At the age of four, Bella Devyatkina is already fluent in six foreign languages, plus her native Russian. How did she succeed, and what explanation do linguists offer? Earlier this month, Bella became instantly famous thanks to the Amazing People show on Russian TV. The video, in which the girl answers questions, sings songs and talks about herself in different languages, has gone viral.
“Compared to this child, I feel like an idiot,” users wrote in the comments. Yulia Devyatkina, Bella’s mother, said that her daughter is not a child prodigy; they just put a lot of time and effort into its development. “Not every child needs to know six languages, but any child can learn two or three,” the mother said.
Bella’s parents understand that their daughter will not use all these languages in everyday life. “When school starts, we will focus on English, French and Chinese,” the mother said. “We are also not worried that Bella will not be interested in her classes. She has the same knowledge as a four-year-old child, but she is able to discuss these topics in different languages.”