Bilingual Kids Say the Darndest Things
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|Thu, 02-10-2011 - 1:39pm|
I've lurked here sometimes but I've never posted before. My DH and I are raising our son bilingual with English and Russian. DH was born in the former USSR but moved with his family to the U.S. when he was just two years old. Russian was the first language he learned, but English took over as his primary language so he's very fluent with Russian but not quite at native speaker level. I don't speak any Russian at all except what I've picked up from hearing him speak to our son. Charlie, our son, is now two and a half. Since he was born, DH has talked to him exclusively in Russian, never in English. His first words were in English, but he has been picking up Russian steadily. Now he speaks full sentences in English to me and at school, and with his dad and other Russian speakers he will sprinkle Russian words into his grammatically English sentences.
Lately I've noticed something interesting. When there are two words that sound similar in Russian but very different in English, sometimes Charlie thinks they are the same word. Then, he will use only one of the two English words for both things. Let me give an example. In Russian, the word for elephant is "sloan" and the word for dream is "soan." So in English, Charlie might tell me, "I went to my nap and had an elephant." For another example, the Russian word for train is "poy-izd" and the word for belt is "poy-iss." So if DH puts on a belt when he gets dressed in the morning, Charlie might point to him and tell me, "Daddy wear a choo-choo train."
I know that this will sort itself out as he gets older and gets a firmer grasp on both languages, but it is the most adorable thing ever! Has anyone else seen their kids do this?