Language enthusiasts, if you have ever wondered if a multilingual language learning board game exists, the answer is yes! Polyglot board game was created by Polyglot Inc. of Miami, Florida, in 1987. I don’t know if the company is still active or if they have created other language learning resources, but let’s take a look at this amazing game.
Polyglot Board Game
From the back of the box: A mind expanding educational game designed to enrich the understanding and knowledge of foreign languages. Play this fast paced exciting game of words and phrases in one or up to six languages. You’ll not only race for the win, but learn new words, phrases and better pronunciation for languages you want to improve or master. Elevate your command of ENGLISH, SPANISH, GERMAN, FRENCH, ITALIAN, and YIDDISH.
How to play Polyglot
Instructions are included in all of the languages, except Yiddish (though it could just be missing from my game). Read the instructions in English below. Click on the images to make them larger.
Polyglot Vocabulary Cards
The two decks of cards include 1,800 words in each of the six languages plus 150 commonly used phrases. Phonetic pronunciation is included for each word and phrase. Even if you don’t have any polyglot friends nearby to play the game with, you can just use the cards to study vocabulary.
White cards are for individual words:
I’m not sure why the Romance languages are split up among German and Yiddish, as I think it’s easier to learn them side-by-side. [Take a look at my Romance languages comparative vocabulary lists if you want to learn several languages together and be able to choose which languages are next to each other.]
Yellow cards are for phrases:
The Polyglot Board
And the Tower of Babel board:
I bought my Polyglot board game at the International Book Centre in Shelby Township in Michigan back in 2005.
If you’d like your own copy, you are in luck because there are some third-party sellers offering it at Amazon!
Has anyone else ever heard of this game or played it? Know of any other polyglot or multilingual board games?
Dr. Wagner has a PhD in Linguistics and is dedicated to learning and teaching languages online and abroad. She has studied in Quebec and Australia, taught English in France, and is currently based in the US.