Warm-Hearted Wunderkind...

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Warm-Hearted Wunderkind...

Post  xominivyox on Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:10 am

http://www.thanhniennews.com/features/?catid=10&newsid=44468

A second-grade student astonishes everyone with his writing abilities and philanthropic spirit.

Do Nhat Nam reads at his home. At age seven, Nam writes books, translates English children's novels and even donates money to cancer stricken kids.

The little boy from Hanoi can speak English and Japanese fluently. He wrote his first book after completing grade one, and translated an English book in the second grade.

He works as an MC on Vietnam Television and plans to open an English class for children in the cancer department at the Vietnam National Hospital of Pediatrics.

And Do Nhat Nam is just seven years old.

‘Youngest but the best’

Nam started learning English before he attended grade one. Joining his first-grade class midway through the year, Nam was at first too shy to speak up.

However, after just one month Nam had become the top student in his class. His teachers were so impressed that they transferred him to a higher class with older students.

During the next two months, Nam would be transferred several more times as his English was always better than his classmates’.

Last summer, Nam’s mother asked an English teacher from Vietnam’s University of Foreign Trade to test his English by letting him take the university entrance exam for twelfth-grade students. Nam performed remarkably well for his age.

“When first talking to Nam, I was really shocked! I’ve never met a seven-year-old child with such a good [command] of English,” says teacher Ta Thi Lan Huong.

Huong recommended that Nam take the Test of English International Communication (TOEIC) course at an English center where most of the other students are adults working for foreign companies and university seniors.

“Nam is the youngest, but the best student,” Huong says.

Vietnam’s youngest translator

One day, Nam visited a book store and began reading several English books set out by the store for the purpose of receiving readers’ ideas and feedback about the novels.

Nam then shared his thoughts about the books with the editors. His English competence amazed them and Nam was invited to their office for a translation test.

They were even more impressed that he could confidently translate pages from a scientific book for children despite some complicated words.

“I like watching the Discovery channel, so I remember difficult words which I hear during programs,” Nam said.

The editors asked if Nam would translate the book “Sun up, sun down – The story of day and night” by Jacqui Bailey and Matthew Lilly. The book is part of an eight-volume scientific series for children.

Four volumes had already been translated and published by an experienced editor.

However, “[the translated volumes] lack the innocent, childlike and attractive tones of a child like that of the seven-year-old translator,” says editor Nguyen Thi Minh.

Minh said Nam will hold the record for Vietnam’s youngest translator once the book is published this month. The Vietnamese records book previously certified 13-year-old Truong Que Chi as Vietnam’s youngest translator.

Kind-hearted character

At age five, Nam was brought to a pediatric hospital with a high fever. Doctors initially diagnosed him as having acute leukemia (cancer of the blood).

He was admitted to the tumor department and spent a week undergoing further tests. Doctors eventually confirmed that Nam did not, in fact, have the disease.

Spending a week in the hospital had a lasting impact on Nam, however, and he has never forgotten his fellow patients who were subjected to painful treatments each day.

He therefore decided to write a book about his first grade experiences and would donate the money earned from sales to his less fortunate friends.

After four months, Nam completed a 24-page book titled Lop mot, oi lop mot (First-grade, Oh first-grade).

Throughout the book, Nam tells stories about his school, class, friends and teachers. He also tells about his experiences in studying math, reading and writing English.

Nam’s foreword reads: “Dear everybody, I wish you to put some money into the charitable box when holding this book ...”

He then donated VND2.5 million (US$150), part of the money he earned from the book sales, to the children in the tumor department.

Principal Pham Thi Thang of Le Quy Don School said when hearing of the collapse of Can Tho Bridge last year, Nam called her to ask for permission to call for donations during a flag-saluting ceremony.

The bridge collapse in the southern city occurred in September last year and was one of the most serious construction disasters in Vietnam’s history, killing 54 workers and injuring 80 others.

Thang was moved, she says, as the thoughtful six-year-old boy had come up with the idea before any of the adults had considered it.

LOP MOT, OI LOP MOT (First-grade, Oh first-grade)

Following are excerpts from seven-year-old Do Nhat Nam’s first book:

“Honestly, asking other people to read comic books to us is not interesting at all, because we cannot see characters’ pictures. It is boring. When I know how to read, I can take an adventure to the characters’ world. Whenever I come across interesting parts, I can close the book to imagine them ...”

“I remember the story about Japanese children that my dad often tells me. [Nam used to live in Japan with his parents where he went to school and spoke Japanese]. In Japan, people often say: ‘Gambatte’ which means “Try your best.” My dad says some days it rains and snows heavily, but he still sees groups of students in their uniforms walking in the snow, saying loudly ‘Gambatte.’ Their families all have cars, but their parents do not drive them to school, but want them to go to school on their own. [...] It teaches me that I have to try my best for everything [ ... ]”

Source: Tuoi Tre
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xominivyox

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Re: Warm-Hearted Wunderkind...

Post  Animosity on Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:38 am

Wow . . . Talk about Child prodigy
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