Wednesday, December 30, 2009

every time I think that Carl has completely forgotten his French...

Two anecdotes from Elizabeth, Carl's mom:

Yesterday after his nap, Carl came downstairs, looked at the bookshelves, and picked out the French-English dictionary. After looking through the pages quietly for several minutes, he brought it over to me and said,"Mommy, I want to show you 'voiture'." So I showed him how to find V for voiture, and how the dictionary shows it means "car," and then we found "car" in the English part and how it means "voiture."

Why, yes, he was at his cousin Griffin's earlier that morning, why do you ask?

I tape our Christmas cards to the dining room wall every year for decoration. Carl was looking at a card with 'Noel' on the front. He said, "That card is from Tatie, because it has a French word on it."

(Sarah adds: Yes, this three-year-old can read!)


  1. The teacher in me wants to point out the excellent dictionary skills that Carl and Elizabeth are demonstrating here....don't ever trust the bilingual dictionary unless you look up the word in both languages! (I.e., double-check that the translation really means what you think it does by looking it up in the other side of the dictionary. I could tell when my students hadn't done this and hadn't paid attention to the parts of speech.)

  2. Do you still speak to Carl in French?

    Joyeux Annee

  3. @Seumas--Yes, I do, but Carl invariably responds in English. He doesn't like for me to read to him in French any more. And sometimes I can't manage to convey in French important messages or answers to his questions (like "I know Griffin isn't doing what you want him to, but he's too young to understand that most kids drive trains on the train track rather than cars, and it's no use getting mad at him because you'll just confuse him and hurt his feelings" and "Why is Griffin chewing on the truck?" and, in fact, just about any question that begins with "Why"?).

    And Happy New Year to all!

  4. How wonderful to see the fruits of your labor! It's a slow process, this bilingual child-rearing, and stories like this help keep the faith! I love your blog, thanks for your tales. We're raising our kids to speak Spanish...but it's all transferable!