Ottó Gaál is not only able to speak 27 languages but is also the man with the most language certificates in Europe. He has developed his own learning method with which he helps his students master even ten languages.
RTL Klub Fókusz reports about Ottó Gaál, a Hungarian man who speaks 27 languages, and with 27 certificates, he has the most certificates in Europe.
Ottó Gaál is one of the most successful polyglots in the world.
Polyglots are people who speak several languages, not including their mother tongue.
Read this article to learn about other Hungarians who speak at least ten languages.
One could say that the affinity to learn languages runs in the family: Mr Gaál’s father spoke six languages fluently, while his mother was a language teacher. However, he says that this is not the key to mastering languages as, beyond his natural gift for languages, he was not only intent on learning a language but also wished to learn as much about the given culture as he could. In his opinion, the best way to show respect to a person is by learning their language to an extent that goes beyond the typical phrases that you would need to get by as a tourist.
In addition, confidence is of great help; he says that you need to trust yourself and your abilities.
Mr Gaál acquired his first language certificate in the 1970s in English, which was followed by a Spanish language exam, an Italian and a French one. He recounts to Fókusz that there was a year within which he passed five language exams.
After mastering the 15th language, Mr Gaál has realised that there were several connections between languages; for example, in each and every language, there are 800 words and 80 structures which each make up 80% of a text in the given language. Thus, he has developed his own learning method with which he helps students achieve their goals of language learning.
One of his students, Zsófia Nagy, has over ten language exams: the first ten she passed between the age 15 and before finishing high school.
Later, she learnt two additional languages. She reveals that perseverance is the most important thing concerning language learning and not necessarily a ‘natural knack’.
Another successful Hungarian polyglot, Alexandre Szigethy, told Fókusz that the best trait that helped him learn 16 languages is curiosity.