Thursday, 28 October 2010

Bilingual Carnival October Edition

It's Bilingual Carnival time again!

Head over to Multilingual Living for this month's fun and remarkable blog articles on raising children in multi lingual environments.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Babelkids and Languages

It's interesting to follow the development of language between BK1 and BK2.

When they are playing they often switch to English, especially if they're pretending to be someone else or something else. They have done this for a long time, even before BK2 started attending pre school.

But when they discuss something serious or switch to talking about what they play, they switch language immediately.

Amazingly, they have different preferences: BK1 always switches to Arabic while BK2 uses German as much as Arabic!

I have no explanation for this. Is German easier for BK2? Maybe.

The funny thing is that whoever switches away from English first sets the language they both will use, at least for a couple of phrases. They will then invariably fall back to Arabic at some point before they go back into play and use English again.

Funny, isn't it?

Friday, 15 October 2010

Interpreting is Easy for a BabelKid!

(This is the 100th article if I counted correctly. I'm amazed!)

Anyway, we were having dinner and were talking about something. The word "cozy" was uttered by someone and this is what followed:

BK1: "Papa, was heisst 'cozy'?" ("papa, what does 'cozy' mean?)
BD: "gemütlich"
BK1: "ah"
BM: "Ca veut dire quoi, 'gemütlich'?" ("what does 'gemütlich' mean?")
BK1: "snuggly" (and she makes a gesture like she's pulling up her blanket)

How easy it was for her to find the word and say it! I was still thinking about how we Germans always claim that "gemütlich" has so many things attached it cannot properly be translated.

And that's the difference between speaking a couple of languages and growing up with them. I will never be able to do what she does.