Friday, June 4, 2010

No modré! Blue!

Yesterday in the car, K said to me, "I want pays!" After making her repeating herself once or twice when I responded with my elegant, exellent-parenting-strategy, "Eh?", I asked, "Oh, you mean prejsť*? You want to go on a walk?" And she replied, "Yes, I want walk!" She's also very into "dobre" (good/ok) recently, though often it takes the form of an irritated "No dobre!"

Earlier this week she fell in love with the word deti (kids), which she pronounces sort of like čiči. "I want play čiči!" ("Eh? Oh, deti! You want to play with kids?") It's ok, K - your American side of the family can't pronounce that sound either. And it's in your last name. Twice. Ahem. You'll get the hang of it, though I doubt they will.

Sometimes if she prefers one word over another, she will insist the other word is wrong: it's not modré, it's blue! (modré = blue) It's not dobre, it's ok! I wonder if each word has a precise shade of meaning in her mind, so that they really AREN'T synonyms for her, or if she is just showing a bit of linguistic rebellion.

She is starting to be able to switch languages deliberately, though: if Apo doesn't respond to her repeated claims of "mine, mine! not yours, mine!", then she'll switch to "moje!" Or if she answers Apo in English and he tells her to say it his way, she can come up with the Slovak word she needs. In contrast, up until the last two weeks a request like that resulted in her repeating the English word louder and with more irritation in her voice. My daughter is a tourist, oh heaven help me...

* I apologize for any butchering of Slovak spelling from here on out. My fingers, they are used to Czech spelling rules. And my tongue, it cannot pronounce ľ. *grin*


  1. You know, my younger one sometimes also still claims that some word in the other language is wrong. And as far as he is concerned, there are no 'ands', 'ifs' or 'buts' around it. This seems to work itself out as they get a bit older - at least my newly 5 year old doesn't do that (anymore).

    And congratulations Baby K (for separating languages)! :)

  2. Oh, what we have to look forward to! I love all the examples of what kids and families are doing bilingually. I makes me trust that my son will find his way and teach me as we go. Thanks.

  3. smashedpea - I'm glad they grow out of it, however cute it is now. It is pretty funny, though. And thinking about it, it must be irritating to be 'corrected' when they know they chose exactly the word they wanted to use! :)

    rea - he will certainly find his way. I do recommend staying ahead of him as long as you can though! Now is the time to get a head start. :) Of course eventually my kid will surpass me, too, but I'm going to put it off as long as possible. And even when she does...I'll still be the one who can drive. It's not all about language, after all!



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