Wednesday, 12 April 2017

What's in a Word or Four!

Our 26-month-old fourth daughter is in a unique linguistic and cultural set-up.

She was born in German-speaking Switzerland, lives in a mostly English-speaking neighbourhood and is spoken to in Arabic and French by her mother, German by her father, English by her three sisters, and Swiss/German/English by the environment.

Despite (or thanks to!) all these linguistic inputs, it is fair to say that her speech has recently exploded!




Just for fun, we started listing all the words and sentences she can say.
She can name 27 people, three dogs and one cat.
She can request songs by saying: "Timber", "Aicha", "Chebba", "Let it go".
She can say simple words such as pipi, caca, dodo, oui, bébé, no, yes, quoi, oui etc.
And she can say the following non-exhaustive list of common words and phrases.

Arabic French German English
باب (door) Nutella heiss thank you
خبز (bread) fromage Brot what the heck
تشينة (orange) banane ab go away
كلب (dog) stylo guck again
قط (cat) pardon Auto cat
برا (outside) balançoire Mund come on
ضوء (light) encore Auge sleep
صباط (shoe) bus Kopf tractor
قعدي (sit) camion Kinn mango
وعلاه (why) manteau Backe seesaw

bêtise Hals iPad

gaufre Nase ball

crème Hand thank you

glace Finger please

compote Jacke gone

debout Lampe move

poubelle Boden TV

poupée Hund hug


Schuh what did you do


Kuh


Zebra


Elefant


Tigger


Giraffe


Affe


Raus


The influence of the environment via German and English is staggering already. I think I am doing well though, given I am the only source of Arabic and French.