The boys are talking a lot. Daniel will say “Mama say ‘mountain’, Daddy say ‘montagne’. Michael is not as able at distinguishing languages. They both, however, mix up English and French and, as yet, show no real ability to unmix them. Although, funnily enough, in the creche which is entirely francophone, I am told that they only speak French. Over the past couple of weeks I have been collecting some linguistic infelicities:
Bicycle like Michael aussi;
Moi, je comb the hair;
Moi, je geddit;
Belle, reading son book;
Mange avec spoon et fork;
Help you me;
Where un autre spoon?
[Describing those chasing the little gingerbread man] mechant fox, vache, horsey;
Moi, je puttai it;
un, deux, trois, jump;
moi, je go a la creche;
Moi, j’ai not stuck;
La baguette est broken;
Can I have ça ?
Moi, je goé à la supermarket;
Turnez OFF the light!
C’est MY de l’eau!
Poor Daniel is not enjoying the creche at the moment and, every time we sit into the car he says “pas creche” or, in English “creche, no thank you” (see, my efforts on please and thank you are not wasted). He also likes to point out everyone who is wearing glasses: “glasses, like me” he says.
Michael appears to be ambidextrous. He can take a spoon in each hand and eat perfectly competently from each in turn. He doesn’t often choose to do this as, in his quest to drive his father over the edge, he has, largely, abandoned eating solid food. We are told that, at the creche they go to eat separately and, when they return, each looks for the other to give a quick kiss before going about his business.
Odd little habits
They both totter when they first wake up. I love to see them walking jerkily but determinedly along the corridor to see what excitement is available at the breakfast table.
Daniel yells as loudly as his mother; that’s pretty loud.
They are both extremely keen that we should all sit in the same chairs when we sit at the table and woe betide any parent or child who sits in the wrong chair.
It’s harder than you might think to string this information together coherently. Did you notice?
MIles Kington would be proud of them.
We were brought up bilingually until my parents became somewhat alarmed at my younger brother’s language mixing, which the older two hadn’t had. I think now that one major factor was that while my older brother and I had the experience of our parents speaking only Irish to us and most other people speaking English, my younger brother had his siblings switching languages all the time and therefore had a more confusing environment. Apparently though this stage is quite common in bilingual children and he probably would have adjusted in time.
Hey, that’s how je parle French!
I especially like “C’est MY l’eau!”
My best was “he frapped me with his chaise!!!” – admittedly by (a) an adult and (b) not a sober one, but hey.
chaotic is spot on- they are infant prodigies who speak perfect Franglais – some beauts in here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7228409.stm
Yes, prodigies. It’s the language of the future.