She might only be 10-years-old, but little Sonia Yang can already speak an incredible 10 languages.
And the schoolgirl has been crowned the north west of England’s best young linguist after stunning teachers with her detailed knowledge.
The youngster, from Cheadle Hulme, Stockport, was born in Taiwan but moved to England with her family to begin primary school.
When she arrived here, Sonia was already fluent in Japanese, Chinese and English, as well as her native Taiwanese. But she can also now speak German, French, Spanish, Portuguese and has recently picked up Kazakh and the Ugandan language of Luganda.
More than 5,000 students from across the region entered the language contest. They were tested on their knowledge of other tongues – as well as their ability to pick up entirely new ones.
For the regional heat of the contest, Sonia, a student at private Greenbank Preparatory School in Stockport, was challenged to learn the Ugandan language known as Lugandan in just a few weeks.
Sonia had previously picked up both Kazak and Portuguese for the qualifying rounds of the contest. And her German, French and Spanish is spoken with varying degrees of fluency.
Describing her achievement, she said: “Lugandan was easier for me to learn than it might have been for an English person, because some of the words are very similar to Taiwanese and it does get a little easier to learn a new language with each one you try.
“English is definitely my favourite language, everyone can understand you.”
She will now go on to represent the region in the national finals in London later this year. Heather Burnett, the school’s deputy head, said: “Sonia is a very bright and hard-working girl – definitely a star.
“Her family moved to England specifically to give her the best education possible and we are delighted they chose Greenbank.”