Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bilingual in Arkansas

One of the most pleasant surprises during our trip to America was that K did not back off at all from her new speaking-Czech-with-Apo routine.

We thought she might revert to answering in English, as she used to do and as would be understandable in an entirely English environment, but she had no problem conversing with him - in the store, in the car, in Grandmama's house - in all or mostly Czech and Slovak, depending on her knowledge of what she wanted to say. She does still speak some English to him, mostly on things she doesn't know the words or grammar for yet. Fair enough.

She also was completely confident in speaking English with everyone else and fitting in with other kids. I heard her use a Czech word to Grandmama once or twice, but she mostly kept everything to what people could understand. She enjoyed singing some of her preschool (and home) songs to Grandmama, which was pretty entertaining, especially when I had to clarify which songs she was singing real words to and which songs she was making up as she went along.

I wondered if K would be surprised by everyone speaking English in America, but the only time she commented on it was at the Prague airport when two women ahead of us in line were speaking English. "They speak English like me! And you!" I guess she got used to it after that.

She had a blast while there and didn't get set back at all during the trip or once we got back. Even jet lag was much easier this time around - we all slept all night every night since we got back! Not like jet lagging with an 11 month old who at 2 am just wants to play...

One thing she learned in Arkansas was the song "Ring of Fire" - she's heard it before on our i-pod, but started trying to sing along in the car this time. So of course I played it for her a few times and sang along so she could watch my mouth and pick up the words. I have to say, "Burns burns burns" is a very funny line to hear coming out of a three year old's mouth! I think it's the perfect souvenir to bring home from a trip to Arkansas, don't you?

1 comment:

  1. So glad that the trip was a linguistic success!

    (And I love the image of your little girl crooning Johnny Cash.)



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