taking Swedish lessons from a toddler

My Swedish is OK.  It would be better if I did not speak English at home and at work and with my children.  But, for all that, I can still translate children’s books to read to NK in English.  I can still get by in most situations, even if I have to write realtors and coop boards in English.  And I can understand everything my almost three-year-old daughter said – in English or Swedish.

It is not always easy, of course.  E and I listen to a phrase, first trying to figure out what language NK is speaking, then trying to figure out which word in that language she is using.  It is usually a beautiful blend, a word in English, two words in Swedish, then an English verb conjugated as a Swedish one.

But I always understand most of it, and when I don’t, I just shrug it off to toddler-speak, or we move past the sentence, and I realize later that I misunderstood.

Then yesterday, NK said the Swedish word snurra.  And I said I did not know that word.

And she swirled her fingers in a circle.

“Oh, spin!,” I said, and she looked thrilled and nodded and laughed.

I know her Swedish is going to be better than mine.  I was a little worried, thinking that I would really have to study, that I wanted to always understand her.

Maybe I will.  With her help.  What a better teacher?


2 thoughts on “taking Swedish lessons from a toddler

  1. the best turkish teacher I ever had is Diyars toddler cousin, well, she’s 4 now, but these two past summers, I had to speak turkish to her, and learn to understand what she said. She doesn’t understand that I don’t know her language, and she doesn’t know how else to communicate, so she pushed me to learn. 🙂 toddlers are sure good when you’re learning a new language!!

  2. can we fly her in before next summer?

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