A labiodental problem



Timor Leste
Originally uploaded by Alex Castro

Amaia (who will be two in January) seems to have a slight issue distinguishing between dentals/alveolars and labials.

‘Hat’ becomes ‘hap’, ‘heart’ becomes ‘harp’, ‘my’ becomes ‘ny’, and ‘mine’ becomes ‘nine’.

It’s not systematic, however – she pronounced ‘daddy’ and ‘mummy’ correctly, and not as *’babby’ and *’nunny’.

Odd.

(And don’t ask me about the photo – it was the only photo suggested to me by Flickr when I put in labial and dental.)

Æbleskiver



Making round pancakes
Originally uploaded by PhylB

Jeg bagte forleden æbleskiver med småpigerne.

Jeg havde regnet med, Anna nok ville prøve at vende dem, men jeg blev alligevel lidt overrasket, da Amaia (der fylder 2 den 11. januar) tog spisepinden ud af Annas hånd og fermt løftede en æbleskive fra panden over på tallerkenen!

Alle børnene kunne vældig godt li’ smagen af dem (min æbleskivepande havde forputtet sig, så det var et par år siden, de havde smagt dem sidst), men Marcel var nu mest optaget af, hvor meget han ville kunne sælge dem for i december inde i Glasgow, hvis han lavede sig en lille bod på gågaden…

Sørøverskibsfødselsdagslagkage



Pirate ship birthday cake
Originally uploaded by viralbus

Léon fylder seks år i dag, og han kan godt li’ sørøvere, så jeg prøvede at få hans lagkage til at ligne et sørøverskib. (Indeni var det er helt almindelig lagkage med jordbærsyltetøj og kagecreme.)

Jeg tror desværre ikke, det rigtigt lykkedes mig at få skibet til at se ret sørøveragtigt ud – måske var det en dårlig idé at komme flødeskum på siderne?

Flying around on my mother’s broomstick



Flying with kids
Originally uploaded by viralbus

During our recent holiday in my parents’ house in Tuscany, we spent a fair amount of time practicing our flying skills on my mother’s broomstick.

Anna wasn’t that great at flying on her own, so I sometimes let her ride on my back.

Léon, on the other hand, was quite capable of flying on his own, although Marcel normally would fly close to him to prevent any accident (see this photo).

Perhaps we should buy broomsticks for the entire family?

Charlotte’s Danish accent



Ice cream
Originally uploaded by PhylB

One of the errors Danes often make when speaking English is to say warm when they mean hot (this is caused by Danish having only one word, varm, that covers both meanings).

My stepdaughter, Charlotte, who is 11 years old and has lived with me since she was 6, claims she doesn’t speak a word of Danish, but it’s often apparent that she definitely has an excellent understanding of spoken Danish, even if she tries to hide it. For instance, if I offer some sweets to the three wee ones (who I only ever speak Danish to), Charlotte will instantly ask for some, too.

However, Charlotte has now twice within a few weeks used warm instead of hot. For instance, today she told Phyllis that it had been “very warm in Saarbrücken”.

I can’t think of any good reason why she should be using warm instead of hot apart from influence from Danish, so I can only conclude that Charlotte is now speaking English with a Danish accent!

I’m sure she’ll be horrified and do her best to undo the damage, so I don’t think I’ll tell her just yet… 🙂

Marcels nye skoleskema

Jeg bloggede for et par måneder siden, at Marcel skulle til at vælge fag.

Alt er nu faldet på plads, og her er hans skema for S3 (altså det tredie af seks år i high school):

Mandag Tirsdag Onsdag Torsdag Fredag
Matematik Personal and Social
Education
Idræt Engelsk Kemi
Historie Fysik Spansk Kunst Matematik
Fransk Engelsk Fysik Spansk Engelsk
Engelsk Kunst Historie Tutor groups Religion
Idræt Fransk Kemi Matematik Idræt
Spansk Matematik Matematik Historie Fysik
Kunst Kemi Fransk

Da han skulle vælge fagene, skrev jeg flg.:

Marcel regner vistnok med at vælge historie, fysik, datalogi, idræt (eller drama) og kemi. Han ville dog meget hellere have haft spansk end datalogi, der ikke regnes for ret krævende af universiteterne.

Der er dog det specielle med Marcel, at skolen regner med, at han består S4-fransk allerede i år. Det ville gøre det ret absurd for ham at tage normale fransktimer i S3 og S4, så vi håber, de vil lade ham tage spansk i stedet (eller i hvert fald noget andet brugbart, såsom geografi eller biologi). Det finder vi nok ud af i næste uge.

Som det ses, fik han lov til at vælge spansk i stedet for datalogi, og han bestemte sig for kunst i stedet for idræt eller drama. Til gengæld fortsætter han med fransk, omend han ikke skal følge samme pensum som resten af klassen, da han skal til studentereksamen i fransk inden for de næste to år.

Opdatering (25/6): Marcel har nu fået lov til at tage idræt i stedet for kunst.

First word: “Where are you?”



Playing Mummy
Originally uploaded by PhylB

Those of you who have been reading this blog for two years or more might be wondering why I’ve been writing so little about Amaia’s language – after all, when Anna was one, I regularly wrote blog postings describing how her language was developing.

The reason for this is that Amaia seems to use almost no words. Instead, she uses complete sentences, such as “Where are you?”, “Where did you put it?”, “What’s that for?”, “What are you doing?”. Yes, they’re not that clear – it sounds at bit like a drunk person speaking – but in context it’s normally clear what she means.

It’s basically as if she isn’t picking out individual words from what we’re saying but instead hearing the sentences as indivisible chunks to be repeated.

This is slightly exaggerated – she does use names, such as “Far” and “Pudge” – but she doesn’t seem to have any words for concrete objects.

Anna and Léon tended to overgeneralise certain nouns, just like all other babies I’ve ever come across.. For instance, Anna called all walking animals ‘ka’ (from ‘cat’) and all flying ones ‘pippi’ (from Danish pip-pip ‘tweet-tweet’).

So what’s going on? Is Amaia following a well-known (but less common) route to developing her language skills? A bit like the way she’s refusing to crawl and walk and instead bum-shuffles around at a hundred miles an hour.