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A Message from
Our President

Dr. Usman W. Chohan

Greetings to current and prospective members!

It is my pleasure to share with you my excitement in founding HYPIA for hyperpolyglots around the world to improve, authenticate, attest, and grow their fluency in the many languages through which they communicate. Hyperpolyglots represent something truly beautiful and exceptional in the world, and our organization is committed to the same ideals which initially inspire all hyperpolyglots: a curiosity and a sense of wonder; a desire to connect with others, and the longing for a greater bond with, and understanding about, our world.

It struck me as something quite odd that an association equivalent to HYPIA had not yet existed. I found this strange because there is a growing international body of hyperpolyglots who excel in a great many languages and who in many cases apply this to their professional and personal lives with great frequency and still greater ease. It is extremely unlikely that one would speak six or more languages through sheer happenstance, and far more plausible that it would be the product of rigorous effort. True enough, hyperpolyglots do attest to that hard work, often in a mix of solitary study and engagement with the wider world. This effort is the object of our celebration.

Having identified a gap, I worked towards founding HYPIA in late 2016 and was met with great initial reception from hyperpolyglots around the world. Most of them have joined or are in the process of joining today. It brings me supreme pleasure to see my motivation reinforced by the passion of new members. These hyperpolyglots, through perhaps a natural gift but certainly through dedication and skill, do represent the very best of the human mind at work. 

I personally draw inspiration from an ancestral connection with linguistics. The first scientific linguistic work, the Aṣṭādhyāyī, was done by a 5th century scholar of Sanskrit named Panini. He was born near Charsadda, Pakistan at the height of the Gandhara period. In a sense, I see my work in HYPIA as continuing that ancient practitioner interest in studying languages. HYPIA should represent both a continuity with the world-spirit of inquiry into languages, and it must also be a vehicle that unites people in disparate geographies towards a goal of celebrating and enhancing linguistic diversity.

HYPIA is not about any single individual. It is about a collective, united towards the realization of a more ideal form of person - one who exhibits tolerance and equanimity as they explore the marvelous extent of international linguistic diversity - not to mention one who explores the fuller potential of their own mind. This dual exploration of the beauty within and the beauty without is a recurring theme in my discussions with existing members of the organization.


HYPIA is an anarchist organization: it is driven by an egalitarian ethos, it is decentralized in its structure, it fosters a volunteer spirit, and it thrives on mutual reinforcement and mutual respect. It is an organization that one joins for free, liberated by the constraints of financial effects, and judged on one's merit alone. HYPIA is therefore a redoubt for the unsung heroes: women and men who study in a contemplative silence, enriching their minds and opening pathways to engage with the family of man in a spirit of humility and kindness. Their labor is what is shared by the HYPIA community, without the transactional baggage of the ego projected outwards. It is, in a sense, a beacon to those who yearn to cultivate their own spirit, and perceive the world and their place in it anew. The time that has elapsed since HYPIA's founding has shown me that the welcoming ethos of the organization has served as a reprieve for members, bombarded as they are by the daily news flow of incessant antagonisms that mark a troubled world.


Our time is one of fervent hostilities and prejudice, many would say, but HYPIA offers an antithesis to the misanthropist zeitgeist that weighs down on the world. As such, it is by no means an exaggeration to say that the symbolic power of HYPIA embodies something far larger than was intended at its inception. Between the sea of self-aggrandizing money-minded influencers of the "polyglot industry" on the one hand, and the xenophobic rage of reactionaries in the public sphere on the other, HYPIA offers a third way: celebrating ordinary people who have accomplished extraordinary things. Yet as many HYPIA members will tell you, their personal journey has hardly just begun.

Language is the rich fabric that enshrouds all experience that is truly human. Those who are hyperpolyglots therefore adorn multiple layers of beautiful fabrics at the same time. They have multiple lives in one sense; and they certainly have multiple souls. It is my honor to welcome new hyperpolyglots to that fold so that we can attest to one another’s hard work and celebrate what is likely to be one of the greatest achievements in each of our lives.

Usman W. Chohan, PhD
Founder and President,
The International Association
of Hyperpolyglots

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