As I haven't updated for a while, I figured it was about time.
At 3.5, Lydia is definitely having a preference for speaking English lately. She tends to reply to Papa in English sometimes - especially if we are all together. When it is just the two of them she is more likely to default to German with him. She has also started to ask me (in English) to tell Papa certain things. For example, if she wants to tell him what we did during the day but doesn't know the right words in German, instead of trying to use the words she does know, she said, "Mama tell it."
I'm wondering if we need to review the day in German before Roland comes home so she can have the proper vocabulary fresh in her head. I'm not sure.
Another thing that is putting more stress on the English lately is that we have an American woman living with us as of a few months ago. Karen spends a lot of time with the kids and obviously speaks English with them. It has been good for Lydia's confidence in language, but definitely putting a lot of stress on English.
Lydia constantly makes us laugh with her creative grammar construction. This must be a result of the differing grammatical structure of the three languages. She seems to just pick and choose whatever makes most sense to her. I get the impression she is using the Japanese construction a lot - she often puts the negative at the end of the sentence.
Here's an example:
"Karen sick more nope?"
meaning: is Karen still sick?
When Lydia and Alexander are playing together, Lydia usually speaks with him in Japanese. It is very choppy and somewhat made-up, but it is Japanese.
Roland's mother will soon be visiting for a month. It will force me to speak more German and I am hoping this will encourage Lydia to have more confidence with speaking it as well.
Alexander at 1 year and 10 months has become somewhat of a chatter box. He is such a mimic. Our conversation goes like this....
Me: "Alexander, what's that?"
A: "What dat?"
Me: "What's that?"
Me: "Yes, what's that?"
A: "What dat?"
Me: "That's a doggy."
(but if I ask him to point out the doggie, he will point to it right away)
He also is learning some really funny grammar and mixed up language from Lydia. If Lydia wants to know what I am doing she will say "Nani mama doin'" (nani is japanese). Now Alex repeats, "nani mama doin'"
He talks about what he sees. It was big excitement last week because we flew to Thailand and were on airplanes, boats, taxis and buses. While in the airplane he probably told me a hundred time, "I see it. Airplane." And on the boat when we see other boats going by, "I see it boat. I see it fish." And looking out the taxi window, "I see it purple taxi. I see it orange taxi. I see it pink taxi. I see it car."
He is also going through a terribly independent phase. He MUST do everything by himself. "I"LL do it" (as a screech) is just about his favorite thing to say.
In regards to German, he seems to understand that he uses different words with Papa than he does with mama. If he wants up, he says "HOCH" to Roland. If he wants down he says "RUNTER". If he is finished with his food he says "VERTIG" if he is talking with roland. There are some terms he understands better in English... for example the other day Roland was saying "Tür zu" a gazillion times and then finally I said it in English, "close the door" and he finally closed the door. I get the feeling there are some things that Roland says a lot that Alexander doesn't necessarily understand in English because I don't say the same things.
In regards to japanese, he seems pretty much right on track. He is having a fine time at preschool.