Brilliant Brains

Harold Whitmore Williams – Super Polyglot

Last Updated on July 2, 2020 by Darshan Modi

Harold Whitmore Williams
Harold Whitmore Williams


Harold Whitmore Williams has the super ability of mastering new languages. It is said that he knew more than 58 languages.

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Harold Whitmore Williams was born on 6th April 1876 in Auckland, New Zealand. He was born normal just like any other kid.

Early Life

Harold Whitmore Williams came from a family of 7 brothers including himself.
Their father; Reverend W. J Williams, being an elder of the early Methodist church, led as a good example which led to all his brothers becoming servicemen later in life. Harold however did not choose the same path.
When Harold Whitmore was 7 years old, he felt a great urge to learn and master different new languages, unlike most kid of his age.
The first language for Harold Whitmore to learn was Latin.
Harold Whitmore went to Christchurch Boys and later on attended Timaru Boys’ School. Before this young man had joined high school, he had already mastered 10 new languages including: French, German, Spanish, Hebrew and Ancient Greek, just by using his own methods; he did not enroll classes in order to achieve this.
Harold Whitmore later on studied at Auckland University and Munich University in Germany where he completed a PHD in languages in 1902; he was only 26 years old.
Coming from a family with a Christian background, Harold Whitmore held strict Christian principles and later on became a pastor.

About Harold Whitmore Williams

Harold Whitmore impressed children of his age and adults around him by learning Latin which was considered as one of the most difficult languages to learn and master even up to date.
During the First World War, he went to Russia among his many other adventures and worked as a journalist and an adviser of Russian affairs to the British Ambassador of that time. Many people argued that he mastered the Russian grammar even better than the Russians themselves.
He was recognized as one of the greatest journalists of his age. When he came back from Russia, he still continued learning different languages including: Japanese, Egyptian, Albanian and Chinese. Despite all this, Harold Whitmore felt like he was underemployed.
He got a breakthrough in 1921 when he was hired as a lead writer for ‘The Times’ and later on appointed the foreign editor for the same newspaper.
Harold Whitmore Williams passed on in 1928; 18th November.
After his death, ‘The Times’ newspaper published a very detailed obituary appreciating him and the work he had done not forgetting his many achievements.

Genetic Or Learned

A normal human being is believed to be capable of mastering at most 6 languages. He or she is most likely to be perfect in three of the six languages; the rest would have grammatical errors. Harold Whitmore however started learning languages at a tender age and progressed as he grew up.

Names Known By

The super linguist


Featured In

The Times

Books Published

Russia of the Russians
Shadow of Democracy