This Polyglot Translator From Greece Speaks 32 Languages

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This Polyglot Translator From Greece Speaks 32 Languages

Ioannis Ikonomou, a translator from Heraklion in the Greek island of Crete, is a polyglot who speaks 32 languages, 16 of which he can speak fluently.


Ikonomou holds an undergraduate degree in linguistics from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and a postgraduate degree in Middle Eastern languages from New York's Columbia University. Following his studies, he worked as a translator for the European Commission.


Apart from Greek, which is his native language, Ikonomou also speaks English, German, Spanish, French, Swedish, Italian, Polish, Russian, Bulgarian, Turkish, Arabic, Hebrew, Portuguese, Chinese, Kurdish, Armenian, Persian, Serbo-Croatian, Danish, Hindi, Urdu, Romanian, Czech, Finnish, and Sanskrit. He also has a firm grasp of Ancient Greek, Latin, Ancient Iranian, Ancient Persian, Classical Armenian, Gothic, Ancient Bulgarian, Hittite, and Lubik.


He exhibited a curiosity about what people were saying when speaking in a foreign language and he dedicated much of his time learning those languages.


When he was 7-years-old, he began learning German from teacher while on vacation in the town of Rethymno, Crete. He remembers preferring to study German when he was speding time at the beach the beach instead of playing with other children.


Speaking of the difficulty in memorising so many different languages, Ikonomou said:


"It's a struggle, I'm not a machine. I'm flesh and bones, I forget languages, I get confused. When I speak Spanish I can use a Portuguese expression but it's a fight and it's worth giving it."


He added:


"When I learn a language, I do everything related to the culture and history of the respective country."


[Based on reporting by: Greek Reporter]


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Thinking Humanity: This Polyglot Translator From Greece Speaks 32 Languages
This Polyglot Translator From Greece Speaks 32 Languages
Ioannis Ikonomou, a translator from Heraklion in the Greek island of Crete, is a polyglot who speaks 32 languages, 16 of which he can speak fluently.
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