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[Video] 6‑Year-Old Black Girl Surprises Cab Driver With Fluent Korean

Avatar • Nov 15, 2015

In this video posted to her mom’s Youtube account, 6‑year old Anaya speaks fluent Korean, impressing both her Mom and her cab driver.

Much of the video shows the cab driver trying to teach Anaya the difference between the word “cat” and “hometown,” which sound similar in Korean. At one point, however, Anaya interrupts to tell the cab driver that when she was two she was so cute her parents said she would be a princess. The cab driver responds by telling her that in Korea, “If you are a princess, it means you are the most beautiful. You are the most beautiful.” To which Anaya proudly responds, “I know.”

In the video’s description box, Anaya’s mother writes:

We put this video up as a way to show the benefits of raising your children abroad. This is meant to be a positive video to promote awareness that black people are traveling the world and our children are the products of our travels. We want to encourage others that it is possible.

Anaya, now eight years-old, has been living in Korea since she was a toddler; her parents are both working as teachers in the country. To learn more about Anaya and her family visit their website: Trekkin With Melanin.

Did any of you learn a second language as a child?

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About Lisa Jean Francois

I'm a Lipstick-obsessed Journalist and Fashion Blogger. You can find me over on my blog or youtube channel swatching lippies and strutting around in 5-inch heels. I'm a also a brand coach, specializing in video marketing and digital brand development. Find me @lisaalamode.

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Chevanne
5 years ago

It’s so funny how amazed we are by this. Culturally she’s probably more Korean anyway. It shows how important diverse imagery is. We can do or be anything, however difficult the road is. We just need to see it.

LBell
LBell
5 years ago
Reply to  Chevanne

Exactly…and one of the biggest and most devastating crimes perpetrated on diasporic Africans by white supremacy is the belief that black folks CAN’T (fill in the blank). They limited us and we have believed in and lived by those limitations for far too long…when in reality we can do and be anything they can do and be.

Ironically, that little girl could very well find herself back here in the States accused of “not being black enough” because of her language skills. That’s how deeply invested some of us are in these imaginary limitations…

Chevanne
5 years ago
Reply to  LBell

PREACH.

Kinky Curly Glory
5 years ago

this is amazing !

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago

My husband spoke about three languages by the time he was 5 years old. He now speaks 6 languages fluently and can understand about 3 others. We plan on doing the same with our children. This is the way ppl are all around the world. It wens to only be in the good ole U.S.A. that our children are not multilingual as children in Africa, Asia, or Europe. I guess it’s kinda hard here, though, if everyone around you is only speaking one language lol!

A.P.-CT
A.P.-CT
5 years ago

Love, love, lover her.

A.P.-CT
A.P.-CT
5 years ago

Why aren’t you guys letting me post here?

Black Girl With Long Hair
Reply to  A.P.-CT

I’m so sorry. We are. When we switched to Disqus some of our native comments (including yours) got lost. We’ve switched back to our native commenting system to avoid this. Thanks for dropping in!

Soraaa
Soraaa
5 years ago

Funny, I’m black and I speak fluent german. Nothing special. I know a lot of black people who can speak russian, dutch, swedish etc. I don’t see the hype. If you live in germany you should learn germany, if you live in turkey you should learn how to speak turkish… integration is so important!

Tracy
Tracy
5 years ago
Reply to  Soraaa

There are a whole lot of people that live in American and couldn’t bother to learn English.

Itso
Itso
5 years ago

She’s adorable but it’s nothing amazing. She’s been in Korea since she was toddler. It’s scientifically proven that kids learn very quickly.

Jacqy
Jacqy
5 years ago
Reply to  Itso

I think it’s AWESOME! You go little brown baby!!!

PrimmestPlum
PrimmestPlum
5 years ago

I hate the monolinguistic culture we have here in America. The whole “Why should I have to know another language in my own country?!” mindset is so arrogant and ignorant, it’s sickening. You should learn because the whole entire world is speaking English, we’re one of the only ones who are stuck on 1 track. I used to be able to speak Japanese and Italian but after moving here and not speaking those languages to anyone… well, if you don’t use it you lose it. I’m learning Spanish again with little difficulty but really, we should all at least be bilingual… Read more »

maralondon
maralondon
5 years ago
Reply to  PrimmestPlum

The British are the same. They feel that since English is widely spoken there is no need to speak another language. I too use to speak Italian also French but like you I haven’t done much conversing in a long time. My brother lives in Spain and is now fluent in the language. I sent my daughter at 3 years old to children’s Spanish classes but stopped when she reached 5. Now it’s time for her to resume her studies. If I’m visiting a foreign country I will always do my best to learn the basic language, it’s just common… Read more »

PrimmestPlum
PrimmestPlum
5 years ago
Reply to  maralondon

It sucks losing knowledge. Hearing Italian sounds so familiar to me it’s crazy. But yes, common courtesy is key. Things like, Please, Thank you, Excuse me, and other basics are essential. At least let the host country know you’re trying lol.

EllieLo
EllieLo
5 years ago
Reply to  PrimmestPlum

I I find that it’s not really “I shouldn’t have to learn another language in my own country” as much as it’s “When am I ever going to use another language since there’s no real chance I’m ever leaving my country?” Some people are arrogant enough to want this country to be “English only” or whatever stupidity they’re pushing for, but most (older) people realize that there’s (realistically) not a huge chance of them leaving US borders. Why waste time learning what you’re never going to use when you could be learning something that would immediately benefit you? I’m learning… Read more »

PrimmestPlum
PrimmestPlum
5 years ago
Reply to  EllieLo

We really don’t have to travel outside of our physical borders to make use of another language. Telecommunicating via Skype, Polycom, Google+ etc is becoming more and more common. We’re quickly becoming more and more global and communication will be key. This may not be true for our older persons but it is certainly true for millennials.

You don’t have to travel to make use of being multilingual.

EllieLo
EllieLo
5 years ago
Reply to  PrimmestPlum

Okay, but real talk: if you don’t travel outside your borders or come into contact with people who speak different languages, do you really NEED to speak more than your native tongue?

By all means, learn 6 languages if that’s what you WANT to do, but, on average, where is the necessity for this for the average American? Not average metropolitan American, but average American.

Antonia
Antonia
5 years ago

That’s cute, but living in korea..it’s imperative to know korean haha

blacksun7
blacksun7
5 years ago
Reply to  Antonia

That imply’s towards all nations silly!

Erin Corine MUSIC
Erin Corine MUSIC
5 years ago
Reply to  Antonia

It’s not imperative to know Korean in Korea. I’ve several friends living and working there, and gave for several years. Everyone speaks English. You guys are having a great time in here today down-playing someone else’s incredible achievement of learning a foreign language, let alone a non-Western one. Can’t tell if it’s envy or inadequacy, but it’s stupid and exhausting.

Antonia
Antonia
4 years ago

What’s stupid and exhausting?

Cosita
Cosita
4 years ago

LOL How can it be envy or inadequacy when a lot of the people who didn’t see it as a huge deal are black people who speak more than one language? I think it’s great for her but I find the “wow a little black child can learn just like any other child” is insulting. Children learn languages more easily because of their brains are like sponges. I have taught adult language classes on and off for years. most adults that English is the most difficult language to learn because there are so many rule exceptions and various vowel pronounciations.… Read more »

eljjai
eljjai
5 years ago

okay, I get that it’s a big deal in the west, but in the rest of the world, not so much. I spoke three languages fluently by the time I was in the 1st grade, so did most of my class mates.

EllieLo
EllieLo
5 years ago
Reply to  eljjai

Okay, but this took place in the US, so your commentary was not needed? In the US, there’s no real need to pick up another language as most people don’t really travel abroad. The most people attempt to pick up another language is usually Spanish (considering we border Latin America) or whatever ethnic enclave they live near/do the most business with. A lot of people are encouraging their kids to pick up new languages as their children have more opportunities to go live and work abroad, but the older generation still thinks this is a novel concept. tl;dr: We know,… Read more »

erincorine
erincorine
5 years ago
Reply to  EllieLo

This is absolutely untrue. Not traveling abroad is not a reason not to speak another language. It also increases your ability to learn new tasks at a quicker pace, understand complex analysis and intricate, conceptual art forms like music and philosophy. Aside from this, yes: marketability, playability and overall value in the workforce and society as a whole is increased tenfold by becoming fluent in another language—I was fluent in Spanish BEFORE I left to come to live and work in Spain, and now am working on other languages not out of necessity, rather because I have chosen a personal… Read more »

EllieLo
EllieLo
5 years ago
Reply to  erincorine

Sweetheart, I’m in the process of learning Spanish, French and German because it’s something that I AM deeply interested in.

I know the joys of wanting to master another language outside of utility’s sake. Languages are beautiful and more people should be encouraged to do it, but that is THEIR CHOICE.

Not some pretentious standard that other people think we should have. Especially since the majority of us actually do not NEED to speak another language.

And it’s really not condescension, just fact.

MagnoliaGirl Phillips
MagnoliaGirl Phillips
5 years ago
Reply to  EllieLo

Great reply EllieLo. Dear eljjai: some of the U.S. may not be multilingual but gosh darn so many folks try to emulate the U.S. culture and get here in a hurry to live and work LOL. I speak French and Spanish and was born and raised in the U.S. but sought to learn this myself growing up 🙂 Why can’t we all as a global community just find positivity and be glad in an article or video like this with this little Princess? Oh well this is an open forum for open opinion. Always best to lift up instead of… Read more »

Cosita
Cosita
5 years ago
Reply to  EllieLo

My understanding of the article is that they live in Korea. You do not have to live outside the US to be bilingual. There are people here from every country in the world. I speak fluent Spanish and a small amount of Italian. It’s easier to learn as a kid. I have traveled abroad but never spent more than three months away. I suggest people who are already adults enroll in a class or study program then make a point to engage people who speak the language they want to learn. A vast amount of the people I know speak… Read more »

Afrostrong
Afrostrong
5 years ago

This was a great post. Their back story on the blog is inspirational. The little girl is definitely “Princess” material and most definitely AMAZING. People lets remember that the world is all to ready to destroy our children’s self esteem by telling them they are not special so let’s continue to build them up every chance we get!

Pennylane22
Pennylane22
5 years ago

Its great to see this, not for her learning the language, but to show that not all Koreans dislike blacks as the media tries to tell us.

Mali90
Mali90
5 years ago

so cute

KDramaEmCee
KDramaEmCee
5 years ago

I am a Ko-Am and can say that people in Korea have high admiration (as well as interest in general) for our Af-Am and other non-Korean friends. I agree with Pennylane22 that the media exaggerate and perpetuate sentiments that perhaps a small minority experience. Oh, and this is a cute video!

Miss.
Miss.
5 years ago
Reply to  KDramaEmCee

I just started watching Heard It Through The Grapevine!

Cosita
Cosita
5 years ago

Cute kid but would we be amazed if a Korean couple moved to the US with a toddler who a few years later spoke fluent English? being a particular race doesn’t have anything to do with being able to learn a language. More about environment. I’m black. I’m American. I’m multilingual in both speaking and reading/writing. It happens. I have a black friend from Mozambique who speaks five.

Miaoiu
Miaoiu
4 years ago
Reply to  Cosita

I know, that is pretty embarrassing actually.…

Aly
Aly
5 years ago

She is too adorable!!!

Sabrina black
Sabrina black
5 years ago

This was cute and she has good confidence for her age. I’m stunned that she can speak it so well despite mixed up words. I shared it on Google + in a community. I’m about to share it public now. Lovely. It’s nice to learn different languages.

Lila
Lila
5 years ago

I’m black and I speak French English and Creole

julean.m
julean.m
5 years ago

i love this! so great to see a little kid like me! born in raised overseas, my parents, both teachers, barely speaking the language, but me being fluent. I always had to translate for them and call a taxi or the restaurant or negotiate with a shop-owner (which was extremely annoying as a child, them relying on me when i should be relying on them). I did get teased for it though, my parents telling me i wasn’t black enough or wasn’t american enough, and my schoolmates saying i couldn’t get offended over certain things because i was “barely american”.… Read more »

Marlena Tyrell
Marlena Tyrell
5 years ago

It’s the cab driver that’s surprised. Most foreign countries expect Americans to only speak English. It’s great to see the interaction between them.

Cherisse Gardner
5 years ago

I’m black and not deaf yet I challenged myself to accept a job at a deaf university contingent on my willingness to try to learn sign launguage, and even got my Master’s degree while there once I felt I had achieved mastery of the language. I was in my 30s when I started so its not just the natural absorption of youth but the willingness to put yourself in a different space than what is familiar, and to be open to learning new things that will change your life for the better.

DLB
DLB
5 years ago

Awesome.

Miaoiu
Miaoiu
4 years ago

That is stupid, why is it amazing ??

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