Friday, September 02, 2005

Milo says "Au revoir !"

Milo has just spent 2 weeks in Italy with his grandparents, enjoying a full immersion in Italian. This has increased not only his vocabulary, but also his gestures inventory !

  • When eating a delicious food, he accompanies his verbal appreciation ( « Mmmmhhhh ! ») with his hand swinging up and down, at the height of his shoulder !
  • He has developed an appreciation for cars (the real ones) and can imitate very well the action of steering the wheel while making the typical car noise (« Wroooooom ! »)
  • He waves good bye very professionally when leaving a place or a room, and says « Ciao ! » with non-chalance !

Among new words he learnt there’s « torta » (cake), « bau » (the dog’s bark), « pappa » (food in kid language)

He can call his Nonno (Grandpa) and Nonna (Grandma), his uncle Papo (Paco) and auntie Titti (Kikki), and of course his beloved Mamma and Papaaaaaaá (always pronounced literally)!

Upon our return to France the other day, Milo totally surprised me: as we entered our building, we met the concierge who greeted us (in French); this was the first French he has heard in over 20 days. As we left after a brief chat, he waved good-bye to her and said:

« Au Revoir ! »

At 16 months Milo is aware of who speaks what…


sydney said...

Hello Claudia,
We are both French living in Scotland and raising our twin girls of 1 year old. It is true that toddlers recognize diferent languages. When waking up in the morning Marion and Morgane, we say to them "bonjour" and they answer us back by a "hello or Hiya" or sometimes when we say "aurevoir" they wave and say "bye bye or see ya". They don't say maman or papa but surprisingly say Daddy or Mummy in a lovely Scottish accent. When having a walk in Glasgow city or in our little town, if they hear some french tourists they turn their back straight and giggle... too cute...

Clo said...

It's amazing how they are sensitive to the environment:
- if we are in the presence of the nanny, Milo calls me "Maman";
- but during the weekend he calls me "Mamma", in Italian!
- And if his dad asks him in dutch: "Waar is mama?" he runs towards me screaming "Mama, mama, mama..."
Keep up the French at home!

Anonymous said...

Hello Claudia,

My husband is Norwegian and I'm Indonesian, we currently live in the Netherlands. We have 18 mths daugther, Celina and so far she hasn't been able to speak any words either in Norwegian, Indonesian or English (we speak to each other in English, and we've been using OPOL methode). And starting last week she goes to the Dutch daycare for 2 times a week. I got so impressed that your son, Milo was aware to whom he's speaking by the age of 16 mths. When did he actually start to speak, and in which language first ?
I'm really glad to find your site, it's so encouraging for me to raise my daugther in different languages. Thanks for sharing your story.