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22 months old

It’s just not fair. My son is 22 months old and he understands English as well he comprehends Italian. It took me ages to learn Italian and I had to read books and watch hours of dull TV. Baby on the other hand seems to be doing much better than I did and in only 22 months, although he does watch lots of TV, well lots of DVD’s actually.

You can ask him to put stuff in the bin in both languages, and he dutifully obeys. You say ‘Marty, turn the light off please’ in either Italian or English and he goes and does it. When you tell him to put his hands under the cover on his pushchair (stroller), in either blasted language – HE DOES IT. Hot diggity damn.

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Stop reading, start speaking

Stop translating in your head and start speaking Italian for real with the only audio course that prompt you to speak.

Right I thought, 22 months old and you blasted well think you know it all. I’ll fix you. ‘Go and get the Izuzu, please Marty.’ He has lots of little toy cars and I’ve been telling him the names of the different models, you see, but I was not that convinced that he would be able to associate the names with the models. So what does he go and do? Well, yes, I admit it, I was beaten by my own 22 month old son who wandered, or rather toddled off, as toddlers generally do, and came back with the Izuzu.

I guess I’m quite a lucky parent, I mean it’s not many fathers who get to see their offsprung learning two languages. Bi-lingualism, if the expression exists, has always been something that has amazed me. Probably because I used to struggle with all the foreign language classes I went to at school. Having the ability to use two languages interchangeably always struck me as being about as inconceivable as my leaving the UK and going to live in a museum. I don’t know why exactly, maybe because the concept was so strange, or because my youthful naievity caused me to believe that nobody could really need two languages. Odd thoughts, when I think about my parents who used to jabber away in French to each other to stop my brother and I from understanding what they were on about. Until, that is, yours truly found that he knew just about enough French to pick up what they were saying. Could not respond in French, though, if I remember.

22 months old….22 months old….22 months old…..get the message? Wow!

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