Monday, January 14, 2008

Meta-linguistic awareness

Milo is becoming increasingly aware of the existance of different languages, not only within his entourage. And he's curious to find out who speaks what:

  • Yesterday I was on the phone with one of his baby-sitters. Once I hung up, he asked me
    Milo: "Who was it?"
    Me: "It was Sabine."
    Milo: "She speaks French, right? She does not speak Italian..."

  • Another day:
    Milo: "Who did you have lunch with today, Mum?"
    Me: "I had lunch with my colleague Frederique"
    Milo: "Avete parlato Francese?" (Did you speak in French?)

  • The fist day of school after the holidays, on the way to school we were reviewing the nice two weeks we just had in Belgium and Italy, and Milo was keen to retell his teacher all about it; it seemed to me he was already mentally translating some of the stuff we were talking about. In fact, when I reminded him of the visit of the Befana, which on January 6th filled his sock with sweets and candies, he asked me:
  • Milo: "Come si dice Befana in Francese?" (How do you say Befana in French?)
    I had to think about it a second.
    Me: "I'm afraid it does not exist in France, Milo, you'll have to say...la Befan√°!"

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