Monday, May 09, 2016
Living in Vienna, Dr. Spitzer knew French, Hebrew, German, and Hungarian by the time he was seven. He subsequently added Latin, Greek, English, Italian, Provençal, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Romanian, Gothic, Anglo-Saxon, Sanskrit, Lithuanian, Old Church Slavonic, Albanian, and Neo-greek. At the age of 48 he learned Turkish, and nine years later he took on Russian.Gerald Kamber, "Ruminations: From the Ancients to the Moderns," Johns Hopkins Magazine (June, 2008), also describing Spitzer:
"But I really know only two," he says, "German and Latin."
The scope of his knowledge appeared to us limitless — he was reputed to know 32 (or was it 36?) languages, although he admitted to knowing only two well: Latin and German.Hat tip: Ian Jackson.