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!]
(more…)

Toddler Conversations

July 15, 2011 By: erik Category: Offspring, Photos, Videos

Airplane Leg Room Show-OffNora continues to excel lingually in both English and Spanish. Oh, wait, she didn’t used to. Her English got a much needed boost on our fortnight (a flight attendant asked why we were going for only four nights) visit to the United States. When we arrived, she was speaking about 20% English, and when we left, she was using English about 90% of the time, even with her mother.

As parents often do, I had high expectations for her to not confuse the two languages upon returning to Spain. However, she did, in fact, speak a few sentences to her abuelos in English. I had to teach my mother-in-law that “me too” means “yo también” and what a “potty” is. She said, “Oh, I’ll remember that for sure, since my pharmacist is named Poti.”
(more…)