Hyperpolyglots Are Language Superlearners

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There are polyglots, and then there are the extremely rare hyperpolyglots. Hyperpolyglots are extraordinary language-learners, possessing the ability to master and retain upwards of ten languages. The Economist sat down with a teenage hyperpolyglot named Timothy Doner, who claims he learned Arabic in a single month. Doner notes that studying French, Latin, and ancient Greek can help someone grasp other European languages more easily. He also says that listening to music in foreign languages can help with pronunciation. So what makes Doner and other hyperpolyglots so rare? Studies suggest that they have especially great memories -- they're able to store things in their long-term memory but also retrieve them quickly.

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