I recently learned that K serves as an interpreter when her preschool teachers can't understand the external English teacher who comes in twice a week. Apparently (one teacher told me today) they ask K and she explains what he said.
Part of me wonders if this is expecting too much of a four year old and the other part wonders if we could negotiate a break on tuition for K's language services.
I am impressed that she can do this, actually, since it is one thing to be bilingual and another thing to facilitate communication between two other people. It's a different cognitive process.
It does go slightly against my no child interpreters rule (I don't think it's right to put a child in that position if it can be helped at all), but this isn't serious or frequent. I know she can handle it, and I am proud of her for being helpful.
We had this conversation as K and another girl sat at the table working puzzles. The little girl pointed to the animals in the puzzles she was doing and named each one in Czech.
The teacher said, "Yes, that's right, and I bet K could tell us how you say that in English."
K, obligingly: "Horse. Cow. Chicken."
Teacher: "Isn't it 'cock'? (to me) Isn't slepice 'cock'?"
Me: "No, I believe it's 'hen', but we usually just say 'chicken' for everything."
An extra level of multilingualness was added by the fact that the little girl naming the animals in Czech - is Chinese. Like K, she's a Czech-born foreigner and is perfecting her Czech in preschool.
Life is fun sometimes.