Do Introverts Make the Best Polyglots?

Brandenburger Tor, Berlin - copyright Julia Barnickle

I’ve just returned from the Polyglot Gathering in Berlin, where I delivered a talk entitled “Do Introverts Make the Best Polyglots?

As an introvert myself, I thought it a little odd that I’m also a polyglot (I speak French, German, Italian and Spanish, as well as my native English) because I would normally associate polyglotism with being able to speak multiple languages, rather than just read, write or listen to them – and that involves quite a lot of social interaction if you want to become fluent.

This is the first talk I’ve done since the one for the Inner Winner Conference in Bratislava, in 2014. I’d quite like to make this a regular thing, doing talks that involve travel to other countries!!

The talk combines

  • stories of my own experience of learning languages as an introvert polyglot
  • insights into the different brain chemistry and processing for introverts and extroverts
  • results of a survey about extroverts, introverts and language learning, which I ran prior to the event
  • suggestions for introverts who would like to practise speaking other languages

If you want to skip to the results of the survey, that section starts at 30:10 – you also have the choice of watching the slides with a voice-over, or a video recording of the live talk.

Slides and voice-over version:

Live version:

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