10 Month-Old Baby Reads 2000 Characters

May 31, 2006 Updated: September 15, 2015

The Chinese writing system is among the most complicated in the world. However, there is an infant in China who is learning it with ease. According to Beijing Science and Technology News, at the tender age of ten months, child genius Zhuangzhuang is able to recognize 2000 Chinese characters and practice simple arithmetic before he can even tie his shoes.

Zhuangzhuang began recognizing words when he was four months old, and at six months, he could read 1000 characters. Within another four months, Zhuangzhuang doubled his previous knowledge. For an average one-year-old child, it is impossible to distinguish the patterns of the characters, yet Zhuangzhang is doing much more. Zhuangzhuang’s story is a clearly a unique one, and is no doubt baffling researchers.

Zhuangzhuang’s incredible story begans soon after his birth on June 19, 2005. Upon the father’s first gaze at his child, he noticed something strange. He felt that the child looked at him in a very unique way–a way that he could not clearly describe or express. Zhungzhuang’s parents soon came to understand that their newborn baby was indeed different from others. From the very start, it seemed as though he understood everything. On one instance, Zhuangzhuang’s parents were awoken by the sound of their baby crying late at night. Ms. Zhao, Zhuangzhuang’s mother, knew the baby was hungry so she told her child, “Don’t cry, Zhuangzhuang, your mother is going to make milk powder for you.” Upon uttering these words an unbelievable thing happened: Zhuangzhuang stopped crying.

According to Zhuangzhuang’s parents, only three months after birth their baby was already very sensitive to colors and different kinds of patterns. When Zhuangzhuang was about four months old, they tried to show him some flashcards with patterns and words on them. His mother observed that as long as she described to him the content of the card, he could always pick up the correct card given a choice. Moreover, Zhuangzhuang began recognizing Chinese characters. At only four months old, the child had knowledge of over 50 Chinese characters.

Upon discovering their child’s unique and mysterious gift, Zhuangzhuang’s parents took it upon themselves to nurture his gift and guide him. When the baby reached six months old, he was not only able to read over 1000 Chinese words, but could also recognize English words and numbers. On top of this, he could also practice simple arithmetic, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Within two more months, Zhuangzhuang developed the capability to play word riddles. Now, at ten months old, Zhuangzhuang has undergone testing that indicates he is able to understand over 2000 characters.

At present, little is known about baby Zhuangzhuang, yet the information that has been gathered is enough to present serious questions to the given theories developed from modern cognitive research.