Did you know that Emil Krebs was born today in 1867? He was a German polyglot. A polyglot is someone who can read, write, speak, and understand multiple languages. Emil Krebs worked as a translator and continuously looked for more languages to learn. By the end of his life, he mastered 68 languages and studied another 111! Some of the languages he knew include German, Latin, Greek, French, English, Italian, Russian, Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Sanskrit, and Urdu. Emil Krebs had a collection of over 3500 books in 120 different languages. This collection is now stored in the Library of Congress in Washington DC.
We hope that you have a day filled with clear communication today! Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.
Emil Krebs was the first of 10 children. His father was a master carpenter. By the end of high school, he had already mastered 12 languages.
Emil Krebs’ main ‘second languages’ were English, French, Russian, Chinese, Greek, Italian, Turkish, Latin, Spanish, and Arabic.
Emil Krebs initially entered University to study law. While there he studied the hardest language available, Mandarin Chinese. In 1893 he travelled to Beijing to work as a diplomatic translator. His eloquent grasp of the language caught the attention of Empress Dowager Cixi. The Empress invited him to meet with her for conversation and tea.
Interestingly, Krebs did not learn all of his languages through his native language, German. He learned many languages using other languages he had already mastered.
After his death, scientists studied Emil Krebs’ brain and found that the speech center of Krebs’ brain is different from people who only speak one language. A gruesome aspect of this study is that by law, representatives from Krebs’ family needed to be present while the brain was extracted. His wife’s sister and stepdaughter met scientists at the church where Krebs’ funeral would be held. While they turned away, they could still hear the hammering and sawing of the surgeon and scientists.