A young Cambodian vendor has captivated netizens around the world after his ability to speak over 10 languages and dialects was caught on film and shared on social media.
Facebook user Venus Gwc posted a short clip of the 10-year-old Khmer boy showing off his linguistic talent while trying to sell souvenirs in Cambodia.
“I met him at Ta Prohm temple, which is the famous Tomb Raider filming location,” wrote Venus Gwc in the post, which has since been viewed over a million times.
“I feel grateful that his video gone viral, it might create more awareness to people there are kids still struggle to live their life every day.”
In the video, the barefoot boy is first shown speaking to a female tourist in Chinese as he convinces her to buy his wares. He then makes a bold claim that he can speak multiple other languages.
With the woman egging her on, the boy proceeded to show off his skills by switching to different languages back and forth.
During the conversation, he easily spoke in Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, French, German, Thai, Malay and Filipino.
The tourist was finally convinced to buy the boy’s souvenirs after he belted out a popular Chinese song called “We are different.”
According to the boy, he was able to pick up the languages by learning from tourists.
While thousands of netizens have been showering the boy with praise, some expressed concerns over the welfare of the children who were forced to work at such an early age.
“Interest is not the ultimate factor that drives someone to pick up a language; it is driven by the pressure to survive,” one Weibo user commented.
“I’m kind of feeling bittersweet for this because I’ve been told not to support them selling souvenirs because once we create the demand, it deprives them of receiving a proper education because it seems like the more money making option in the short run. But it just makes me wonder why this has never been mentioned when the video went viral,” commented a concerned Facebook user.