Ever thought about taking up another language? German polygot Emil Krebs had 68 languages in speech and writing under his belt including Arabic, Burmese, Chinese, and Korean. It might seem like a lot, but for him, it wasn’t enough. He also studied 120 other languages. On top of that, Krebs also pursued a legal career. 

What’s most impressive is that Krebs didn’t only learn languages through his native German; he learned Burmese, and Irish through English and Finnish, Tatar, and Ukrainian through Russian, for example. Essentially, it seems as though his strategy was to learn languages via similar languages. Krebs was sent to Beijing as an aspirant interpreter.

While we may all sleep through Spanish class, there is no denying that Kreb’s accomplishment is remarkable. To this day, no one has been able to surpass or even reach his record.  In fact, when he died, his brain was preserved by the C. and O. Institute of Brain Research for being an ‘elite brain’ that’s worthy of study.