Posts tagged ‘mixing languages’

I translate what I know

January 5th, 2014

This morning, my daughter (3½) told me excitedly she was going out with Daddy. “Where are you going?” I asked. She ran to her father to ask, and I heard his reply: “Au magasin de bricolage et au manège.” My daughter related to me: “Magasin de bricolage und Karussell!” Shows that the unimportant stuff (home […]

Why I run to get pen and paper

December 30th, 2013

These days, I often find myself running for a pen and paper. Any pen and (virtually) any paper will do because the main thing is to write down as quickly as possible what my daughter (3½) just said. Why? Because half a minute later I will only remember what she said, but not how she […]

Twitter is my friend for anything writing-related these days. But I also do a bit of bilingualism on the side, as several of my writer friends are expats and parents, too. This week I came across this wonderful website with really good advice for parents of bilingual or to-be-bilingual children: Raising bilingual children


December 3rd, 2013

This morning, I can’t remember in what context, my daughter (now almost 3½) said: “Je vais couper ein bisschen was ab.” Switch in mid-sentence without any trigger that I can see. (Maybe too early for the “switch-at-trigger” phase.) Did you notice the prefix “ab” placed in the final position (where it would belong if the […]

The German Sesame Street opening song hasn’t changed since I watched it, even though the opening sequence has. It was the first thing that jumped to mind in connection with what I noticed a few days ago: When my daughter speaks German, she will systematically use French articles. Mostly “la”, actually, but I haven’t made […]


October 7th, 2013

The other day, my daughter got this beautiful poster with the numbers from 1 to 20. Ever since we put it up on her door, she’s loved to compare the objects and, of course, count them. On Thursday, we managed to film her:


October 4th, 2013

Do you remember our initial confusion when our little girl referred to her pool noodle as “pâte” in French, where they are called “fries”? This week we were talking about something called (I had to look up the term) “water warts” of which she unfortunately has a few, which are being treated. Since both Daddy […]

Alle Möwen heißen Emma

September 11th, 2013

Jedes Mal, wenn wir uns das Bilderbuch “Conni am Strand” angucken, fragt meine Tochter mich, wie die Möwe auf der zweiten Seite heißt. Am Anfang habe ich geantwortet “weiß ich nicht”, aber die Frage kam beim nächsten Mal natürlich wieder. So habe ich, unter Berufung auf die traumhaft illustrierten Emma & Max-Bücher von Marlies Kahlsdorf, […]

We both noticed recently that our little girl (3 years 3 months) builds her mixed sentences with the verb at the end. So while French vocabulary is dominant, in grammar, German seems to rule. Interesting, isn’t it? An example from tonight: Moi veux lieber à la salon dormir. (Notice also that she still uses “la” […]

I’m coming back

August 20th, 2013

Tonight my little girl and I were doing a puzzle when she had to go to the bathroom. Reminding me not to continue without her, she informed me: “Ma-ya tout de suite wieder.” She amended/added immediately to: “Ma-ya komm wieder.” * In case I hadn’t understood, I suppose. 🙂   * “Ma-ya” is her expression […]

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