I was telling N something in Russian (well, obviously, it was in Russian since that’s the language we speak to each other). As usual, my delivery was loud and expressive, not to say intense. 

“So they just sat there, all quiet (тихие)!” I concluded. 

“Тихие! Тихие!” Klara suddenly repeated with a perfect pronunciation.

Then she thought for a bit and added, “Га, га, га!” This was a line from the only Russian nursery rhyme I sing to her (because it’s the only one I remember). She had figured out that I was speaking in another language and provided the only response she knew in it. 

On a different note, my crazy hair has come in useful. Klara has known the words “hair clip” and “hair tie” for months and can easily distinguish between the two. She also slaughtered at bath time the other day when she said, “I want lotion, Mamma. No, different lotion, please. Put lotion on tummy.” It’s almost creepy because she’s so small. 

And yes, I feel very vindicated because people used to stare at me like I was going dotty when they saw me address complicated speeches to an infant. Who was right this entire time, huh, suckers, huh? (I don’t mean you, blog readers. I mean the passersby who were freaked out by my behavior.)


One thought on “Sprachgefühl”

  1. Yes, exactly! Infants and toddlers benefit from being spoken to in the same way one speaks to an adult; this is my experience, also.


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