Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Tu Veux Manger?

Oh là là

I can hardly believe that I am about to start this blog post about Little Man (almost 10 months old) with the very same words I used in this blog post about Poppette when she was 11 months old.

"I am so excited to sit down and write this post.

Little Man understands French!!!!

I have no idea why I am so surprised - afterall, I have been speaking French to him since he was born. Still, it was such a shock when I first realised."

A few days ago, I said to him "Tu veux manger?" [Would you like something to eat?] and he turned around and extended his arm towards the kitchen as if to say yes, please!!! Never one to be 100% sure whether something is a fluke the first time I witness it, I waited to see whether he did it again before writing a blog post about it and he has; several times.

I'm actually grinning from ear to ear. Not least because I have carried around a constant worry that I haven't spoken enough French to Little Man from an early enough juncture and becuase he started English speaking nursery care three months younger than Poppette so has had less time around me to help lay his language foundations.

This sign has bolstered my resolve and I find myself excitedly charttering to him all the time... he's probably wishing he'd kept quiet :D

It's so true that this whole non-native thing does become a lot easier once your children start to respond to what you say and you allow yourself to believe that they can and will understand.


  1. Replies
    1. Hi Annabelle...Yes it truly is wonderful. It's really, really perked me up. It's these positives that help me keep going with the non-native babbling on the days it feels harder :D

  2. Wow!! Fantastic news!! Bet that has made your week!! Emma :0)

    1. It totally did, Emma! There's no feeling like it :D

  3. Awesome:-) I know your excitement as I still remember mine when I realized my daughter understood my non-native English.

    1. Hi Rintaro...oh how I wish i could read japanese... I would love to know more about your non-native exploits.. Do keep coming back here and letting us all know more :D

  4. Congratulations! Keep up the good work!

  5. Thanks for the enouragement :D

  6. Hi there! I've been reading your blog for a few days now, actually have read almost all archive records. It is so inspiring! It really encourages me to continue with my efforts!

    I'm a 31 y.o. native Russian male trying to raise my daughter bilingual, speaking both Russian and English. But since my mother tongue is Russian it is often really hard for me to find the right word or compose the correct sentence. My wife speaks only Russian, so naturally we decided on OPOL method.

    I consider my English to be pretty good (hope it's not a wishful thinking though :) but still,
    there are so many doubts! I've never lived in an English speaking country or even talked to
    a native English speaker. I've been learning English on my own for a few years, I try to read, listen and watch as much materials in English as I can. That said, my English is still far from perfect or fluent and it makes talking to my daughter so much harder.

    But what alarms me the most, is that I work 8 hours a day and my wife is SAHM, so Eva (that's my daughter's name) is exposed to Russian most of the time. I can talk to her only ~3 hours in the evening and during weekends. I often ask myself: Will she ever start speak English? Or she will prefer to always use Russian as the dominant one? Do all the efforts worth it? Well, so far I hold on, with the help of the blogs like yours!

    As for our progress, here is what Eva understands now (she'll be 10 months in 10 days):

    1) Where is the flower/the ball/the frog/the pig/the cat/the girl/the fox/the roller? - Looks at the corresponding drawing on a wall or the toy and also may crawl and grasp it.
    2) Where are the lights? - Looks up at the ceiling lamp.
    3) Where is the ceiling? - Looks up
    4) Push the button - crawls to a toy music box and hits a large round button so the box starts playing music
    5) Eva has peed! - Looks down underneath her legs at the "pond" she's made :)
    6) Washing machine / dishwasher! - Looks at the washing machine / dishwasher, the spin cycle really fascinates her.

    It seems a pretty good list for 10 m.o. girl, but those doubts... I wish they would stop haunting me.

    1. Hi Eugene

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Seriously, I have to say that you sound like you guys are doing amazingly well!!!

      Its fantastic that you are doing this. I know how hard and how tiring it can be - particularly in the beginning before you have any indication of whether your child will ever understand or respond. For you to be doing this having never had the opportunity to speak to a native speaker or travel to England is even more amazing.

      Now that your daughter is responding to you when you speak i'm sure you feel some excitement and an enhanced belief that all your hard work is and will continue to pay off... and believe me, the first day she says a word in English, you will be doing back flips!!!

      Do keep in touch. If ever you need any advice or you have any questions about English words or phrases, feel free to drop me a line.

      Good luck !!!