language

bilingual

Don’t give up- your child can become bilingual!

One of the few memories I have of my Grandma, ma belle Grandma, were her attempts of trying to teach me French as a young child. Our family has some decades-ago French roots and she knew “intermediate French” from conversing with her Grandparents. There are many cognitive advantages for a child who is bilingual and by God, my Grandma was going to pass these advantages onto me.

As a child, I resisted. Fought against. Cried. Even just learning how to count in French was a crazy nightmare! Unknown sounds that were impossible to say, nose bleeds from all the nasal sounds (haha, just kidding). You get the drift though. She tried her best but I was just too stubborn to learn. I gave her the satisfaction of learning “un, deux, trois” and “je m’appelle” but anything more than that was a hopeless cause.

She tried, my poor old Grandma, but she just didn’t have the tools to teach me. No books, no entertaining visuals. Nothing. Just her and her tiny jazz hands. But now, in this beautiful world of internet, anyone can learn a language. Book market is flooded with language experts or language lovers as I call them. The main thing for any parent is not to give up. Particularly when you don’t have family members who speak another language. Why don’t you learn a language with your child? Start with new words… the grammar takes a while to learn anyhow, but if you give them the foundation/the vocabulary… it makes it so much easier!

P.S: In case anyone is interested, I wrote a children’s book in English for beginners and little ones who are just mastering their first English words available on Amazon. It is currently in process of being translated to French, German and Croatian. Give it a look and let me know what you think! Thank you for reading my blog, and leave some comments on teaching a second language to a child below 🙂

Picture Credit

bac

When English is too difficult for the French highschool kid(s)

Ah, my dear France! My dear French people! English is really not that hard. I promise!

Today, a lovely article was posted on one of the French website (click here– but it’s in French)… a young high school kid decided to make a petition to disregard a certain question “M” on the BAC d’anglais (I guess kind of like SAT’s) because it was deemed too difficult for his young mind.

OK, OK. I get it. English even gets me sometimes. But, lets look at the questions. Could we possibly understand the two questions (from a French perspective) if we only used some logic? Perhaps language similarities?

Let’s see.

First question: “What are three of his concerns about the situation?” So, I am assuming he didn’t know the word “concern.” Because words like “what, are, three, his, situation, about” are basic English levels. Right? This boy is doing his BAC! He knows basic English! So let’s assume the word “concerns” was too difficult. Or perhaps he connected it to the French verb concerner (French for “relate to”). That’s after his first brain storming. But we all know, a word like concern cannot possibly be English. Come on, way too many nasal sounds! In fact, the word “concern” comes from a mix of French and Latin! From French concerner or late Latin concernere (in medieval Latin ‘be relevant to’), from con- (expressing intensive force) + cernere ‘sift, discern’. So you don’t get a pass on that first question, young boy. The word has French roots!

Second question: “How is Turner coping with the situation?” OK, again. Beginners English levels include the words “how, is, with, the, situation?) (oh, and btw, the word situation is the same in French!!) So the verb that is puzzling the young French boy must be “coping.” To cope( or cope with)- a person dealing with something difficult. Could the verb have any origin in French word or perhaps is, just by normal logic, easily related to French verbs? It turns out, the verb “to cope” comes “from Old French coper, colper”, fromcop, colp.” And as much as I admit, perhaps this is a harder verb to understand, it still comes from your own native language, French boy. So no need to complain, because, as it turns out, you fail in French!

What do you think? Leave a comment below 😀

P.S: My children’s book “Ginger’s missing glasses” (beginners English *wink wink*) is free tomorrow on Amazon!

Picture Credit

7013935-rain-couple-bridge

When it rains, it rains.

Whoever knows me well knows I am a SUCKER for sayings. They are kind of like an addiction of mine, as the wisdom (or sometimes stupidity) of our ancestors reveal in short, lovable sentences I can wittily use in conversations.

One that really gets me is the “when it rains, it pours.” I find it to be horrendously pessimistic and horrendously inaccurate. It is the generalization of the saying that gets me. There are so many rain types: light showers, baby drizzle, hail, ice pellets, or normal amounts of rain falling from the sky. Pouring is heavy rain, and it doesn’t happen most of the time. I guess it also depends on where you live. In Florida, where I live, it rains at roughly 5 o’clock in the afternoon every summer. Does it rain? Yes. Does it pour? No. It is merely a rainy storm passing by but it doesn’t mean that is raining heavily. Normally it is just a stupid shower.

What I’m trying to say is, every time I hear people use the saying “when it rains, it pours” I imagine them in a horrific thunderstorm, wet to the bones, shivering. But I feel like whoever came up with the saying was ridiculously dramatic and just hated rain. In real life, pouring down doesn’t happen that often, does it? Mostly the problems we see pour on us are really not that bad. In fact, they can be compared to some light showers and drizzle.

Which saying is your favorite/ least favorite? Why, why not? Leave a comment below!

Picture Credit