Definition of a Polyglot

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Re: Definition of a Polyglot

Postby lowsocks » Fri Apr 29, 2022 5:36 pm

luke wrote:I'm not sure what a "dead cat argument" is. I know "dead cat bounce". A search of the Fine Web turned up an article, but since everyone doesn't mean the same thing when they say or hear a word like "polyglot", I hoped you might take this opportunity to clarify the term as you're using it.
I am not sure, but perhaps he was thinking of Monty Python's "Dead Parrot" Sketch?

luke wrote:On Professor Arguelles in specific. One can watch his videos for ideas. We do occasionally criticize him here. He's serious about what he's done, which, in and of itself makes for a compelling story, even if one would have never followed a similar path and does not want to. Back to the cat, that sits peacefully on his lap; he has a certain Mr. Rogers vibe that can soothe a savage beast.
I can't help thinking that the cat is the professor's familiar. He even calls it Merlin.
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Re: Definition of a Polyglot

Postby BeaP » Fri Apr 29, 2022 5:49 pm

Dead cat argument: when you don't have rational arguments you say something emotional to win the debate. (As I understand it.)
The professor's cat steals the show. I think it's grumpy, I'm always expecting it to revolt.
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Re: Definition of a Polyglot

Postby Le Baron » Fri Apr 29, 2022 6:38 pm

luke wrote:I'm not sure what a "dead cat argument" is. ...I hoped you might take this opportunity to clarify the term as you're using it.

Mostly used in political circles. An argument used to divert from the actual question. So I say e.g: 'these lazy people are not serving their electorate!' and they then focus on how I am labelling people as lazy, when in fact they are suffering from M.E... and the argument endlessly drags on this. That sort of thing.
luke wrote:On Professor Arguelles in specific. One can watch his videos for ideas. We do occasionally criticize him here. He's serious about what he's done, which, in and of itself makes for a compelling story, even if one would have never followed a similar path and does not want to. Back to the cat, that sits peacefully on his lap; he has a certain Mr. Rogers vibe that can soothe a savage beast.

I have no real axe to grind with Alexander Arguelles and deliberately excluded him from the circus (he can be ringmaster ;)). I have watched a lot of his videos on and off over the years. Those early ones just struck me as an enthusiastic fellow who'd found the internet and showed the world what he'd been up to in the pre-internet years. I liked that and I'm sure all the old-school learners were thinking: 'yeah, I've been doing that too!' More like the Homebrew Computer Club, than the average salesman the YT polyglot has become.
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Re: Definition of a Polyglot

Postby iguanamon » Fri Apr 29, 2022 9:08 pm

This article, Frankie Light Youtube Polyglot, appeared yesterday in the New York Times. Caveat: I have read the article but did not watch any of the linked videos... nor do I intend to watch them.)
NYT wrote:He Made Yiddish Go Viral
Frankie Light is one of the new breed of “YouTube polyglots.” He taught himself Mandarin, but can he earn a living making small talk with strangers?

This article seems to sum up some of the conclusions reached in this thread about youtube polyglots. Some of the linked videos have the word "shock" in them. I'm not surprised. This is the "parlor trick" aspect I wrote about in my previous post.

Of course, the titles of these videos are "clickbait". Some of it appears to be legitimate, but the "shock" description in the title to market the videos is a non-starter for me. Just because you learn some Yiddish on duolinguo and can recite some phrases/vocabulary... I don't think that's a reason for a video.
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Re: Definition of a Polyglot

Postby zenmonkey » Sat Apr 30, 2022 7:55 am

iguanamon wrote:This article, Frankie Light Youtube Polyglot, appeared yesterday in the New York Times. Caveat: I have read the article but did not watch any of the linked videos... nor do I intend to watch them.)
NYT wrote:He Made Yiddish Go Viral
Frankie Light is one of the new breed of “YouTube polyglots.” He taught himself Mandarin, but can he earn a living making small talk with strangers?

This article seems to sum up some of the conclusions reached in this thread about youtube polyglots. Some of the linked videos have the word "shock" in them. I'm not surprised. This is the "parlor trick" aspect I wrote about in my previous post.

Of course, the titles of these videos are "clickbait". Some of it appears to be legitimate, but the "shock" description in the title to market the videos is a non-starter for me. Just because you learn some Yiddish on duolinguo and can recite some phrases/vocabulary... I don't think that's a reason for a video.


Thanks for the link to the article. It happens that I watched a few of Frankie’s videos a few months back because I was looking for Yiddish content. They were disappointing from my language learning perspective. He wasn’t particularly fluent and the didn’t contain much Yiddish. But definitely cute as a cross cultural exchange. Moses was more engaging for me for his energy in language learning.
I’m definitely not interested in click baity connect.
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Re: Definition of a Polyglot

Postby tractor » Sat May 21, 2022 10:36 am

Cavesa wrote:
tractor wrote:
Cainntear wrote:As yet, I have never met anyone outside of the internet language learner sphere who uses "polyglot" the way Simcott does.

Is the word "polyglot" used much at all outside of the internet language learner sphere?


Yes, just a bit differently. A bit less overall, and not sure whether better or worse. More vaguely, more as if talking about mythical beings. But sometimes also about people with ridiculously low amount of languages for the term (such as 4). There is no consistency that I could observe.

The reason I asked, was because I haven't really been part of an "offline" language learning community since I left university 20 years ago. As far as I can remember, polyglots weren't a frequent topic of discussion, but that was of course long before the advent of Youtube polyglots. My friends, family and colleagues don't talk much about polyglots either, and if the do, they'll probably not say "polyglot", but rather refer to them as somebody who "speaks many languages".
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Re: Definition of a Polyglot

Postby Rozzie » Sat May 28, 2022 7:49 pm

If someone is fluent in more than five languages, the person is called a polyglot.
https://www.daytranslations.com/
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Re: Definition of a Polyglot

Postby Le Baron » Sat May 28, 2022 9:03 pm

Rozzie wrote:If someone is fluent in more than five languages, the person is called a polyglot.

Remind me, I'm absent-minded and haven't read this thread for a while. What is someone who speaks e.g. four languages? And what special criteria are met by the addition of that extra language qualifying one for polyglottery?
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Re: Definition of a Polyglot

Postby luke » Sat May 28, 2022 9:36 pm

Le Baron wrote:What is someone who speaks e.g. four languages? And what special criteria are met by the addition of that extra language qualifying one for polyglottery?

I heard a definition the other day from a teacher who has written a how-to book (De Cero a Políglota: Cómo NO aprender un idioma en 7 días) [From Zero to Polyglot: How NOT to learn a language in 7 days] on it. He used three in his definition.
edited to add link to the book
Last edited by luke on Sun May 29, 2022 11:48 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Definition of a Polyglot

Postby Le Baron » Sat May 28, 2022 9:41 pm

luke wrote:I heard a definition the other day from a teacher who has written a how-to book on it. He used three in his definition.

Controversial. Bringing polyglottery to the common man. I like the cut of his jib.
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