16 April 2006

Time to learn a new language!

And I'm not talking about Dutch (see last post), which I've already actually done a one-year course in. (The Certificaat Nederlands. It was great fun doing it - not least as it was the alternative to Technical Translation while I was in England... Haven't used it since, though, so I fear it's a bit rusty. But I digress...)

Sometimes we need to keep things from our kids. And I'm not just talking about the sweets that we eat when they're safely asleep.. But things like whether we're having dessert or not, whether someone should be told to go to his / her room or not, or normal secrets like christmas presents.. And since we usually talk Norwegian, we've been having these conversations in English. Or Norwenglish, rather, without trying to impress anyone with vocab and intonation..

But those days are gone. It seems.

More and more often, our oldest - Jakob (8) - understands too much of what we say. "Which boy should go to what room?" "Who's not having dessert?" And all the kids understand "ice cream" "chocolate" and the like..

Recently my cousin came visiting with her English hubby and their daughter. So when I told the grown ups (I thought..) an amusing story about one of the kids, the one who laughed was their 2-year old daughter.. Then several of the kids' friends are half American or other speakers of English, so they understand too much too..

So today, my hubby and I had a dessert-or-not-discussion in German. Erh, no German would have understood, I fear, but still... I guess I could do the thing in Greek, but although my darling has many excellent qualities, knowledge of Greek is not among them, so I fear I'd be speaking to myself.

Anyway, how do single-language families speak secretly amongst themselves?

7 comments:

Devil Mood said...

Wow, you certainly seem to know a lot of languages! I think single-language families don't do that sort of thing, or they talk secretly in the kitchen...or maybe the development a complex signs language...

"D" said...

We say, "I wasn't talking to YOU, I was talking to Dad... so you don't need to know who is eating which Ice cream now do you?" and other witty sarcastic things like that...oh well.

just sayin' said...

We are at the spelling stage but not necessarily because our son is only 3-1/2 but because we have SMART DOGS who understand what we say. Problem has become that they know b-a-l-l, p-a-r-k, r-i-d-e, i-c-e c-r-e-a-m, d-o-g, v-e-t, m-a-i-l m-a-n and many others.

Sasquatch said...

Well, over here (the States) Norwegian works pretty well for that sort of thing. It worked well for me in Spain, too. With my Tarzan-like pronunciation it would probably even work for me in *Norway*!

I don't know what to suggest for you, unless you know how to do Pig Latin ("oes-day omeone-say eed-nay oo-tay oh-gay oo-tay ed-bay?")...

Husker Du said...

by the way, how and why did you learn Greek?
:)

Riannan said...

Maybe they pass notes, or do, or whisper. My folks spoke German, and since I have studied French, Spanish and Italian (all pretty much long gone) the German worked.

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