Ankjær Nørgaard, an 8-year old boy from northern Denmark, is certainly one of the world’s most gifted kids when it comes to mastering different languages. Already fluent in more than 31 different tongues and dialects, the young prodigy has become youngest human being ever recorded to have learned 32, by adding the Mandarin (or Standard chinese) language to his pedigree last week, in only three days.
The list of languages he has already learned is absolutely amazing, counting many idioms reputated as excessively complicated. It includes Afrikaaner, Arab, Bengali, Danish, Dutch, English, Flemish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Mandarin, Maori, Polish, Portugese, Punjabi, Quechua, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Urdu, Vietnamese, Yiddish and Zulu.
“I can’t really explain it, it comes to me really easily” he candidly tells our reporter. “Arab took me two weeks, Swahili was more complicated, it took me seven… I guess I grasp things rapidly when it comes to languages. You know, there isn’t as many differences between different tongues as people seem to think. Once you know a dozen, the others come quickly and easily.”
The amazing young boy has recently been offered a scholarship from theKøbenhavns Universitet (University of Copenhagen) to pursue a degree in linguistics, but his parents, who are both psychologists, are worried that sending him to university at such a young age could disturb his normal socialization process.
“We know our son has a gift” explains Frida Møller, Ankjær’s mother, “but we want him to have a life that’s as normal as possible. We don’t want him to become some sort of circus freak, and we don’t want some ruthless people to exploit him for their own selfish purposes. For now, we would like to keep him at home, where we feel he is safer, and where is gift can fully flourish. Maybe we’ll change our mind in a few years, we’ll see.”