Yago is learning new words in both English and Spanish everyday. There are several things that amaze and amuse us now that perhaps worry parents of older kids. But at just 20 months these things seem cute, like peeing on the floor is cute. The novelty will wear off.
- Regardless of how he mixes languages, when speaking to his Dad Yago puts adjectives behind verbs, as per Spanish grammar, but he puts them in front when speaking to me.
For example, if his Dad asks him what he would like for breakfast the answer is “Pancake grande,” but if I ask him it is “Big pancake.”
- Sometimes he adopts the vocabulary from one language and uses it with everyone, but other times he choses the correct language and uses it only with people who speak that language.
For example, if you say “Camion” (truck) he will shake his head violently and insist on “Pick-up, pick-up, pick-up.” However, he is not offended by the word “coche” (car) and uses both options. Colors are in English, numbers are in Spanish, no exceptions. Colores get added in randomly. That may have more to do with the fact that his Dad is color blind and consults Yago to know if his cell phone is charged or not.
- Occasionally he makes up words that are a combination of both English and Spanish.
For example, he combines “Fish” in English, with “Pez” in Spanish to make “Piss,” which seems very funny now. However screaming “Piss, Piss, Piss” on school field trips to the Aquarium might make the staff a bit nervous about their carpets. By school time, floor peeing will definately have gotten old.
Although his vocabulary is primarily based in nouns and adjectives, Yago is starting to tell stories. He relies on a lot of mime and repetition, but he gets his point across.
Here are a few favorite stories I have heard dozens of times this week: (Spanish words translated in brackets)
- Chico (little) Nana. Push. No Nana.
Translation: When I talk to Nana on Skype she looks really small, and if I push the screen-off button, even though Mom tells me not to, Nana goes away.
- Yago. Dirt. Coche (car). Plus clapping.
Translation: It is really fun to take big handfuls of dirt from the park, fill the back of my Winney the Pooh car, and then unload it at home in the living room.
- Mas (more). Green. Boobie. BIG. Boobie. Plus eye rubbing.
Translation: It’s bedtime.
PS: This post is part of the Blogging Carnival on Bilingualism, hosted by “Where Going Havo.” You can check out lots of great information on multilingual families by clicking here.