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Vietnamese girl speaks 11 languages

 Language Learning Forum : Polyglots Post Reply
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portunhol
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
thelinguistblogger.w
Joined 4560 days ago

198 posts - 299 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: German, Arabic (classical)

 
 Message 57 of 108
25 June 2008 at 2:22pm | IP Logged 
Caintear:

     It’s true, you did not use the word “ordinary” to describe Miss Vo. You did, however, mock Bluecollar for praising her abilities so much and then proceed to point out little flaws in her reading and downplay her musical performance. I could have misinterpreted that but it seemed to me that your point was that she is not as special as many people think she is. If that is your point then I disagree. I think Miss Vo is extraordinary and quite gifted. If your comments were entirely observational and had no malintent then I apologize.

If she is truly being exploited by her parents then I also believe that that is wrong. Selling CD’s of your kid’s music to help pay for college is no crime. Selling CD’s of your kid’s music to help pay for your next cruise of the Mediterranean is questionable at best. We don’t know what her parents have and haven’t done other than post some videos of her on youtube and allow her to appear on the Ellen Degeneres show.

I must confess that your comments here were not nearly as vicious as many that I’ve read here on these forums. They just happened to be the straw that broke the camel’s back, as it were. Nothing personal.

Gilgamesh:

I agree. It’s okay for us to analyze these people a bit but not to be unreasonably critical. Our language skills don’t get any better by criticizing other people’s abilities.
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Cainntear
Pentaglot
Senior Member
Scotland
linguafrankly.blogsp
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Speaks: Lowland Scots, English*, French, Spanish, Scottish Gaelic
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 Message 58 of 108
25 June 2008 at 2:46pm | IP Logged 
portunhol wrote:
and then proceed to point out little flaws in her reading and downplay her musical performance. I could have misinterpreted that but it seemed to me that your point was that she is not as special as many people think she is. If that is your point then I disagree.

It certainly is not my point. I said that her musical performance was good for her age which clearly shows that I see her as special. My point was that her music isn't bought for its musical merits, but on the grounds that she's a cute 8 year old. I don't understand why you'd consider that downplaying her talent.

My reference to her reading, as I've already tried to say, was in reference to the teaching techniques used. There are plenty of 8 year olds who read more fluently than her not because they are any more intelligent, but because they have been taught better.

I say this because so many parents see a prodigy like this and immediately try to replicate the exact conditions that gave rise to the child's abilities, missing the point that most of what they do is actually pretty normal. Word-by-word reading is unnatural and suboptimal, and it would be madness to suddenly say "it's the right way because Wendy does it".

I'll happily say this about any polyglot, polymath or other serial overachiever: it ain't what they do, it's the way that they do it -- that's what gets results.

Quote:
If she is truly being exploited by her parents then I also believe that that is wrong. Selling CD’s of your kid’s music to help pay for college is no crime.

Isn't it? Mental child abuse is as much a crime as physical. Is she going to be happy? No, she's probably going to feel alienated and picked on. She'll be a spotty teen trying to get her first kiss and people will keep singing nasty songs about her to the tunes on her first CD. Maybe she'll survive to college age, but having been told all her life how naturally gifted she is, she won't work. She'll drop out.

OK, so maybe it won't be that bad, but she will always be "that language kid".

In the end, is it really fair for the parents to make that sort of choice for her?

Quote:
I must confess that your comments here were not nearly as vicious as many that I’ve read here on these forums. They just happened to be the straw that broke the camel’s back, as it were. Nothing personal.

Fair enough -- internet debates tend to be pretty heavily polarised, so I can see why you weren't expecting an objective discussion. ;-)

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brozman
Bilingual Tetraglot
Groupie
Spain
Joined 4364 days ago

87 posts - 106 votes 
Speaks: Spanish*, Catalan*, English, Japanese
Studies: Russian, Indonesian

 
 Message 59 of 108
25 June 2008 at 4:34pm | IP Logged 

Cainntear wrote:
Isn't it? Mental child abuse is as much a crime as physical. Is she going to be happy? No, she's probably going to feel alienated and picked on. She'll be a spotty teen trying to get her first kiss and people will keep singing nasty songs about her to the tunes on her first CD. Maybe she'll survive to college age, but having been told all her life how naturally gifted she is, she won't work. She'll drop out.


Wow, can you also predict my future? Will I be bald when I'm 30?
3 persons have voted this message useful



apparition
Octoglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4958 days ago

600 posts - 667 votes 
Speaks: English*, Arabic (Written), French, Arabic (Iraqi), Portuguese, German, Italian, Spanish
Studies: Pashto

 
 Message 60 of 108
25 June 2008 at 4:43pm | IP Logged 
Cainntear wrote:
In the end, is it really fair for the parents to make that sort of choice for her?


I would love to have had parents who took such an interest in my education. Mine weren't around enough to care that much. Imagine all the advantages I'd have if I had had her kind of upbringing.

I can project my own situation on others, too, see? ;-)
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mattsfk
Triglot
Newbie
Australia
twitter.com/mattsfkRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4529 days ago

16 posts - 22 votes
Speaks: Vietnamese, English*, French
Studies: Italian, Spanish, Danish, German

 
 Message 61 of 108
26 June 2008 at 10:32am | IP Logged 
brozman wrote:

Cainntear wrote:
Isn't it? Mental child abuse is as much a crime as physical. Is she going to be happy? No, she's
probably going to feel alienated and picked on. She'll be a spotty teen trying to get her first kiss and people will
keep singing nasty songs about her to the tunes on her first CD. Maybe she'll survive to college age, but having
been told all her life how naturally gifted she is, she won't work. She'll drop out.


Wow, can you also predict my future? Will I be bald when I'm 30?


HAHA, good call.
1 person has voted this message useful



Cainntear
Pentaglot
Senior Member
Scotland
linguafrankly.blogsp
Joined 4319 days ago

4399 posts - 7687 votes 
Speaks: Lowland Scots, English*, French, Spanish, Scottish Gaelic
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 Message 62 of 108
26 June 2008 at 11:36am | IP Logged 
brozman wrote:
Wow, can you also predict my future? Will I be bald when I'm 30?

Funny.

Please feel free to name any celebrity child prodigy from the last 50 years who has gone on to do well. There's a big difference in the names on the list of famous child geniuses and the list of famous adult geniuses.
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Deniz
Bilingual Heptaglot
Groupie
Czech RepublicRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 5127 days ago

94 posts - 97 votes 
Speaks: Czech*, Slovak*, EnglishC2, German, Italian, Spanish, FrenchB2
Studies: Russian, Arabic (Written), Portuguese, Indonesian, Persian

 
 Message 63 of 108
26 June 2008 at 5:24pm | IP Logged 
Not only do these list corelate very badly, but also there are more types of genius. The one we would usually refer to is the "Einstein-" or "Hawking-" type of genius, that means somebody with imagination and intelligence so much developped, that it brings mankind further by uncovering ideas and concepts that would be otherwise not thought of. Than some people will be called creative genius, for being able to make amazing music or any other sort of art or architecture. These two groups have more aspects in common-those geniuses have not only enormous talent, but they have spent years and decades developping it and aiming it the most useful way and they all have their abstract imagination and creativity as productive and efficient as possible. That is what makes them special and, above all, useful for a lot of other people (all mankind in the extreme example of a great discovery like penicillin,DNA,quantum physics etc etc). It is very obnoxious for me to read the word "genius" overused (and it is happening everyday), because these people are so rare-there may be hundreds for a generation, though thousands and thousands are given this description. Let us remain a bit more demanding when using this term. The girl on videos has shown some knowledge of a bunch of languages, and that is great. She has also shown some technique on the piano and her ability to improvise very simple music, which is something few kids can do in her age, but I am sure, that there are so many kids, that have the same capacity, only their parents let them play with their peers rather than making them speak with foreign nannies and exercise piano etudes. She will only prove herself to be a real genius by becoming a world class pianist or even better- composer or an outstanding polyglot and linguist.


Edited by Deniz on 26 June 2008 at 5:28pm

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portunhol
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
thelinguistblogger.w
Joined 4560 days ago

198 posts - 299 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: German, Arabic (classical)

 
 Message 64 of 108
26 June 2008 at 5:55pm | IP Logged 
Deniz:

    I agree. Most human beings do not end up realizing anything close to their full potential. I believe that most people are capable of achieving great and wonderful things, however, there is a big difference between potential and performance. Miss Vo shows great promise but, as with all children, it will be up to her to choose what path to pursue in life once she approaches adulthood. She could very well end up as Cainntear predicts: awkward, alone and sad. Then again, she might end up being the most impressive Secretary of State that the USA has ever seen! Maybe she'll end up as both. Time will tell.


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