Tuesday, February 24, 2009

How things change: Family Language Diagram (updated)

I just updated our family language diagram and was startled by the changes that have occured in only one and a half years! (See the original diagram in the right-hand side bar).
The first diagram was depicting especially the desired situation, while this one is a more concrete and objective picture of what goes really on in our family. Although the Belgianite and myself are returning strictly to OPOL, the circumstances and social interactions are such that all of the other languages are inevitably spoken by us around the kids as well.
The good new is that Milo (now almost 5) and Zeno (just over 2 and 1/2) seem to be developing their main three languages very harmoniously and clealry. I am constantly reassured by Milo's maitresse and by Zeno's day-care personnell about their excellent proficiency in French; their Italian is up to the standards of kids their age, with tiny mistakes every once in a while (past participles, cannott roll the 'r' fully), but similar to their same age Italian counterparts; as for the Dutch, I am the last one to be able to judge, but the Belgianite assures me they are up to speed and have no trouble whatsoever in communicating when in Begium. Milo has been indeed more and more disciplined in addressing his dad in Dutch direclty, even in my presence.
One thing they do not like, though, is us transgressing the rules: they do not like me reading a book in French or Dutch. There are some books they accept in English, though, but for the most part they want Italian from me.

Zeno's meta liguistic awareness is also coming along. Little conversation witnessed yesterday:
Me: "Allora, in che lingua lo volete vedere questo DVD? C'è in Francese, Olandese , Inglese e Spagnolo" (which language do you want to watch this DVD in?)
Zeno: "In Francese! In Francese!" (French)
Milo (whom, up to this point, amused himself by watching this particular DVD in Spanish, for some reason, but is sensistive to his little brother's request): "Sei sicuro, Zeno?" (are you sure?)
Zen: "Si, in Francese" (yes)
Milo: "Ma lo capisci il Francese, Zeno?" (but do you understand French?)
Zeno: "Si, si." (yes)
Milo: "Alla crèche parlate Francese?" (do you speak French in daycare?)
Zeno: "Si, in Francese." (yes)


Lilian said...

Aaaawww, this is just so cute! I love to "hear" their small voices speaking Italian to each other. My boys have been speaking Portuguese less and less to each other (sigh).

I should do comparative charts too, although ours will have only 2 languages...

I have to spend some time catching up on your blog (I still don't do the feed reader thing ;-)

giovanni said...

What a nice conversation between two young brothers! But you should read more books in Dutch... or not?

What is going to be your common language? Italian?

I put a video on Spring in our garden on my blog that you may like. And another one about a visit to Groningen.

Un abrazo

marina villatoro said...

WOw, your diagram is crazier than mine:)
i speak russian, we live in costa rica, where nanny, school and friends speak spanish, daddy (gautemalan) and me speak english. until 3 years old my son didn't speak and invented his own language all togther. it was really interesting to see.
The Travel Expert(a) and an Expat with a Twist

KidProofCanada said...
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awonderfulworld said...

ciao Clo,

Da quanto tempo! Vedo che va tutto a gonfie vele in famiglia, sono contenta. Beati i tuoi bimbi che parlano già tutte queste lingue, ma l'inglese? che fate, lo boicottate? Fatti sentire di tanto in tanto, mi fa sempre tanto piacere. Baci

Anonymous said...
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Hanna said...

Wow, that's an interesting development :) My daughter is now 14 months and her first words are coming out, but only in Swedish, but she seems to say: oui, for yes.

I have finished my blogspot blogs and is now working from my own webpage, I have a blog there too if you want to see, but it is all about fashion!!! Take care, hope to hear from you soon.


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