Friday, 20 July 2012

Stringing Words Together

Poppette is now 21 months old.

Literally the day after she turned 20 months (Yep... i've been trying to find the time to sit down and write this post for a whole month!) Poppette said her first grammatically correct sentence - and it was in French :-) Hoorah :-) She said " Papa, regarde Maman" (Daddy, look at mummy). We couldn't believe it. In fairly short order after this, she went on to say "It's in there" and "I heard plane".

Poppette is really starting to be able to communicate, using either single words, strings of individual words (usually without the connectors (e.g. "écoute! moto" (listen, a motorbike), "maman, danse" (mummy, come and dance with me), "milk!" (i'd like a drink of milk please) and, of course, "noooooooooooooooooooo") or a combination of words and gestures.

She comes out with new words everyday. Testament to the Great British weather, the words she seems to use most often right now are "pluie" (rain), "pleut" (it's raining), "raining", "mouillé" (wet) and "wet".

Much to her grandad's amusement, she also loves to shout "pie" (which she calls any meal except for breakfast) "saucisse" (sausage) and "gâteau" (cake).

It's a remarkable feeling when your child starts to be able to communicate ... hearing the gentle tambour of her voice...it's like a hotline straight to her soul. Each time she speaks it touches me somewhere deep inside.

Another amazing development is that Poppette is starting to differentiate between her two languages or, at least, between the words I use with her and the words that others use with her. So many times now if she says an English word to me she immediately says the French word. It's fabulous to watch. She doesn't miss a beat.

Bizarrely, despite all these bilingual successes which offer proof that this non-native business can and does work, I am still really struggling to speak French with Little Man. I feel like I have gone right back to the days when Poppette was tiny and it just felt 'odd' to speak French. I really make an effort to speak French with him in front of Poppette.... I just really need something to click into place so that I do it all the time....I know deep down that (just like it has with Poppette) it will become second nature if I allow it ....

8 comments:

  1. Woohooooooo!!!!! I am so happy to hear this, about her sentence, after following along so closely (well, somewhat remotely more recently!) for so long. I know exactly what you mean by that line to their soul...SO true. It def. warms your heart in these early stages (and often later, though it def. changes once it becomes commonplace--as it will with BOTH of them, for sure!). I love hearing your confidence, that you'll come around with the little man. That peace will def. allow it to happen faster, from my perspective!
    I came to your blog just now to get the link because I've updated, and expanded, our Non-native Crib Sheet--the awesome idea which I got from your blog. I wanted to let you know in case you're wanting to expand yours, and also so that you know I've changed the wording in giving you credit and sending people to check out your blog.
    Thanks, once again, for 'letting me share' the idea...a woman in Germany, who has waffled like we do/did, found my blog and is really benefitting from the Sheet--she recently added a TON, which was my impetus for the update. As I look at your sheet, it appears that she's been to your blog, too--many of the phrases look the same! =)
    I look forward to staying abreast...!
    Tamara

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    1. Hello hello....wow picking up these comments has made me realise just how behind I am with my blog right now.....it can be soooo hard to find the time now i have two little rugrats...Thanks for the shout out you have given my crib sheet...I have sooooo many phrases to add to this now...litterally hundreds ..it's just finding the time to sit down and type them up...I need a personal assistant :-)

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  2. Well done! I couldn't read and run... Bravo Popette.

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    1. Thanks Annabelle...I have another post swirling around in my head about poppette's latest language feats.... will hopefully get that written down this week.

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  3. Oh, fabulous! Hearing words from the sweet little voice of your child - especially strung together in full sentences! and in French! - is another one of those heart-melting wonders of being a parent :) Aleksander has only (already?) been talking for 8 months, and I still get a thrill out of hearing him talk. I love how you put it - "a hotline straight to her soul" - that is beautiful.
    It's really interesting to hear that you're having trouble speaking French with Little Man. Now that I'm pregnant with our second, I was thinking it would be easier to start speaking German with "Cupcake" than it was with Aleksander, since I have so much more child-related vocabulary now. (I didn't start until he was 9 months old.) I suppose as with everything else with a new baby, you can't predict how it will go! We'll just have to see. I'm glad you know you'll get there - of course you will! And Popette is proof that a little lag time at the beginning won't stop Little Man from becoming bilingual!

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    1. Cupcake...how adorable!!! When's your due date by the way Kate?

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  4. That's wonderful, it's so rewarding when those first words finally turn into sentences... even more so when they're in French!

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    1. It's mindblowing isnt it... I wonder if it's even more mindblowing for us non-natives when our child speaks the minority language than it is for other bi/multi-lingual families? Btw Tallulah, i'm just about to pop over to your blog to pick your brains about immersion schooling etc

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