Saturday, January 8, 2011

Me talk pretty

Elijah understands two languages, but speaks mostly one. He speaks Rushlish.

He can speak Russian a little, but only with English grammar. He has Russian word vocabulary and pronunciation down very well, and there are some words he mostly says in Russian. He knows their English equivalents, but uses the Russian ones, which causes some confusion with other English speakers. He will just insert these into an English sentence:

Slon (Elephant)
Oleni (Deer)
Zevayu (Yawning)
Oblaka (Clouds)
Shina (Car Tire)
Letit (Flying)
Dyadya (Uncle, or just a random grown man; sounds frustratingly close to Daddy to an English ear)
Zoopark (Zoo)
Mashina (Car, Machine, any sort of robotic thingy)

There are many more, I just can't think of them right now. It gets even more fun when he starts to try to decline/conjugate these in the English manner (Olenis, Zevayued, etc). I really need to make a conserted effort to teach him two real languages, rather than one jumbled Rushlish.

The experts in this say you are supposed to assign languages to people - so there should be one person who only speaks to the child in Russian. The problem is, none of us speak pure Russian or pure English. We also mix the words, mostly use English grammar or, in Russian, conjugate English words acccording to Russian grammar, and any of us, if forced to use one language only in its pure form would have a hard time.

So how in the world are we going to teach the kid to speak properly, in two distinct languages? Has anyone else done this?! Help!!

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