The words polyglot and polymath both refer to persons with extraordinary ability, although the word polyglot can also be used to describe a geographical region or a work of art.

Polyglot refers to something that contains many languages e.g. polyglot sub-continent of India. It also refers to a person who has the ability to speak many languages. The word polymath means a person who has very broad-based knowledge on a wide variety of topics.

Comparison chart

Polyglot versus Polymath comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartPolyglotPolymath
Definition A polyglot is a person who can speak, read or write in several languages. A person with extraordinarily broad and comprehensive knowledge. Also known as polyhistor, renaissance man.
Explanation of rules and syntax A polyglot may not necessarily be able to parse the language or know the rules of its syntax. A polymath is an expert and can easily comprehend the subject at hand.
Correlation Polyglots may be multilingual either because they were raised in a multilingual/multicultural environment, or because of a conscious decision to learn more languages. All polyglots are not necessarily linguists. Polymaths are either born genius or develop sharp skills with training and experience.
Application of Multiple Languages A polyglot can communicate fluently, and can use the most complex sentence structures and expressions with ease, in the perfect context. But he may not know if a certain word is an adverb or an adjective, or the rules/reasons behind the expressions. A polymath can lead and steer discussions based on his knowledge and expertise.

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