Monday, June 22, 2009

Mama says, Papa says and Grandma says

Minglun and Arthur's Mama is from China and speaks Chinese. Their Grandma from father's side is from Peru and speaks Spanish. Grandma lives close by and plays with them often.

When Minglun was little, Mama liked to play Flash cards with him in Chinese. Sometimes, Papa joined in and said some words in English. Like when Minglun lifted the card with a picture of an elephant on it, Papa would say "Elephant". Minglun frowned at Papa and lifted the card to Mama and Mama would say "Da Xiang". Minglun nodded his head satisfactorily and gave Papa a disapproval look.

From Minglun and Arthur's house to Grandma's house, there is a ranch. Many times on their way to Grandma's house, they see some cows in the field eating grass. Mama will point to the cows and say to Minglun, "Minglun, look... Niu. Hao duo Niu." However, Minglun seems to pick up Spanish first. One time, when Mama was saying, "Wow, Niu, Hao Duo Niu.", Minglun started saying, "Vaca, muchos vacas." And then sometimes he will repeat after Mama, "Niu, Hao duo Niu."

One time, Minglun asked, "Mama, why you say Niu and Grandma says Banca?" Mama said, "Because Mama speaks Chinese and Grandma speaks Spanish." Minglun asked again, "What does Papa speak?" "Papa speaks both Spanish and English."

Later when Arthur was learning how to talk, he also discovered the language differences. When he tried to count, he would say, "Grandma says, 'Uno, dos, tres.' Mama says, 'Yi, Er, San'". Everytime after he counted in English, he would say, "Mama, now count in Spanish." What he meant was in another language since he was not using the word Chinese well yet. Then he started counting "Yi, Er, San...".

No comments:

Post a Comment