A made-up language

My daughter has recently started speaking “French” and “Spanish”. Now, she knows a few words from Sesame Street and Dora, but basically, she has no command of any other language except English. Yet, when we ask her what she’s saying, she insists that she’s speaking French or Spanish. She speaks these languages all the time, but I never understand what she’s saying.

It brings me back to childhood days with one of my sisters. We made up a language that only we understood (and, come to that, we didn’t understand each other). But for what felt like years, but was probably only weeks or months, we spoke to each other using this new language we had invented. It was a way to keep things secret from our parents and other adults (as well as ourselves) ;).

So, I’m thinking that this is something that kids do. Invent languages.

My daughter doesn’t speak to her brother in “French” or “Spanish”. But she does talk to her toys and dolls in these languages. And they understand her.

Lately, we’ve been tossing around the idea of putting her in French Immersion. We’re not sure if it’s right for her. But without any prompting from us about the possibility of future language instruction, she has decided that English is no longer for her and she has started speaking her chosen languages.

Maybe it’s the multi-cultural area we live in. There are several languages spoken on our little street alone, so my children are exposed to other languages all the time. Or maybe it’s just a kid thing.

I don’t know. But I’d love to learn her “language” and join her in conversation. She and her dolls seem to be having so much fun!


2 thoughts on “A made-up language

  1. MJ, Nonstepmom

    Cautionary tale: One of our girls did the “made up language” for awhile & i thought it was cute until I realized acouple of her “made up” words resembled some …lets just say bad words….in other languages. So we had to enforce an “only english” rule whenever out of the house for fear they might accidentally say something offensive.


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