41 minutes | Apr 29, 2022

The carpet cleaner who speaks 24 languages

Today on “Post Reports,” we meet a carpet cleaner who speaks two dozen languages — and we have an update on what’s happened to him since this story was first published in print.

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In a city where diplomats and embassies abound, where interpreters can command six-figure salaries at the State Department or the International Monetary Fund, where language proficiency is résumé rocket fuel, Vaughn Smith was a savant with a secret.

He speaks 24 languages well enough to carry on lengthy conversations — and has basic understanding of more than a dozen others — and yet he works as a carpet cleaner. 

Today on Post Reports, enterprise reporter Jessica Contrera and audio producer Bishop Sand bring us the remarkable story of a hyperpolyglot with a special brain and a history that has kept him a secret for so long. We also have an update about how his life has started to change since Jessica’s story was first published.

Plus, one more thing: Thanks to your support, we won the 2022 People’s Voice Webby for business podcasts! The winning episode is “A tax haven in America’s heartland.

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