Friday, September 24, 2010

On Being the Expert

We had a first this week - the first of what will probably become commonplace in a few years. K asked me how to say something and I didn't know the answer!

"Mama, I put this on table. What this called?"
"That's a banana peel."
"What Apo call this?"
"Um, I don't know! We'll have to ask Apo when he gets home."

And with that, a bridge was crossed. All because I don't eat bananas.


I'm in a peculiar position at the moment, because we are moving to a country where I know the language and my daughter doesn't. I am the expert in her eyes. But, since it isn't my native language, she will have the occasional question that I can't answer and the day will come when she will know the language better than I do. For the moment, though, I still know more than she does. I'm enjoying it while it lasts.

(That applies to more than one area of life, doesn't it? I also am retaining my edge in technology and gadgets, by the skin of my teeth. K can do things with my phone that it took me ages to figure out...)


Also, even once K both speaks Czech and works my phone better than me, I will still be the one with the driver's license. And the bank account. Thus guaranteeing me a few more years of relevance to her life!


  1. Other non-native-speaking parents have told stories about when their child's skills in that language surpassed their own....I dream of the day that can happen! Then I'll know I've succeeded as a parent/teacher.

    Just yesterday Griffin's (American) babysitter told us that he corrected her pronunciation when she stumbled over some words in the French books she was reading to him. Yay!

  2. Yes, it is an exciting prospect, isn't it? Speaking two or three languages better than the parents, and without the huge amount of effort we put in as adults trying to learn.

    I have friends who lived for ten years in Prague and had children born there. They said that when it was a question of usage, the kids were usually right, and when it was a question of detailed grammar, the parents were usually right. I imagine K and I will be like that in a few years.

    Thanks for the comment :)



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