My Girl is 2 and a half,
Last night for the first time she called me by my name,
It was in the middle of the night, probably a nightmare
Instead of the normal, "mama, mama" this time she screamed "mamamily"
I lay there most of the rest of the night thinking how much her speech is evolving to reflect
everything she needs to say and the languages around her.
We are a multilingual household.
We don’t structure or plan it, we just speak.
My husband speaks Wolof and English to her, on and off mixed throughout the day
At school they primarily speak to her in Swedish and some English
I speak to her in French and English
She watches British tv cartoons in English in the evening and French cartoons every morning.
Society speaks to her in Swedish most of the time
I’ve never really thought about how that would manifest in her speech.
Now at 2 and a half she has the most awesome phrases and mixes and contexts..
She know who around her speaks which languages and when to use what
She also mixes grammatical rules between languages which is rather awesome to see
My favorite example is bath time:
knowing daddy is the boss of bath time, Wolof rules that moment
she squeals "sangu time!!" and “tati nen” as she runs around naked before her bath every evening
I put together a list of my favorite Ellaisms and close translations click here :D
I am not going to speculate on how her language will develop and how this will affect her psychosocial skills but I will share links to the two articles that were shared with me which are super encouraging and interesting!
This one from Spraktidning - (in Swedish)- Children with two Languages are better at solving problems
and this one from IFL Science - (in english) "bilingual babies have more flexible brains"