Thursday, May 04, 2006

The great French leap forward…

That’s it, French is becoming the main language for Milo. At barely two, the environmental language is taking over. This week I “caught” him a few times playing alone or watching outside the window and talking to himself…in French.

“Elle est ou la balle? Ah, elle est lá!” (Where’s the ball? Ah, it’s there!)
“Au revoir voiture…Au revoir pompiers…”(Goodbye car…good bye firemen)

In Italian he progresses steadily , especially when on the phone with the grand parents:
“Ciao Nonno! Tai?”( trying to say ‘Come stai?’, that is how are you).
“Papa bibi, papa dodo” (my dad is sick, he’s sleeping)
“Mamma uvette! Uvette! Pepapóve!” (Mummy (I want some ) raisins! Please!)

In Dutch he also has developed his vocabulary mainly around playing activities:
tekenings vliegtuig (to draw airplanes)
Auto maken (to build a car)
Genoeg, genoeg (enough!)

When I teach him new words, if he knows them in French already he makes sure to stress that the nanny calls them differently:
"Mamma Lumaca, Attatá escargot" (mum (says) snail (in Italian), Attattá (says) snail (in French)

We have also noticed that he’s imitating more and more the nanny, in her speech modulation, tone, inflection. We don’t always understand exactly what he’s saying, but it’s clear that he’s talking like she does with him (especially at the dinner table). Can’t wait to get the content too, it will be the best reality show-candid camera ever!


giovanni said...

Marvelous! And I especially like the way he is talking to himself (Elle est où la balle?) and to his car (Au revoir voiture).
Another blog friend, Pau, put a nice photo of himself on a triciclo, saying he is imitating me...

Alice in Austria said...

Fascinating!!! Congratulations to Milo! I'm curious about how you go about "teaching" him vocabulary ... do you do this in a playful manner, or with the help of books? Do you just point to various objects and repeat the words? Do you insist on making him repeat the new word? I don't really have a system behind this yet (yep, even after 4 years of trilingualism!) and I think it would help if I knew how others are doing it. From a very practical standpoint ... (This might be an idea for a column article...?) ;)

Clo said...

Giovanni, I'll have to check out the tricicle picture!

Alice, I don't follow any particular methos, I just try to talk to him a lot and, yes, point to objects and name them as much as I can. We read a lot of books too. I don't insist onf making him repeat, he does that naturally, he's a little parrot! I must say this is something that I had to kind of drag out of me, as I am not a very chatty person by nature, and initially I found this constant talking to babies a little exhausting. But when he shows me that he has learnt a new world it is so rewarding!

Lilian said...

That's really fascinating! I love when they start talking to themselves while they're playing. Linton (my 2 almost year old) sings to himself a lot, and he actually makes up new lyrics to songs. If he's hungry, he uses a tune he knows and sings "Linton wants to eat, Linton wants to eat" :)