4-year-old Russian girl speaks and reads 7 languages

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/10/20/4-year-old-russian-girl-speaks.html

i have questions


I think we’ve found the hacker.


“4-year-old Russian girl speaks and reads 7 languages, and your kid is now a huge disappointment”

Fixed that headline for ya…


Clearly, HRC gave that little kid the questions prior to coming on the show…


Super cute, and definitely talented.

I think a fair bit of it was memorized. Her Spanish song sounded like it was just memorized phonetically, and her French poem she skipped a repeated line, which is natural to do if you’re reciting from memory.

Her Spanish song sounded a lot like my kid’s Italian songs. At 3 she has memorized several long Italian songs, but has no idea where one word ends and the other begins, so it sounds funny. (Also it sounds funny because I mostly sing old partisan songs about the war to her, so she sings gaily about death and liberty. I worry one day I’ll have to explain to her what she’s actually singing.)


Assuming that it’s not an act and that she wasn’t taught to memorize a phonetic routine, she speaks better Arabic than some people I’ve met who’ve spent four years studying it.

I want to believe, but I don’t trust anything on a television entertainment program. Some people have a gift, and hers would be a damn sight better than the gift they gave her.

Yes, I am bitter that I haven’t had time to progress in Russian. Why do you ask?

ETA: Oh, and graphic designers… STOP PRINTING ARABIC FROM LEFT TO RIGHT. That’s not how the language works. Get your version of Photoshop to encode text properly. Major Hollywood productions get this wrong, and it’s 2016.

ETAA: Here’s a link to educate you if you’re a designer: http://multilingualtypesetting.co.uk/blog/arabic-typesetting-indesign-wrongs/

Okay, at this point even I’m surprised at how much this bothers me.


Our future Supreme Leader.

I, for one, welcome our tiny overlords.


It bothers me too. InDesign is not friendly to Arabic. Once I had to set text in Word —for heaven’s sake — convert that file into a PDF and place the PDF into InDesign.


I’m starting to think that the 21st Century might be the Russian Century.

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I can’t even master one language…


And tattoo artists.

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John McWhorter on that: “Likewise, some languages plainly jangle with more bells and whistles than others. If someone were told he had a year to get as good at either Russian or Hebrew as possible, and would lose a fingernail for every mistake he made during a three-minute test of his competence, only the masochist would choose Russian – unless he already happened to speak a language related to it.”



4 years old? Big deal. I’m way older than her!


I could understand the Russian hit-or-miss, but they lost me completely on all languages after and including French.

What the hell is the present? Is that a mermaid costume?

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This video had me on a bit of an emotional roller coaster, one minute its like “hey, look at this adorable child being impossibly amazing”, and then “you are an absolute moron in comparison to a 4-year-old” with some “at least I can dance better” mixed in.

I can’t really dance better, but it was what I needed to hear at the time.


I can’t dance better.