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A multilingual person or polyglot is the name for a person with a high degree of proficiency in several languages.

The world greatest living polyglot is Ziad Fazah[?] (born 1954) who apart from his mother tongue[?] Arabic is reported to speak 55 other languages. Calculations as to how many languages now-dead polyglots spoke is difficult, since no one can offer a objective description of what is required to "know a language" fluently, but the greatest linguist in history is believed to be cardinal Giuseppe Gaspardo Mezzofanti[?] (1774-1849), who is reported to have spoken up to a hundred languages fluently. On a visit from the Lord Byron, he surprised Byron by showing a more extensive knowledge of local London slang than the poet himself.

Noted polyglots (12 or more languages):

Note: a bilingual person can speak two languages fluently, a trilingual[?] three.



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