Monday, 28 February 2011

Baby Talk

I am pretty comfortable at talking my way around most topics in French (put me around the table at a dinner party and I'm good to go) but one thing I knew I would have a vocabulary gap around was baby talk. Chattering about winding, weaning, splashing in the bath or expressing emotion and doing so in language that can be directed at a young baby rather than in the adult terms I have been used to using.

I have also scratched my head as to what a French 'squeak' might sound like or a French 'splash' or how one would talk about blowing raspberries etc The answer :- 'squeak squeak' is 'pouet pouet', 'splash' is 'plouf' and the French don't talk about blowing raspberries - they just make the noise...not a framboise in sight.

There is no other solution here than to try my best to fill that gap and that's what I have been doing, diligently, since this adventure began. There are so many resources out there (TV, radio, books, the Internet, friends, magazines) and I have found it has simply been a case of working through as many of them as possible. I have started a list on the side bar to the right of this post entitled "French Language Resources" where I have begun to upload details of books and CD's I have found to contain useful language. I will keep adding as I go.

The dictionary has become my best friend and I also make sure to ask French friends for help with the more obscure idioms that you just can't make up.


  1. good luck to you! it won't be easy, but if you are determined and gather your resources carefully as you're doing, i believe you can really do it! thank you for your emails. here is something i saw recently that might be of some help to you...
    and another blog of a non-native french speaker teaching her children french
    in the end it's all about motivation and discipline! what are your motivations and how well can you discipline yourself to speak exclusively in french to your daughter. my children have given mild resistance, but nothing that enthusiasm and explaining hasn't taken care of. you'll have to follow i have an article that will appear this month on back to the basics of teaching your children a foreign language. i'm happy to answer any other questions you have. i'm not expert, but i do have some pretty rich experiences in raising my own polyglot tots, so please don't hesitate!

  2. Another thought that I have had is this: when our kids are older, it won't matter if we used the "wrong" or awkward term with them in regards to splashing and blowing raspberries...when they are old enough for it to matter, we'll be able to speak our non-native languages with them in a way that feels more natural to us, with many more terms that we actually use with friends our own age. =) right?!