Monday, May 21, 2007

Lydia 2.5 to 2 years and 9 months

Lydia's vocabulary has finally jumped quite a bit, but not really like I expected. She hasn't really added more words, but she has added them in more languages. Also, she has started to link more words together.

The biggest development is that I really notice her separating the languages. For example, she has said "Auto" (German, Car) since just before she turned 2 but wouldn't say it in any other language. Now she says it in English and Japanese too.
A typical sentence mixing up all three languages a few months ago was "Mite Mama, midori auto see" (Look mama, I see a green car.) Interesting that she has the tendency to put the verb at the end of the sentence like in Japanese.
Papa came home from work recently and I was talking about what we did today (in english) and trying to get Lydia to tell him what we did. She pulled out the thing we bought and said to him, "Lydia Kauf" (German - Lydia Buy). I had no idea she actually could say "kauf" because she only ever said "buy" to me.

Another example, we were walking in the neighborhood and passed a dog. She pointed and said, "mama! dog! woof. woof." Then she sees a lady coming toward us and said to the lady, "Mite! Inu! ii ne." (Look, dog. Nice!). She knew the woman was japanese and she should not speak the same way she speaks with mama.

Recently, the big change in Lydia's life is that she has been going to a japanese preschool for the past month. Her japanese words have increased in leaps and bounds. She frequently tries to sing songs and games that she learns in school. Unfortunately I can't help her with them because I have no idea how they go!

The teachers were immediately quite impressed with the amount of japanese she could understand and say. That was a relief to me (and them too, I'm sure). I guess they didn't realize she was actually born here, they thought she had just arrived and was brand new to the japanese language.

For the first 2 weeks, lydia would come home after school and babble in nonsense that sounded like japanese. It really did sound japanese but I know at least enough japanese to know that it was just sounds. She'd say "Mama, Ano ne, neno nano nini. baba nini nano nano." She would use her hands and gesticulate like she was having a very serious conversation with me. It was hilarious.

Now that she has been in the school for a few weeks, she can really communicate with the teachers rather well. It's still more of them asking her questions and her nodding or shaking her head. That's what it is like at home a lot too....

Her pronunciation is changing a bit. Last week she started trying to incorporate the American "R" into her speach. She was telling me to "Parrrrrrrrk" the "Carrrrrrrrrr". And she told me about a "Farrrrrrrrrt" (yes, the english word!) and because I am used to such poor pronunciation I thought she was saying "Fork". Duh.

Poor kid with stupid parents who can't understand her!

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