Monday, December 10, 2007

MTK generation

This weekend we met up with Milo's godfather, who's Flemish and married to a Turkish woman; they live in Belgium, and their 5 years old daughter Dilara is also growing up trilingual (Dutch, Turkish and French), while starting English at school. They've been a great case study, giving us confidence in our multilingual project! Unfortunately this past year we haven't managed to meet as often as we'd like, but Milo and Dilara are good friends and were happy to see each other. I observed the interaction attentively; Milo takes his tame to warm up in this type of situations. At first he would not utter much, he'd reply with his head to questions in Dutch, to signal 'yes' or 'no'. But as the day unfolded, the two little rascals begun a curious exchange in..both Dutch and French! I'd say Dilara was mainly solicitating Milo in Dutch and he was mainly solicitating Dilara in French. But they had no trouble in communicating and come up with all sorts of tricks! Among the parents we were using Dutch (the fathers among themselves), French (me and Dilara's mum) and English (me and Dilara's dad); was some how this influencing Milo's choice of language? Does he associate French with playing? He did speak Dutch as well, mainly to his beloved godfather. I just can't help but smiling thinking that in 10 years Milo and Dilara will be able to choose among French, Dutch and English to communicate and will probaly use all three depending upon the situation and the mood.

3 comments:

Juliet said...

A lot of languages floating around there! This will serve the kids well.

Sorry I'm so bad about commenting. I'm never sure I can come up with an intelligent response.

Lilian said...

Absolutely fascinating! I wish we could have a third or even a fourth language around us instead of only English and Portuguese. Spanish is a strong presence, but we don't interact as much as we should we Spanish speaking people.

Sarah said...

That is so very cool! I can't wait to hear my nephew and my son and, ideally, their friends figuring out which languages to speak to each other in.