Thursday, March 27, 2008

Being Bilingual

Right off the bat, X & I decided that we would split language duties. He would speak to the Girl solely in French & I in English. In principle, this should work very well. Only problem was that since X was away often, she spoke more English than French. So last summer just before she started pre school, I began speaking to her in French as well. I stick to one language per sentence but tend to use French & English interchangeably in a conversation. This proved to be a mistake cos that's why she comes up with gems like these.
** i noted these down yesterday & there are several references to chocolate because of this.

Pourquoi do that ?
(why do that ?)

My hands are dirty apres manger le chocolat
(My hands are dirty after eating the chocolate)

La mouche va eating my chocolate
(The fly is going to eat my chocolate)

I'm sitting toute seule
(I'm sitting by myself)

Pas yet
(not yet)

The last one is classic. For some reason, she just cannot say Don't or Not but of course, she has no problems saying No.

Despite my constant efforts to correct her, she's still messing it up. I have been told that it will pass & eventually she'll get it right. Which is another reason why I've been hesitant to start speaking to her in Mandarin. I know I should start early but it's seem rather daunting. What do you think ?


Anonymous said...

thank you for sending me your blog link. i think it's great that you created one. my hubby has one also but it's mostly about politics. here is the link:

what has been going on? i sent you emails to your mac address but i don't know if you were getting them. i love that you share your recipes on your blog. hope all is well.

Laetitia's mummy said...

It is suppose to be a very common mistake. Laetitia does the same thing. I try my very best to speak to her solely in English but sometimes it's so hard when I am talking to others at the same time. I think it might be better for you to switch back to only English to help her with a clearly understanding that the two languages are different. I'm sure teachers in school will correct her on her French.
Good luck!

petite fleur said...

Sylvia - Will check out the stuman's blog. Sorry I was busy setting this blog up but I'm going to reply to your email.

Sandra - That's what I'm doing now. Trying to only speak to her in English. It's hard when she speaks to me in French, I just automatically switch to French. I have to stop myself now & make a very conscious effort to only speak English.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mei! Thanks for sending out the e-mail. I am really enjoying the blog and catching up on your life in France. Great photos and I love the food!
Keep up the bilingual parenting -- you will be glad you did. there's plenty of time for her to sort the languages into perfect little piles. For now she is expressing herself creatively in two languages and there's nothing bad about that. I speak here as a bad example, having failed to achieve bilingualness in our two kids.
Ann Nordby

meng said...

don't foregt to teach her Singlish!
she can be tok gong in languages!

petite fleur said...


Thanks by dropping by. Glad you like the blog. Stay tuned for more about how we deal with this bilingual issue. Who knew parenting would be so tough.


Haha I can't imagine speaking Singlish to her here. I would sound so foreign.

meng said...

mmmm..guess uncle meng would have to teach her some of that fabulous singlish.!

Anonymous said...

you should start teaching a 3rd or 4th language as early as possible. kids are sponges that absorb really fast.. reader's digest had an article some time back that suggested kids 0-4yrs old have the best abilities to learn languages.

i guess X sticking to french and you sticking to english is a good start, but you might want to introduce mandarin soon.. think back early days, most of us spoke english in school, mandarin at home and dialects to our grandparents. that's why it was so easy to switch amongst all 3..

if singlish wasn't the national language, then hokkien surely must be. haha :)

Anonymous said...

this is one of the most popular issued happened to HK familes ( including myself ) haha... no quick fix. Leo / HK ex-BB