Norway’s TV2 channel on Sunday showed the boy answering simple questions, with an already impressive accent and natural feel for the language’s sing-song intonation.
“I’m called Yaman, I’m 14, I come from Aleppo in Syria,” he said. “I think Norwegian is easy, but there are some new characters: Æ – Ø.”
He is then shown, hand-on-heart, singing the first line of the national anthem, before giving up embarrassed.
Fahad Abby, the volunteer refugee worker who has taught Yaman, believes the 14-year-old will speak the language fluently before the end of the year.
“He thinks he can do it in three months, but I think it will take a maximum of one and a half months,” he said. “Yaman is one a kind. I have faith in that boy.”
The 14-year-old, who only started formal Norwegian lessons on Friday, has already learnt many Norwegian words and is now working on writing.
He took 15 days to travel to Norway from Aleppo, going through Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Hungary, Austria, Germany and then Norway.
Yaman is in Oslo with his mother and his four-year-old younger brother. His father has already been living in Larvik, south of Oslo, for three months.
He says he wants to become a doctor.