You talk about 40 years of learning as if it were some huge punishment, but the thing about a polyglot is that he or she has that as a hobby. Not many folk get paid for it. It relaxes them and fascinates them to learn languages and so they do it. The fact that some spend 40 years indulging this love is really no more remarkable than someone who spent 40 years over a lovely big garden.
More of less or less of more?
Whether it really is forty years or more or less depends on intensity of learning, committed time in an average week, choice of methods, choice of materials, how efficient the learner is at getting a lot of mileage from a vocabulary of only, say 2,000 words, and if the learner has chosen a lot of similar languages and all of them are similar to his native tongue, or if a person has chosen languages with little common grammar and few common lexemes, and even a very different phonology and alphabet to his or her own.
By the numbers
The minimum time to get to 20 lots of 2000 words (40,000 words) with a reasonable cover of 20 not totally dissimilar grammars is something like 4,000 hours, although it could be with more efficiency done in closer to 3,200 hours. Let’s go with the 4,000 and allow the learner a thousand hours of learning time a year. What’s the result? Just four years. You’re not getting massive fluency but a solid base in 20 similar languages. On the other hand another person might work leisurely and start at about the age of 14 when the bug often hits and suddenly at age 90 die of natural causes on a tricky piece of Javanese polite form. That’s 76 years of learning. Let’s take the average of 76 years and 4 years and we get your 40 years, so it’s a perfectly reasonable estimate, but you see how the mileage can vary.
I understand that the download from DocsStocs made by Claude Cartaginese has now reached into over 5,000 downloads, with also many other sources of this document appearing also on the web as people share it freely as intended, so that the full number of downloads may be as high as 10,000 or more.
Set against that, though is the fact that not nearly so many paper copies have been ordered. The only place they can be ordered is Amazon in America, not the UK Amazon as yet, and the link to the product is embedded on the thumbnail.
If you would like a book worth in fact over 50 USD if it had not be gifted by over 40 volunteers each telling how they managed to learn multiple languages for less than 17 dollars, and also support Uncle Claude who had to fork out some of his private lolly on making the first bunch of paper books that are not selling, even though people have been eager to take the free version, then either click on the link here (which gives you the same price and I think I’m on 6% without costing you any more) or if you don’t want to give me 6% but still pay the same, then find the link just by going normally to Amazon.com and searching for it.
If you read the e-version and liked it, why not buy the paper version as a gift for someone else? It will always be possible to get a free version of this booki, but the printed one is very nice too and a good use of seventeen dollars, so please let’s be having a few more purchases of it.