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British Indian schoolboy speaks 11 languages

Arpan Sharma, 10, speaks French with flair, German with ease and can hold a conversation in Swahili. His Spanish and Italian too are quite impressive.
IANS | By HT Correspondent, London
UPDATED ON OCT 30, 2007 02:03 PM IST

A British Indian primary school student has astonished his teachers by learning to speak an incredible 10 languages besides English.

Arpan Sharma, 10, speaks French with flair, German with ease and can hold a lengthy conversation in Swahili. His Spanish is quite impressive and so is his Italian.

Apart from his mother tongue Hindi, Arpan also speaks Thai, Polish and Chinese and is currently studying the difficult Lugandan language of Uganda, the Daily Mail reported.

Language teachers at Blue Coat's School in Edgbaston, Birmingham, have described Arpan's talents as "extraordinary".

"Learning these languages is my favourite part of school along with music," Arpan said.

"When I'm an adult I want to be a surgeon who can work in all the hospitals of the world and speak the language of the country I'm in," he added.

"I have known how to speak and understand Hindi since I was very little because both my mum and dad speak it. French, Spanish, German and Italian I learnt in school and I studied languages that were a bit more difficult by using CD-ROMS on the school computers."

"Learning Swahili was probably one of the biggest challenges I've faced and Chinese was hard too. But the teachers have been really helpful and it's thanks to them that I've managed to learn so many languages," Arpan said.

Deputy headmaster Richard Lynn added: "Arpan is a language genius, a natural talent when it comes to listening to the exact pronunciation and repeating them perfectly."

"He is without doubt the most talented pupil linguistically we've ever had and has represented us so many times in language competitions. We are extremely proud of him and sincerely hope he continues with his talents when he goes to secondary school."

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