April 24, 2024


The layout of our house

Meet the carpet cleaner who can speak 24 languages


Gaithersburg, Maryland — While a carpet cleaner by trade, Vaughn Smith’s genuine gift is for phrases. He is what linguists phone a hyperpolyglot — defined as a man or woman who can speak at the very least 11 languages.

“It is really not something like, ‘Oh, yeah, I am the finest,'” the 46-year-old informed CBS News. “I was just the guy cleansing the carpets.” 

But he does not just know 11 languages. As the Washington Write-up not too long ago confirmed, he is fluent in or can have on a dialogue in 24 languages, even though he estimates he’s figured out extra than 40 unique languages. 

“I communicate some Hungarian. I talk Finnish quite effectively. I converse some Estonian,” Smith reported. 

He also understands Welsh, Norwegian, Japanese, Hebrew and American Indicator Language, to identify a several. 

Smith learns mainly with apps and publications, uploading new phrases and phrases with virtually fiberoptic speed. Although hardly ever identified, Smith suspects — and his mom, Sandra, agrees — that he is almost certainly autistic. 

Developing up, Smith stated he was “not capable to specific my inner thoughts adequately or misinterpreting other people’s inner thoughts or intentions.”

“That was the difficulty — he had a lack of participation, deficiency of interaction,” his mother instructed CBS News. 

But around the years, Smith has acquired that when you make the work to converse to someone in their native tongue, men and women are so grateful and friendships typically follow.

“It truly is about becoming able to connect with persons,” he explained. 

You don’t require to know any languages to recognize the worth of that.

To contact On the Highway, or to mail us a story thought, electronic mail us: OnTheRoad@cbsnews.com.   


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