Saturday, June 04, 2011

Bilingual fun

It is awfully fun hearing your children learn another language. I do know some French, as all Canadians have to take it in school, so none of them have surpassed my vocabulary yet. I have the kind of French that can scan most documents and generally understand what its saying, or understand what people are saying if they talk slow and make lots of hand gestures. Sometimes I can even respond in a proper sentence.

Andrew has been in French Immersion for almost a year now, and because he is a perfectionist, we are just starting to see some of the results of that. When he speaks French, his accent is perfect. He won't speak to French speakers as he's afraid that he won't speak "properly", but he will talk at school. He has spent a lot of time with a lovely tutor who has worked closely with him to help him learn the French phonemes he needs to be able to properly pronounce the language.

Aaron and Emma have been in a French speaking daycare since January now. Aaron is finally starting to come out with some French words, but it is a much more casual, random French, the kind spoken in every day conversation. His accent is more slurred and sometimes we don't really know what words he's trying to say.

Emma is in that language - learning stage, and she is somewhat behind where both my boys, who were only hearing one language, were at her age. She babbles a lot, sometimes in something resembling English, and sometimes in something resembling French. Sometimes her few words are English (Dada, eyes, berries) but sometimes they are in French (bebe, maitnant (now), bas (socks) and regarde (look!)). It makes it fun trying to guess what she's saying sometimes, as its a bit or a garble.

The other day something flew by our yard, and Aaron was outside. He yelled, "Look! An el-co-tor! An el-co-tor!" Andrew came running out and said, "You mean un hel-cop-tour, Aaron." Yes, they saw a helecopter. And both only remembered the French pronunciation.

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