24 September 2012
In a multi cultural expat family, it’s nothing out of the ordinary that everything happens in more than one language, in our case English and German (and a little bit of Japanese, but let’s not complicate things by going in to that). I often get asked whether we are going to bring the boy up bilingually, and the answer is yes. I was brought up bilingually myself for many years. When we lived in Scotland when I was a kid, we spoke German at home and English elsewhere. That worked quite well since we all had more or less the same command of both languages. With the boy, we’re doing the ‘one parent one language’ method, so the husband speaks English with him and I speak German with him. Well, most of the time, sometimes I slip e.g. when he’s been a “naughty boy” or “mummy’s little helper”.
At the weekend, the boy and the husband were playing with LEGO bricks. The boy built this (see below) all by himself & declared it was a “duck”. He then came to show me & told me it was an “Ente”.
He never ceases to amaze me. I’m amazed that he’s no longer just randomly sticking LEGO bricks together, but obviously seems to have an exact picture in his head of what he wants to build. I’m amazed that it actually looks a bit like a duck. And most of all I’m amazed that he’s not even two yet and has figured out to use English with his dad and German with me.It’s a bit like having you very own sociological living experiment at home^^