Alexander Argüelles

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Alexander Argüelles
Arguelles Alexander.jpg
Argüelles in 2011
Born (1964-04-30) 30 April 1964 (age 59)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
SpousePark Hyun-Kyung[5]
Children2 sons[5]
Academic background
ThesisViking Dreams: Mythological and Religious Dream Symbolism in the Old Norse Sagas (1994)
Doctoral advisorWendy Doniger[1]
Other advisorsIoan P. Culianu[2]
Academic work
Main interests

Alexander Sabino Argüelles (often spelled Arguelles[a]; born 30 April 1964) is an American linguist notable for his work on Korean. He is highly committed to the learning of foreign languages, and was profiled in Michael Erard's Babel No More.[6] He is one of the polyglots listed in Kenneth Hyltenstam's Advanced Proficiency and Exceptional Ability in Second Languages,[7] and has been described by The New Yorker as "a legendary figure in the [polyglot] community".[8]

He has taught in Korea, Lebanon, Singapore, and Dubai, and was a Group Director of Immersion Language Programs at Concordia Language Villages in Bemidji, Minnesota.[9]

He is the son of the poet Ivan Argüelles and the nephew of the New Ageist José Argüelles.

Language learning[edit]

Highly driven, Argüelles devotes an average of nine hours a day to language learning,[10] though stated that in his twenties he spent as much as sixteen hours daily learning. He advocates working on multiple languages daily for shorter periods (as little as 15 minutes), working on different areas in different languages, from reading novels, to writing grammatical exercises. He sets daily goals to language learning and has recorded his daily progress in logbooks going back over 20 years.[11]

Argüelles is highly proficient in 10 languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Catalan, Swedish and Korean,[5] and is accomplished in many more, such as Latin, Greek and Sanskrit, which he had studied by the end of college. He has studied over 60 languages to various degrees of proficiency.[12] He stated in 2019 that he had learning resources in his library for 142 languages.[13]

Notable works[edit]

On Korean[edit]

  • Argüelles, Alexander, and Jong-Rok Kim (2000). A Historical, Literary and Cultural Approach to the Korean Language. Seoul: Hollym.
  • Argüelles, Alexander, and Jong-Rok Kim (2004). A Handbook of Korean Verbal Conjugation. Hyattsville, Maryland: Dunwoody Press.
  • Argüelles, Alexander (2007). Korean Newspaper Reader. Hyattsville, Maryland: Dunwoody Press.
  • Argüelles, Alexander (2010). North Korean Reader. Hyattsville, Maryland: Dunwoody Press.

Other works[edit]

  • Argüelles, Alexander (1994). Viking Dreams: Mythological and Religious Dream Symbolism in the Old Norse Sagas. Doctoral dissertation, University of Chicago.
  • Argüelles, Alexander (1999). 프랑스동사변화안내: La Conjugaison des Verbes. Seoul: 신아사.
  • Argüelles, Alexander (2006). English French Spanish German Dictionary. Beirut, Lebanon: Librairie du Liban.


  1. ^ The original Spanish pronunciation of Argüelles is [aɾˈɣweʎes].


  1. ^ 'Wendy Doniger: Curriculum Vitae'.
  2. ^ Anton, Ted (1992). 'The Killing of Professor Culianu'. Lingua Franca, Vol. 2, No. 6.
  3. ^ Dr. Alexander Arguelles: Associate Professor, Member of Committee (Promotion - Planning & Accreditation).
  4. ^ Dr. Alexander Arguelles: Associate Professor, College of Education.
  5. ^ a b c Lim Yan Liang (2012). 'One man, 50 languages'. The Sunday Times (Singapore), 1 April.
  6. ^ Erard, Michael (2012). Babel No More: The Search for the World's Most Extraordinary Language Learners. New York: Free Press.
  7. ^ Hyltenstam, Kenneth (ed.) (2016). Advanced Proficiency and Exceptional Ability in Second Languages. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.
  8. ^ Thurman, Judith (2018). 'Maltese for Beginners'. The New Yorker, 3 September. (Published online as 'The Mystery of People Who Speak Dozens of Languages'.)
  9. ^ LinkedIn.
  10. ^ "How Many Languages is it Possible to Know?". Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  11. ^ "A Polyglot's Daily Linguistic Workout". Youtube. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  12. ^ "I could speak a different language every week for a year". New Scientist. 25 January 2017. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  13. ^ "Interview with Alexander Argüelles: Consistency is the Key to Success : 2019 Polyglot Conference". Glossika, YouTube. 15 November 2019. Retrieved 26 September 2020.

External links[edit]


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