“Kids say the darnedest things” is taken to the extreme with this one. This amazing 4 year old can actually speak 7 languages! She can speak English, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, French, German, and Arabic. Her name is Bella Devyatkina and she is from Moscow, Russia.
Apparently the family has multiple nannies, and they each teach her a different language. From the moment that Bella was born, her parents decided that they would invest as much time and energy as possible into her development, giving her a chance to learn these different languages in order to use them later in life. But her parents also realize that she won’t be using 7 different languages in her life consistently. When she begins school she will only be focusing on English, French, and Chinese.
Bella’s mother is a linguist, and has been teaching English to students for 7 years. Her father is employed at the Radio Research and Development Institute in Moscow. While the family may live on an average income, the parents made the above average decision to dedicate the means that they can to developing their daughter’s languages.
When Bella was born, her mother would alternate speaking to her in Russian and English. One day she would speak in only Russian, the next day she would speak in only English. When they would trade days, she would not allow her daughter to mix the languages. In other words, when they were speaking in English, Bella wasn’t allowed to use any Russian words. When they spoke in Russian, Bella wasn’t allowed to use any English words.
When Bella was only 10 months old, they went ahead and added the French language to their repertoire. While she couldn’t speak the language fluently, she could point at things when they were referred to by someone else. Bella was already reading before she could speak, at 5 months they were using special cards to help her learn to read. By the time she was 10 months old, when she saw a card for “hand” written in either Russian or English, she would show her hand. When she was 1, her parents and Bella had mastered roughy 60 cards, and by 2 years old, the child was reading masterfully.
At just under 3, her parents added Chinese to their “classes” which Bella loved. She quickly asked to watch cartoons in Chinese. After she turned 3 years and 2 months old, she became very interested in Spanish and German. She also wanted to learn more about dancing, violin, and vocal lessons. Arabic was added shortly after.
Bella loves to play hide and seek, walk, and read regular children’s books (just in other languages). Her parents have her on a schedule of education in which all of her classes are held as a game. They also will go on “educational excursions” where they visit native speakers. Bella also participates in English theater club, drawing studies in French, dancing studies in Spanish, and even attends figure-skating lessons with a German native speaker. Bella even has friends from other families that are multilingual, and they all get together for joint language classes!
This family is definitely awesome! Watch the video of Bella speaking the different languages below!