Number of languages you speak

English Joke of the Week

A person who speaks two languages is bilingual…
A person who speaks three languages is trilingual…
A person who speaks four or more languages is multilingual.
What do you call a person who speaks one language?
An American.


Why is it funny?
Because when you answer the question ‘what do you call a person who speaks one language’ you expect a technical answer such as bilingual or trilingual. Instead the answer is ‘an American’, which plays on the popular stereotype that Americans only know one language and do not bother to take the time to learn another.

Remember: People from United States call themselves American.

Stereotype = an idea about someone or something which is based on presumptions rather than fact.


How many languages can you speak?



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4 Responses to “Number of languages you speak”

  1. Arsenio C. Alisbo Jr. 10 April, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

    I’m a trilingual. I can speak tagalog, Ilonggo and few English.

    • woodward 13 April, 2012 at 8:04 am #

      I had heard of Tagalog though llonggo is a new language for me. I looked it up and saw that it is the 4th-most-spoken native language in the Philippines.
      Oh, and we say… a little English. Few is used with countable nouns: a few days, a few dollars etc.

  2. Arsenio C. Alisbo Jr. 11 June, 2012 at 3:58 pm #

    Thank you for that correction. I really appreciate it. I think I need to read your grammar notes more to improve myself in English. c”,)Thanks

  3. Francieli 30 October, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    Are the americans so selfish?

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