I can speak a lit­tle bit of English, I am a Druze child

The East African - - OPINION -

English is in­born, not learned! O’neal Mah­moud, a three-year-old from an Ara­bic-speak­ing Druze fam­ily in the Golan Heights, Is­rael, has amazed doc­tors with his abil­ity to speak English with a Bri­tish ac­cent with­out ever hav­ing been ex­posed to the for­eign lan­guage.

Named af­ter leg­endary bas­ket­ball player Shaquille O’neal, O’neal speaks flu­ent English and us­ing phrases like “my dear” and “oh my good­ness,” which are hardly ever used in his home vil­lage of Druze town of Ma­j­dal Shams.

The boy’s par­ents, nei­ther of whom speak English, claim that he has never trav­elled abroad, and hasn’t been watch­ing any English tele­vi­sion. Still, he is some­how able to ut­ter com­pli­cated words like “mo­tor­cy­cle,” “rec­tan­gle” or “wa­ter­fall”, with­out even know­ing their Ara­bic equiv­a­lents.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kenya

© PressReader. All rights reserved.