Of Sri Lankan descent, but teenager speaks Mandarin effortlessly

Ngee Ann Secondary School student Devni Chamodya Kaluarachchi's love affair with the Chinese language began when she was in Kindergarten 2 and attended classes in wushu, or Chinese martial arts. ST PHOTO: MARCELLIN LOPEZ
Ngee Ann Secondary School student Devni Chamodya Kaluarachchi's love affair with the Chinese language began when she was in Kindergarten 2 and attended classes in wushu, or Chinese martial arts. ST PHOTO: MARCELLIN LOPEZ
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Student Devni Chamodya Kaluarachchi often takes Chinese hawkers by surprise when she slips effortlessly into Mandarin to buy food.

A Singaporean of Sri Lankan ethnicity, the 14-year-old began studying the language in kindergarten, following in her older brother's footsteps.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 23, 2019, with the headline Of Sri Lankan descent, but teenager speaks Mandarin effortlessly. Subscribe