Wednesday, October 27, 2010

my little linguist

Next week, our children have a "Cultural Festival" at school where they'll need to perform in front of an audience.


The kindergarten class is celebrating French culture, the first graders Hispanic, the second graders Russian, and so on and so on.

As part of our children's performance, they'll be singing the well known song,"Frère Jacques."

Tonight, as we were sitting down to dinner, they were practicing their verses. Assuming that since they are responsible for representing "France" during this performance, they've been taught a little bit about the country, I asked the children what language was Frère Jacques?

They hesitated for a moment and then replied, "English!"

"No," I said. "It's not English. What other language might it be?"

The only other language that they know by name is Spanish, so they all shouted, "SPANISH!"

"No," I continued. "It's not Spanish." When they gave me puzzled looks, I thought that perhaps they needed a prompt so I offered, "The song you're singing is in Fr.... Fr.... Fr...."

I looked at them hopefully, when William excitedly said, "Oh that's right! It's in FRPANISH!"


  1. Ouch! Just saw the photo of Henry's finger on your twitter update. Poor thing. A door?

  2. Oh, I love it.

    I have two degrees in linguistics. I know full well the value of multilingualism. My big decision when we conceived our girls was whether raise them English-Bengali bilingual or English-Bengali-French trilingual.

    Yeah. That didn't last. They speak English. Only English. They call it Spanish. Any time they hear something they don't understand, they ask, "What that means in Spanish?"

    Linguist fail.

  3. That photo could win prizes! Soo funny and cute...