Saturday, 26 May 2012

Poppette the Wordsmith

Poppette has recently created a new word.... 'Mapa'... (an amalgamation of the words Maman and Papa) which she uses when she is not sure which one of us will give her the answer or reaction she is looking for...

'Mapa'... She says whilst looking expectantly at the treat cupboard

'Mapa' ... She says whilst pointing towards the bed she wishes to bounce on

'Mapa' 'Mapa' 'Mapa'

Ingenious. She is simply too cute for words.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Word Count

At 19 months old, Poppette has a spoken vocabulary of 67 words (this doesn't include the words she says when copying others - of which there are many). Of these 67 words, 25 are French and 42 English. Here's the list for anyone who is interested.

Interestingly, so far she seems to have mostly chosen only one word per object and I cannot work out how she makes the choice of which language to take these words from. It doesn't seem to relate the difficulty of pronunciation, as she says things like chaussures rather than shoes. Likewise, it doesn't seem to be based on groups of sounds as she says bateau rather than boat but cake rather than gâteau....

As Papa rightly says, it makes no difference to Poppette which word she chooses - at least not when she is at home, as she will be understood either way and to her there is no diffrence as she doesn't yet realise she speaks two separate languages. I would be interested to know whether if, when she fails to be understood at nursery using a French word, she switches to the English equivalent or not.

I have heard many parents who are raising bilingual children say that when they speak the minority langage to their child, the child responds in the majority language. I can understand why this happens and this, for the time being at least, is exactly what is happening in our house. Whenever I ask Poppette a question, although I will have spoken to her in French, she will either reply 'Yes' in English, or simply shake her head. I am eager to know whether this will change over the next few months as she will be spending more time with me and thus, more time surrounded by the French langauge.

I recently read a fellow blogger's post about not taking your children's bilingualism too personally. I have to say... for me this is not easy. I feel I have so much invested in this. I have to keep reminding myself that this is just one aspect of our life, our family and who we are and that realistically it is just a small part of who my children are. Surely, it's much easier not to take it too personally once you know you have suceeded in your goal.....We are certainly on the right track and I am proud of us for making this choice and sticking to it.