Sunday, February 15, 2009

You speak my language


What a surprise! C's former nanny, Stephani, arrived back in the States and came by to see her favorite little Angeleno on Valentine's Day.

It was an adorable reunion. Stephani reconnected with C, who was a little wary at first. It's been about four months, after all, and in toddler time, that must be like years. I wondered how C would react. She eventually came around ... after presents and hugs and playtime.

I was even more curious when Stephani started speaking Spanish to her, which she did all the time when she was here. C stopped and stared at her. I could see the wheels turning, that she was trying to process what she was hearing and wasn't quite sure what to make of it.

I loved that Stephani spoke Spanish to her. I fantasized about having a bilingual baby who could translate even the basics to her parents. But ever since she's been hearing only one language around the house, I can tell that she's been saying more words. In English, of course. And faster. I'd heard that children are slower to start talking if they hear more than one language. Maybe that was the case.

And even though I'd love to hear her rattle off something to Stephani that's completely unintelligible to me, what I love more is hearing her screaming "I've got you!" (a garbled variation, that is) as she chases me from room to room. That, I totally get.

1 comments:

Susan Thompson said...

I just thought people might be interested in this article about children and language, http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_med_healthbeat_bilingual_tots.

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