Everyone’s child is the smartest, the best, the most brilliant. But mine really is. Or is it just the fact that my two year old is bilingual – which could have gone either way?
Last week, I decided to begin writing down notable Suzannismes (which is what I initially planned to do when she started speaking, as suggested in Growing Up With Two Languages). Not only have I consciously been able to retain what my daughter’s saying, but it’s helped me really take inventory of her amazing language abilities.
In the past week she’s really proved that she can go back and forth from French to English with no problem, sometimes mixing the languages but usually making proper word choices. Like when she finished her dinner, she said to me “tout fini” so I asked how Mommy said it. She looked at me, furrowed her brow and responded “tout finished”. She’s also showed that she is understanding her body with words like hot, cold, fait mal, sick, and indicating bodily functions at times. Some notable franglais is: up là (instead of up there).
She’s making mini sentences in both French and English: I did, Found it, I see it, wash hands, flush toilet, stop it, get off, push me. As well as some French examples like je lis, fais dodo.
She’s using the French negation “pas” as in "pas like it" (don’t like it) and correctly using “si” which is a positive response to a negative question (a piece of the French language that I had difficulty mastering).
And if her ear for language wasn’t enough, my little girl’s also got an ear for music. We were walking around the neighborhood the other day and Suzanne stops and says “’coute. Trumpet” and low and behold, there was a trumpet player in the café.
So putting it all together, last night we ate with our new Franco-Anglo friends and their little boy. It’s amazing to hear little bilinguals babbling because we could hear some similar intonation and words, even if much of it was in French. As we were leaving our friends’ house which has a sign above it indicating the year it was built “Anno 1899”. As Suzanne settled into her stroller, she looks up and says “one two three four.” Impressed?
Still not convinced my child is the smartest? As we walked home, Suzanne began babbling in the stroller when we recognized a word: moon. Then she began, “I see moon.” As the moon disappeared behind the building, she said “I see more” so I asked Jerome if she was saying more or moon. We then look up and see a half dozen moon shaped street lights.
Suzanne may have learned her numbers with They Might Be Giants Here Come the 123’s but I can tell you it’s not that cute at 3am when she wakes you up saying “1 2 3 4 high five! Mommy, high five!”