15 October 2009


LG is a completely bilingual four-year old! In fact, she supplies the translation whenever KF speaks to me in Slovak. KF is grasping more English every day, but sometimes I just need to know what she is saying in her sweet sing-song voice. Just a moment ago she ran up and said, "Tu je!" which I believe is an idiomatic phrase for, "It's me" or "I'm here." The literal translation is "There is." She likes to play hide-and-seek, but many times before we can find her she jumps up with her brilliant toothy smile and shouts, "Tu je!" Clearly, she completely understands both Slovak and English, and she is just 21 months.

Language acquisition in third culture toddlers is completely fascinating. LG slides easily between English and Slovak--sometimes speaking Slovak to her mommy and then turning to her daddy or me and sliding perfectly into English. My understanding of language acquisition is that we are all born with the ability to utter every sound, but we retain only those that are reinforced by our environment. Thus, LG is easily bilingual while I struggle with a little bit of Spanish, a little bit of French, a little bit of Slovak... CA is making a huge effort to become fluent in French, and he also has picked up Slovak phrases from the little girls. Good for him!

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