As I'm finding out, the kids are amazing when it comes to learning this language. Their mouths haven't formed unbreakable habits yet, so they're able to mimic the sounds they hear from others exactly. In other words, they learn words and say them perfectly, without any real traces of an accent.
The kids have a French teacher that comes once a week and he's told us several times that the quality of their language development is inversely correlated with their age. In other words, Sam can speak and understand slightly better than Sophie (even though they're basically learning exactly the same things at school), and Sophie speaks and understands better than Abby. And all of us speak and understand better than Dave, who is really getting up there in years...
But there is a flip side to the kids' sponge-like brains and it goes like this:
The other day Sam said, "Mom, I know the "A" word. It's "As." (I guess he didn't quite hear that one right because there's a big difference between "As" and "Ass")
Abby immediately responded: "Mom, I know the "S" word."
So I said, "Yeah, spell it for me . . " So she replied "s . . . h . . . i . . ."
"OKAY!" I said. "You know it. How do you know that word?"
She said, "You were yelling it when you wrecked the car!"
It was a memorable moment for all the wrong reasons, as it was when I bashed the car into a low stone wall the other day and completely destroyed one of the doors. Never mind that the street was like 9 feet wide and going upwards at a 30 degree angle. In one fell swoop I taught my daughter new vocabulary and spent like two thousand euros. See below.
Labels: Bad Language, The Kids