Linguist vs. Polyglot
These two terms are often confused. There is technically a difference between a linguist and a polyglot, and a person can be one without the other. Let me explain. A linguist is technically someone who specializes in the science of linguistics, which, as Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines it, is "the study of human speech including the units, nature, structure, and modification of language." Many linguists are not polyglots, and many polyglots are not linguists. A linguist can be monolingual, speaking perhaps only English, but can research and analyze different languages without truly learning to speak them. A polyglot (from Greek poly, many + glotta, language) is someone who speaks several languages. I am a polyglot who also happens to be a linguist. I began learning to speak various languages as a teenager. I have only recently, however, in the last six years, become a linguist in the scientific sense of the word where I am actually documenting and analyzing the inner workings of languages and the similarities and differences between them.