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My 3 1/2-year-old daughter Dylan is bilingual – well, sort of.

Despite hiring a part-time Spanish speaking nanny, my daughter doesn’t speak a word of Spanish. Since Patricia only helps me out once a week, it just isn’t enough.

But Dylan is picking up another language: Yiddish. Unlike myself, my husband, Rick, is Jewish and my mekhutonim(in-laws) are of course Jewish and that means a whole lot of Yiddish is going on. My daughter now talks about bumping her keppe (head) and washing her hentes (hands). She can’t wait to visit her Bubbie (grandmother) and Zaydie (grandfather).

My little girl talks about making a pish (pee) in the potty and needing diaper creme on her tuches (bum). And, like every toddler, she certainly knows how to kvetch (complain) or be a noodge (a pain in the tuches).

O.K., so maybe this wasn’t the language I envisioned but so far I still understand what she’s talking about and I’ve never heard her Bubbie or Zaydie yell at her for eating cornflakes.

Although I do hear her bat mitvah will cost us a fortune. Oy vey.


4 Responses to bilingual babes

  • Robin Singer says:

    So funny – I relate. After 2 years of Latin, 2 years of French, 1 year of Italian, 1 four day trip to Madrid, 1 weeklong intense course in German preparing for a business trip to Germany, and 11 years of marriage to a Jewish family, I speak Yiddish as much as any other. And, my 4 year old particularly likes to say "Oy" when she's working extra hard to put on her shoes.

  • Your cousin, Betsy says:

    Kelcey, my mom told me you were starting a blog about your babes. I had to check it out. I have a couple of extra minutes due to Samantha's Extra-long Benadryl-aided nap. (Long story involving a bunch of Germans playing an evening of softball, thousands of mosquitos on a rainy night, and Mantha's face swollen with little red bumps.) Anyway, back to the bilinqual babes. I assumed that my babe would be bilingual. After all, she was born in Germany and has lived here for more than 2 years. She speaks incredible English for her age. However, she has chosen to speak Spanish as her second language -courtesy of Dora the Explorer.
    When we are outside, she talks to the other kids louder in English so that they can understand her. She assumes that they will eventually give in and switch to English. I have the pleasure of trying to translate between the two. (And even after living here in Germany for 2 1/2 years, my German is at best, BAD.) I have had an ingredible opportunity to learn a second language and I still get pronunciation lessons from the ladies at the sausage stands because my lips, tounge and mouth refuse to make the necessary German sounds. Besides, most of our neighbors speak English.

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kelcey kintner