Conversations with a bilingual preschooler: Overtranslation

October 08, 2013 By: erik Category: Funny, Offspring, Parenting, Spain, Spanish

Bottle CapThe other day I was out walking with my bilingual four-year-old daughter, and we passed a pair of elderly women. One of them was carrying a plastic bag full of plastic bottle caps to recycle, probably for charity. Out of the blue, my daughter begins this conversation:

“Do you know what Grandpa likes to do?”

“No, what?”

“He likes to go to bars and get tops.”

“Tops?”

“Like bottle tops.”

[huge burst of laughter!]
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Nora’s English Report Card – Year 1

June 21, 2013 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Photos

English Report CardToday was Nora’s last day of school for the year; her first scholastic year is in the books. This school year has flown by. Nora has received three report cards (different columns in the same booklet) throughout the year, and it has been interesting to chart her progress. I’m convinced that the teachers intentionally give low marks early on so that they can show improvement throughout the year, but that’s understandable. In each “subject”, the children receive a grade of either one, two or three X’s, with XXX being the best grade. From the very first time we saw the report card, we were curious as to why she only received XX in English, since she’s very clearly bilingual.
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Se Acabó El Turno – The Turn Is Over

May 31, 2011 By: erik Category: Offspring, Spanish, Videos

Se acabó el turno - video thumbThis morning it was raining, so we couldn’t go outside for Nora to release her toddler energy in the playground. At one point she started going on and on about “Se acabó el turno” which means “The turn is over”. It makes about the same amount of sense in both languages. My best hypothesis is that it’s something that the daycare workers tell the kids as they rotate one child out of a high chair and put another one in. Or perhaps when they are forced to share toys? I’ve certainly never said it to her in Spanish, nor have I heard anyone else speak those words.
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