Sunday, 29 March 2009
Me: "Dqiqa, Aatini a break" (One minute, give me a break).
A five-second pause ensues.
Lilia: "Aatini cassé" (Give me "broken")
Me, finally lifting my head up: "Pardon?"
Lilia: "Aatini cassé" - pause- "Manahadrouche anglais fiddar" (Give me "broken". We do not speak English at home).
I found this hilarious.
Lilia has a tendency to speak english when playing on her own or with Ines. I usually ask her not to use english when speaking to her sister, arguing that we do not speak English at home. Well it came back flying right at my face.
The Babel Husband and I disagree on the issue of speaking English at home. He is of the opinion that the girls should speak in whichever way they feel comfortable to. I somewhat agree. However, I feel that the minority languages (arabic, french and german) should be given a fair chance against the majority language (english) as the latter is spoken everywhere outside home as well as on TV and with friends visiting. It would not be fair to expect the children to learn a language simply by hearing it spoken by their parents. They need to see a use to it.
Monday, 16 March 2009
Thinking about the fever and hallucinating I just realised that Lilia didn't use a single word of English during the episode.
That is even more incredible, because on a normal day, she will do that all the time!
I think English is "taking over" in the sense that she speaks it with more and more people and her confidence is rising. She also seems to realise that we are living in an English-speaking place.
Lately, Lilia has engaged in conversations with people that we were talking to and whom she might not know. A handyman cam round to fix doors and she was listening to me speaking to him, then asked him "what are you doing?". I don't believe she did that before, at least I did not notice.
She also uses a lot of English words in German sentences (most of them 'correctly' adapted to the German form).
But tonight, when she was hotter then your average hard disk, she managed not to slip a single word of English in.
Today she still has a high fever, but she's better. Relief!
The interesting part from the point of view of this blog is that she was hallucinating in German when I was sitting next to her and in Arabic/French when Souad was with her!
Even more astounding: when we were both sitting next to her (me cooling her ankles, Souad cooling her forehead), she was still using the correct language to reply to questions!
What an incredible child!