Saturday, 8 September 2007


The best thing about using Spanish with my daughter is that we bought a lot of Spanish DVDs for her to watch and I therefore feel a lot less guilty than I otherwise would about letting her watch a lot of TV!!

It has been interesting to see how quickly she learnt to master control of the DVD player, and soon found that she was able to change the language by pressing a particular button. At first she would watch a programme in any of the available languages (but clearly pleased and interested in the different sounds: when she was bored with something, she would happily simply change the language and watch it again). But increasingly she started to avoid the French and Arabic versions of her then favourite film, Bambi 2, and just choose between English or Spanish. That was when she was about 2, and shortly afterwards the Audio button on the machine began to lose its appeal.

I did notice last week, however, that she still seems to have a definite affinity for Catalán. And she still at times chooses to watch Teletubbies or Las Mellizas in that language rather than Castellano.*

*note for non-hispanists: What we foreigners refer to as Spanish is Castellano, the language of Castile (central Spain). Catalán is a regional language which is increasingly spoken in Barcelona, throughout Catalunya and in Andorra.

Thursday, 6 September 2007


Well, it's been a while and a lot has happened... what I had originally intended to be a chronological account of Laniña's linguistic development will now I think become random observations as they occour to me - that should be easier, so I might blog more often!

This is from months ago, though, when she was 2 and a bit:

We noticed that Laniña had suddenly started to ask for treats (y'know - chocolate and such) by calling them "F'you!" Indeed, this was one of her first proper sentences - "I wan' f'you!"

F'you, of course, is "for you" and presumably someone at nursery (or who knows, maybe it was us) had given her something nice saying "That´s for you" or similar. So far so good; it's so cute that we still haven't thought to discourage it!

The interesting bit is that suddenly, when she wasn´t getting the appropriate response from my partner (already had enough choc for one day) Laniña turned straight to me and demanded "Papá, PA TI"

Pa tí is, of course, short for para tí, which means... guess what! That´s right - for you!

I find such spontaneous translation a very exciting development - she´s not just parroting what she hears, but has real control over it herself. Even if no-one outside our household will actually understand it!!!