Are you bi-lingual? If you are not did you know you are a minority in the world?
Here is some perspective:
What do you call it when one is fluent three languages? Tri-lingual.
What do you call it when one is fluent in two languages? Bi-lingual.
What do you call it when one is fluent in only one language? American.
(The term “American” is just as telling as it’s multi-culturally challenged inhabitants, seeing as there are three geographical regions bearing America in their names spanning over dozens of countries. That is for a different blog post seeing as pretty much the whole world allows the rash, young, nation to call itself such a thing.)
Leaving the joking aside and moving on…
A frequent conversation I have with people is in reference to the fact that I speak two languages. Personally, I do not consider myself bi-lingual. Bi-lingual suggests fluency that allows one to be considered “an insider” in both languages. Me, not so much. Sure, a few close friends consider me an insider. For the most part, though, I am still a gringa. It’s ok with me.
My kids are actually bi-lingual. My two youngest are still in the language learning age and well on their way to joining their older siblings in bi-lingual land.
It is fascinating watching how natural it is for toddlers to pick up a language like it is one of their playthings strewn on the bedroom floor. I am so grateful that I can offer my children the riches that come from a multi-cultural existence and awareness.
A bit of a Kaitlynn update in the language area:
- Length of time exposed to English: 12 weeks.
- Age: 2 and a half years
- Spanish dominance: sentences up to 5 words long, 200+ word vocabulary (I stopped writing them down when I got to 200), understands but does not yet speak about 5x her vocabulary.
- English dominance: 21 words, understands but does not yet speak 11 words / phrases.
Note: These numbers are increasing daily.
I believe strongly that each person has their own journey to walk when they decide to venture to bi-lingual land. I share these numbers not to boast or compare. NO! I share them to help me take a breath and rejoice in the accomplishments we have reached in such a quick time.
Her newest word is: obey. She knows 100% what that word means. So cute to watch her tell her baby dolls to obey.
Another new sound that is not used frequently at the beginning of Spanish words is: s. Her ‘s’ at the beginning of words is usually a ‘sh’ sound. Lately we have been working on not standing on chairs by saying to her: sit. She tries to repeat the word and I about crack up every time! (Yes, you’ll, wake up at about 2 AM and be like… Oh! I get it! Ha!!!)
I am grateful that:
- We all speak Spanish to make the transition smoother
- That Tyler is learning Spanish
- Kaitlynn is a verbal child and excited about learning new things
If you are bi-lingual I would live to hear some about your journey. Feel free to share!