny is trying to put himself in the same category as Simcott. There is really no comparison imo. 10) Simcott doesn’t see why someone would want to learn more than 8 languages. But Simcott, Benny and Arguelles have all done this, so I’m confused by this comment. 11) The number of languages becomes less important than the sheer ability to communicate. I don’t know what he’s trying to say here. Don’t learn a lot of languages? Don’t learn them unless you intend to learn them to a high level? Communicate a lot? Very unclear. 12) He picks just one language and sticks to it until he’s very confident in it. But he doesn’t always do this. Why not say something like “based on my language learning experience, although I haven’t always done this, this is what I advise aspiring polyglots to do”? Because it’s well documented that he quit many languages at low levels. Benny has several ways of not confusing languages in his mind. When you learn languages to a high level, they separate themselves. There is no need to do anything special here.