Polyglot girl


Last week Laura came to me.

Laura: mummy, vulpe.
Mummy: what?
Laura: vulpe is wolf in Spanish.

Mummy puts her “poker face” on, thinks for a couple of minutes and asks: is it? Who told you this?
Laura: I did.

I knew I’ve heard the word vulpe, or similar, before, but I wasn’t sure which language. It wasn’t Spanish (it’s lobo, same in Portuguese), it wasn’t in Romanian (Lupo). So I told the story to Mr. C, who said that vulpe is fox in Romanian.

I don’t know why she thinks that all other language that is not English is Spanish. She onces told me not to speak Spanish to her – I told her I wasn’t; I was speaking Portuguese. Now this.

She has a new best friend (she has about 5 best friends at the nursery, plus one or two outside) and she is Romanian to Romanian parents and started at the nursery about a month ago. Her English is very limited – but better than Laura’s Romanian. I asked one of the girls who work at the nursery how they communicate and the girl explained that some kids create a language of their own to overcome the barrier of language. No wonder why Laura has started speaking with a funny accent and using non-sense (to me) words at home.

On Monday, when I drop Laura off at the nursery, her Romanian friend was there and Laura went straight to her. I stood there looking at them, as I was curious to see how they play together. They smiled and laughed a lot, but almost no words were exchanged. Instead, lots of hand signs and pointing at objects. It was quite amusing to see the two together. We will encourange their friendship outside nursery walls, and maybe, who knows?, Laura can pick up some Romanian that her dad is not teaching her.


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