Union Rep

January 26, 2012 By: erik Category: Offspring, Videos 228 views

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Union Rep (thumbnail)Nora was being particularly cute recently during her nightly routine of barging into my office to interrupt my work and inform me of the state of dinner as it is progressing in the kitchen. So I grabbed the video camera and shot her. The result is pretty representative of her English abilities. The phrasing is a little off, e.g. “You no can work” instead of “You cannot work”, but she has the general structure down. Sometimes it takes her a moment to figure out where her sentence is going. In general, I’d say her English skill is about 80% that of her Spanish.

Somehow she’s picked up the British term “sitting room” – rather than the American “living room” – from her mother. My “close the door from the outside” trick didn’t go so well in this video, but sometimes it works smoothly.

  • McCloy

    This is one of the cutest things I have ever seen. (Outside of the cute things my own children have done of course.) I am impressed with her English skills and language skills in general. She has such an adorable lilt to her voice. (And when she is about 22, it will be a sultry lilt… watch out man…you’re in for a world of worry.) But I am especially impressed with your parenting skills. Such a gentle voice and not one trace of frustration. Too many parents, (and in their case I use the term loosely..perhaps “birth giver” would be better) are too quick to scold and let anger and irritation into their voice. I admire you for your gentle instruction. Bravo Erik. Bravo. 

    • Oh, I have moments of frustration, too. I’m pretty sure all parents do…at least ones that spend more than an hour a day with a two-year-old. The trick, as with most things in life, is to find a good balance. But thank you for your compliments, McCloy. They mean a lot coming from you.

  • Kaley [Y Mucho Más]

    Such wide eyes! You do have to eat dinner, you know, she’s right.

  • Bb

    Love the way that the very (north?) spanish ¿eh? is creeping onto the end of the English…just like my kids (used to do!)

  • Do both you and your wife speak English at home? My husband and I have always maintained that depending on the country we live in (US or Spain), the house language will be that of the country we aren’t in (when we have kids, that is). Curious if that’s your family’s approach.

    • That is exactly our thinking on the matter. I think OPOL is overrated. Nora, however, is too smart and has intuited that she can speak Spanish to her mother. Perhaps it’s also because I’m more strict about demanding English, but she does her best to avoid speaking English to her mother when she can get away with it.

      • Kaley [Y Mucho Más]

        You should do a post on why OPOL is overrated. 🙂

      • Kaley [Y Mucho Más]

        You should do a post on why OPOL is overrated. 🙂

  • Paul

    Does that final “Thank you” crack everybody up, or is that just a Grandfather thing?

    • Yeah, I liked that, too.

      At that point in the “conversation”, she was echoing everything I said, e.g. “this handle?”, “from outside?”, etc.

  • Nora is so cute, and you are so good with her. Neither surprises me, of course. I know it couldn’t possibly be any other way.

    I don’t know how you keep from cracking up with her though. I guess that’s a skill all parents have to master very quickly.

  • I just had to add my voice to the chorus of people saying this is the cutest video ever, and your parenting skillz are great. I love how hard Nora tried to figure out what you  meant by “close the door from the outside” and how patient she was about it. I don’t think Eva would have tried that hard. And the little “thank you” at the end was precious. We’re all fortunate that you share your Nora stories with us.

  • Betsy

    From my small amount of research it seems you are using the [email protected] method. What I find so fascinating and gratifying is how she instantly switches to exclusive English when she is speaking with her Americano grandparents, and of course Spanish with the abuelos.