Thursday, April 12, 2012

Que, Que??

The extent of my Spanish is very limited, despite my three years of high school Spanish classes in which we were not allowed to speak a shred of English, so when we decided to hire Rosa, our Hispanic sitter, I was a little hesitant.  How in the world will we communicate? But we communicate all the same, with a lot of pointing and hand gestures, we make it just fine.  It amazes me how Liam can understand Brian and I and still understand Rosa (aka Ita) even at his young age.  Rosa can tell him to give her “besos” and I will say give me “kisses” and Liam’s reaction to both is the same.  She has taught him so many things in the 6 months he has been with her it just amazes me how he can absorb it all like a sponge. 

The best part about it all is when we teach his grandparents to say the things in Spanish that Liam will respond to ( clapping, kisses, hugs, come here, night night, etc) the variations they come up with just sends us into rolling laughs.  Instead of “besos” we get “pesos” (so not “give me kisses” but “give me money”) and instead of come here (“ven”) we get “ben” or “vee-inn”, but nevertheless Liam understands us all. 

I know it may take him longer to begin speaking, other than just babbling and Mama and Dada, but in the end I know it will pay off for him to be bilingual. In today’s society it is a great bonus to employers if you can speak other languages besides just English, so if he is able to retain his Spanish and his sign language through his adult life I think our current language barrier will definitely pay off in the end.  Hopefully he will not only be trilingual but eventually multilingual as we hope to introduce several other languages as he grows. 

1 comment:

  1. When I was little my sitter was from Bangladesh. She had a son about my age and often spoke Bengali to him (even though her English was quite good) and I picked it up as well. My family even has a story about me getting angry that they didn't know what 'damos dou' (give spoon) meant.

    I don't remember any Bengali now, but I'm sure that exposure to another language is part of why I have such good pronunciation when I learn foreign languages now. (I also attended French immersion school and I'm still passable in French, which no doubt helps as well.)