Spanish Lesson for New Parents

September 27, 2013 By: erik Category: Parenting, Spain, Spanish

Small CollarWhen you learn a second language, apart from the grammar rules, you obtain a very thinly spread vocabulary of a variety of subjects. But when you’re living in a country that speaks that foreign language, and you delve into a hobby, like camping or sailing or carpentry, you realize that there is a whole new fractal universe of domain-specific vocabulary, words for all the nouns and verbs associated with a specific activity. One such example of a new domain that they don’t teach very deeply in textbooks is all the vocabulary that goes with having and caring for a baby. I have two fellow Americans In Spain that are pregnant, so I thought I’d write a post outlining some vocabulary every parent in Spain needs.

Lopsided Language Development

January 13, 2011 By: erik Category: Musings, News, Parenting

Spain and USA Flags MergedNora’s Spanish has taken some leaps and bounds in the past couple weeks, yet her spoken English is lagging behind, and I can’t help but blame myself for it. In the mornings, when I care for her for 3-5 hours depending on when she gets up, I speak only English to her, except when we are around Spaniards in the grocery store. She, however, chooses to speak Spanish to me. There are some exceptions. When she asks for a cookie, she says “Doh-chi!“, and when she wants to get down off of something (e.g. chair, sofa, stroller), she typically says, “Down!”, although she has recently taken to saying “Al suelo!” (to the floor).

Elephants and Vocabulary

January 05, 2011 By: erik Category: Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Photoshop

Nora With ElephantsNora’s vocabulary continues to advance. She’s big into repeating whatever you say, particularly the last part, so if you say, “Do you want some yogurt?”, and she says, “Yogurt!”, that doesn’t necessarily qualify as an affirmative response. The problem is, however, that she’s not very good about open ended questions. “What do you want?” still isn’t likely to result in any meaningful communication, although if she’s been asking for something, she will repeat what she wants (hint: it’s usually a cookie).