Burton's Languages

It is widely known that Burton was a master linguist, of his day and any other. The most common claim is that he was a fluent user of 29 languages, as well as having some working grasp of a number of other languages and dialects.

To the best of my knowledge, an absolutely reliable list of the languages Burton read, wrote and spoke has never been compiled. This section of the site is to develop that list, with all appropriate annotations and attached resources.

This version is an incomplete outline sketch of what is to come. The list of languages will be expanded as verified instances of Burton's use of each are located, and each language entry will be supplemented with links to specific works and citations of Burton's work with or within that language.

European Languages

Burton's early travels in Europe almost certainly laid the mental groundwork for his easy acquisition of languages. He spoke at least three languages by his early teens.

Ancient Languages

Latin and Greek would have been part of any young gentleman's education in Burton's day. Biblical languages such as Hebrew and Aramaic would have been studied primarily by those expected to go into the Church, as was Burton on entry to Oxford.

Asian Languages

African Languages

Page Updated 2008-08-21


All material on this site is from and in the public domain unless specifically credited. Complete copyright information can be found on the About page. All original material including content, design, organization & layout ©2008 James D. Gifford.