Young Markyate linguist proves he can mind his languages

Linguist Severin

Linguist Severin - Credit: Archant

A multi-tongued 10 year old has demonstrated his linguistic skills for the second year in succession by competing in the grand final of a language challenge.

Severin Maltere, who lives in Markyate, came eighth in the country after competing at the final of the UTalk Junior Language Challenge.

He was presented with his certificate by Child Genius winner Rhea.

Severin was first tasked with learning basic Romanian at the start of the competition in March before a test in Korean for the semi-final. For the final stage of the competition, he had less than one month to learn Swahili, the East African language with around two million native speakers.

Last year when he competed, the young linguist learned Portuguese, Mandarin Chinese and Modern Arabic en route to the final.


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Jamie Hornshaw, headteacher of Berkhamsted Preparatory Schoo where Severin is a pupil, said ‘This is a fantastic achievement and we are incredibly proud of Severin’s performances and his incredible thirst for languages.

“We are eagerly awaiting the competition to start again in the spring and to discover what languages our next generation of linguists will be learning’

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