i need a class in toddler english

I speak English to NK.  My wife speaks Swedish.

But I sense that I am slipping on the English side of things.  I am not starting to speak Swedish or anything.  But I am starting to directly translate Swedish words, instead of coming up with my own.

It is subtle.  NK loves the word “busig” in Swedish. And it is a great word that means silly or playful or fun or goofy, depending on the situation.  But it really can not be translated.

I decided long ago that the word meant silly.  So I say “silly” whenever I am responding to her “busig.”

But not everyone at daycare is silly.  I am not always silly.  Her mother is not always silly.  Silly, silly, silly, I say over and over.  And that is not right.

I have no idea what the right words are though.  I am caught in a box of silly with no exit.  I am not around other parents, other toddlers. I am not watching anything but Sesame Street.

My toddler vocabularly is limited.

We do read a lot of books in English, of course, except many are library books, and many of those here come from England or Australia.  This does not help.

So a kangaroo has lots of friends and “relations”  and “can do big jumps.”

These make sense of course.  But they are not natural American English.  I try to catch the odd phrases and change them, but they add nothing to the daily flow of talking to a two year old.

Many of these books are both in English and another language, such as Somali or Turkish.

So that is where the real opportunity lies, I think.  I should be learning Somali.

Do you know that Somali word for hiccup?  I should.  I have read that hiccup book hundreds of times.

But I don’t remember. Sigh.

I do know that “oh no!” is “alla maya!”

Alla maya!!  What is going on with my English?

It is all so silly.


2 thoughts on “i need a class in toddler english

  1. try cheeky.
    and don’t worry – it happens to the best of us ; )

  2. First-language attrition, it’ll get you every time. We should reintroduce word of the week at work.

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