I have been thinking a lot recently about bilingualism and the idiosyncrasies that go hand in hand with choosing the non-native approach.
There seem to be some strange traps and curve-balls that I don't think you can necessarily foresee at the outset. As such, I have decided to note them here on my blog as they occur. Hopefully, in addition to helping me remember the finer details of this journey, it will help others by flagging potential issues that may lay ahead of them.
I have come to a frustrating realisation: when a child is learning to speak, it often mispronounces its words. Somehow, when this is done in the listener's native tongue, their brain subconsciously sifts through the myriad possibilities to come up with a possible match for the sounds it has just heard. This means, more often than not, that the child's meaning deduced... Even if it takes a few guesses.
My experience (which is soooo frustrating and disappointing) is that, where a non-native language is concerned, the brain just doesn't seem to process these sound variations quite so well. It's as though its catalogue of possible options is incomplete.
It is frustrating for both parties :-(
This weekend, for example, Poppette kept saying 'Mazaza'. I just couldn't glean a meaning... She repeated it three or four times and then, simply said 'Shop'.
Of course. She had been saying 'Magasin'.
I came away from that exchange feeling as though she must be thinking 'Wait a minute! Aren't you the one that's supposed to be able to speak French???'.
Not really sure what can be done about this. I must try harder....