As our little girl is closing in on her second birthday, I can’t help comparing her language skills to those of her peers.
Her daddy told me the other day about his colleague’s girl (two months younger) who put her sleeping bag on her parents’ bed and declared “Moi dodo là.” That’s a full sentence, including a personal pronoun!

Yes, I know, children who are raised in a bilingual environment tend to start talking later than their peers. Still, I’m so impatient.
Which brings me to my topic. When she has the choice between two words for the things she wants, one provided by mommy (German)  and one provided by Daddy (French), she’ll retain the one that’s easier to pronounce. Which is the French one most of the time.
Don’t believe me? Let me give you some examples:

  • milk is Milch (G) or lait (F)
  • a slide is Rutsche (G) or toboggan (F)
  • a (baby) bottle is Fläschchen (G) or biberon (F)
  • water is Wasser (G) or eau, pronounced “o” (F)
  • dessert is Nachtisch (G) or dessert (F)
  • to sleep is schlafen (G) or dodo/dormir (F)
  • a story is Geschichte (G) or histoire (F)
  • a book is Buch (G) or livre (F)
  • the potty is Töpfchen (G) or pot (F)


And the list goes on…
I’m thankful for neutral words like banana (Banane/banane) and the occasional German trump such as cheese (Käse/fromage).

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