Ten-year-old Indian in Britain speaks 11 languages

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London, Oct 30 (UNI) At 10 years of age Indian-origin Arpan Sharma can speak 11 languages.

He speaks French with flair, German with ease and can hold a lengthy conversation in Swahili.

He is as fluent in Spanish, Italian and even Mandarin.

Arpan Sharma has astounded his teachers by learning to speak an incredible 10 languages on top of English.

The primary school pupil has taught himself five of them by using interactive, multimedia CD-ROMs and has been fluent in another since he was practically able to talk.

Aside from his mother tongue, Arpan speaks Hindi, after learning it from his parents, and has learnt French, Spanish, German and Italian in school.

In addition he also speaks Thai, Swahili, Polish, Chinese Mandarin and is currently studying the difficult Lugandan language of Uganda.

Language staff at the 560 pupil, fee-paying Blue Coat's School in Edgbaston, Birmingham, described Arpan's talents as ''extraordinary''.

A member of the National Children's Orchestra, Arpan uses his keen ear for music to listen to the correct pronunciation of words.

His dream is to become a top surgeon able to travel around the world to different hospitals speaking in their native tongue.

Arpan, who lives in Oldbury, West Mids, said: ''Learning these languages is my favourite part of school along with music.

''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 shool 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 Mandarin 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.

''I want to carry on studying foreign languages at secondary school next year but I haven't decided which ones yet.

''When I'm an adult, though, 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, '' Arpan added.

He learnt Italian when he was seven, German when he was eight, Spanish a year later and French last term.

This year he has studied a computer based programme called Junior Language Challenge, taking in Polish, Thai, Swahili, Chinese Mandarin and now Lugandan.

Languages teacher Nicky Lambert-Green, said: "Arpan has proven to be an incredible talent at learning so many languages at such a young age.

''It's basically a language for every year of his life.

He is a pleasure to teach'' Mr Nicky added.

''At the school we offer an introduction to languages which then enables the children to make an informed choice of foreign languages when they move to their senior schools." Deputy Headmaster Richard Lynn added: "Arpan is a language genius, a natural when it comes to listening to the exact pronounciation and repeating them perfectly.

''I think some of his talent is twinned with his ability as a musician. His good ear for music and tone is used for languages as well,''Mr Richard said.

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

UNI

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