Tuesday, 28 July 2009

out of Cubling's mouth

Cubling is being brought up bilingually. This is at time hilarious. Her general language development is a bit behind that of what's considered averaged, but she's doing great with the two languages, more than making up for it. She has very creative ways of communicating with few words and simple grammar/syntax. Her word order is odd, and not sure if this is due to the German sub clause rule of putting verbs to the end.

Anyway, I love listening to her words, figuring out what she means, and continue to be amazed by her knowledge of language in general. For instance, she usually asks me questions in English (I've always believed that it's important to encourage any utterance, and never insisted on her speaking German to me) if I don't answer her immediately, she'll repeat it in German. When friends of ours visited, who have an almost 3 year old growing up with German / English in Germany, she switched to German to communicate with him, clearly realising that this was his stronger language.

I'll be having a bilingual child's carnival on this blog on 31st August, so if you have any experiences of raising children bilingually (or trilingually!) to share, please send me your posts by 30th August to blog at cartside.co.uk.

Just a few highlights of my bilingual experiment that is Cubling:

I no want it eat this no!
Mummy stop, daddy told no!
I don't know/ Weiss nich
What's that noise? (hands held to ear and uttered about 473 times a day)
No want it mummy, daddy read books no. (I don't want daddy to read me books)
liebe dich
your house! (after weeks of "my" "I" and "mine" being used correctly, she now does YOU)
Mummy, doin there?
One mummy, one daddy, one I.
Where Brille is?
Daddy Fenster gucken! (she wants to see daddy from outside who is sitting inside at the computer which is on a desk at the window - clearly she is more efficient with her words)
I selbst
Oh!!! Bahnbruecke! oh, look, anozer Bahnbruecke!
now, mummy.
Where Meerschweinchen? Hiding! Elidora (the guinea pigs are called Angel and Pandora)
Where my Jacke? Vergessen! (no, not forgotten, it was in the bag)
Pocoyo sehen! Fernseher!
I fall down! Sore knee. Heile Heile Gaenschen!
Big one!
Last one! (meaning: another book/ride please)
Lala put on! Kleine Lala. No big one. (this means she wants to listen to Ein Vogel wollte Hochzeit machen. I'm not sure about the distinction of kleine and big here, just that she wants kleine lala all the time. She sometimes also insists to listen to the car CD rather than me singing: Mummy singen no, car singen).

She's starting to sing full song lyrics:
Gruen gruen gruen sind alle meine Kleider
Heile Heile Gaenschen
Twinkle Twinkle little star (with actions, so cute)
and insists on listening to the same 3 songs continuously in the car. I'm losing my mind. The three songs are: Oh du mein Hampelmann, Gruen Gruen Gruen, Ein Vogel wollte Hochzeit machen.
In the Nightgarden soundtreck is also a great favourite: I dancen!


Mwa said...

We're raising our kids bilingually, too (Dutch - English). I do insist they speak only Dutch to me and only English to the husband. We in our turn try to be 100% consistent with them, too. I read somewhere that this makes it easier for them. They hardly ever mix their languages. The only time they do is when they only know a word in one language. It's really worth trying.

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

I heard the same as Mwa, but do appreciate that in your case it is easier said than done. Better to be like us and unable to communicate in the host countries language... so British.

Anyway - would you like me to post this post on the Expat Mums Blog site (www.expatmumsblog.com), see if that raises any awareness of the carnival?

Brilliant idea - I'll be contributing something...

PS - if you have any other posts you'd like to contribute to the expat mums blog then let me know!

Kathryn said...

I'm not sure how this whole 'carnival' thing works - I have 2 children (boys now aged 11 and 14), I am English, their father is Italian, they have always lived in Italy despite their father and I divorcing and me re-marrying an English speaking Canadian (confused??) - I would love to contribute to the carnival as I imagine most people interested in bilingualism (like I was) have young children - maybe I could share my experience now my children are older - do I just write a post and then give you the link??

cartside said...

Mwa, I think I may start to insist a bit more now that she can communicate in both languages.

Fraught Mummy: It would be great if you could put this post on Expat Mums Blog! I keep wanting to write something for it, but somehow never seem to have a proper Expat angle to my posts (maybe I've been here too long!), but it's on my mind.

Kathryn, you're spot on with the carnival. You write a post about bilingualism on your blog and send me the link, and I'll then write a post which links to all the contributions received, with an introduction to each of them.

Really looking forward to this, I've googled often trying to find information and experiences of raising children bilingually and there's not much out there apart from a handful of mediocre books.

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

Will put post up when I get a chance. Probably tomorrow or just after the weekend. Still think it is a great idea. x



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