Monday, 13 October 2014

Mama, What's Wheelchair in Dutch?

Photo Credit: Karen
Life with bilingual children is filled with surprises and giggles, from watching with amazement as they pick up words in a new language and just run with them, to situations created outside the home when people expect a Dutch word but get an English one instead. Or vice versa. Like the time the kinderarts assistant thought my eldest son was casting doubt on Bert's (as in Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie) sexuality......

Last week Mr C, my four year old, both surprised me and made me laugh as he launched into a story in Dutch telling his dad about his day in school. His Dutch has always been much stronger than his English but I have noticed that speaking English is getting easier for him, especially after three intensive weeks in England over the summer.  In any case, he said,

"Een meisje was vandaag in een....." ("Today one of the girls was in a ....") and then he leaned over to me and whispered in my ear,

"Mama, what is a wheelchair in Dutch?"

"Rolstoel!" I whispered back.

"Oh yeah, zij was in een rolstoel," he finished.

"Waarom?" asked his dad. ("Why?")

"Geen idee," said Mr C.  ("No idea.")

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