Monday, March 10, 2008

Language explosion.

One day, just as we were preparing to go out, Laetitia came up to us and asked, "Mummy, papa, voulez-vous sortir faire un petit tour? D'accord Mummy? D'accord Papa? (Mummy, papa, would you like to go out for a little walk? Okay Mummy? Okay Papa?). This coming from a older kid would not be as strange as it is coming from the mouth of my not even 2 year old little thing. I looked at Etienne and asked him if it was him speaking to her like this since I do not speak French to her. Well, he said no so we have no idea where she learnt that from. It is interesting since she "tutoyer" us all the time so for her to understand that when she is speaking to the both of us, she should use "vous" instead of "tu" is a major language achievement.

My mother in law and even Etienne was commenting about how she sometimes speaks with this little poshy accent. It is just hilarious since none of us are like that. When I was telling a friend about how Laetitia speaks, she was saying that my little one was possibly a princess in her last life!!! Hahahahah.

Now the only thing that bugs me now is that Laetitia constantly speaks to me in French. She understands what I am saying and she can definitely reply in English but she refuses to! Urrghhh. For example, the other day, I was eating some white biscuits and she wanted some, so I asked, "Do you want the white biscuit?" She replied "Blanc biscuit." So I said, "In English, the white biscuit?" And she replied "Oui, le blanc biscuit." I repeated my question and she replied in french again and said to me "en fran├žais, blanc biscuit." Finally when I threatened not to give her the biscuit if she does not tell me in English did she relent. Gosh, I cannot imagine the challenge ahead of me. The challenges of raising a child bilingual. And to think I am starting to introduce another language, Mandarin. What am I getting myself into???


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to read that Laetitia only speaks French to you. Mia is likewise, she never replys back to neither my husband or I in the languages we speak to her. I think they must have picked it up from the nursery and of course the country they are living in!

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking it'll probably get worse the longer we live in Paris. That is also one other reason why we are keen to move to another country for a few years, to make sure that she has the exposure to other languages and build a strong foundation in all her languages.

Anonymous said...

Funny that you guys are thinking the same thing too. We thought about moving as well. One place was Montreal but the thought of spending 3/4 of the year freezing isn't exactly tempting.

But my husband did reassure me that he was the same - he replied in English to his french parents when they were living in the US.