Meet New Yorker, Tim Doner, the polygloth teen who can speak 23 languages so far. The first question that he was asked in this interview is “[D]o you just have a brain for it?” in which he responsds “I don’t think so. I find that most of the time it takes a fair amount of work and motivation. But after breaking through a certain brick way, it gets progressively easier, even if it doesn’t seem it.” Although I respect his modesty, I do not believe that he does not have a brain for it. Science has stated that the critical period for speaking a foreign language with a perfect pitch is next to impossible after adolescence. But, according to this interview, he is fluent in over 20 languages. Although motivation and drive are important in learning anything, no amount of motivation and drive will allow any of us to learn over 20 languages in a span of two years. In other words, I do believe he has a brain for it :).
There is a part of the interview that I believe is extremely important to learning a new language; he stated that a lot of languages have a lot of similarities and if you are able to get to the root of the language, you will be able to learn similar languages much easier. This is absolutely spot on and is the recommended way to learn languages for many polygloths.