07 May, 2012

Simultaneous translation through the phone

In the last 2 weeks Jr. has started to figure out what phones are for. He even asks his grandpas to call mum and dad when they pick him up at daycare. When we can sneak out from work and pick up the phone he tells us about his day or what he is eating or doing using his 2-3 words sentences. Up to this point everything looks just normal, but the other day he surprised me as his grandma was dictating him what he should tell me and the plans that they had for the afternoon. I could hear my in law whispering in his ear, obviously in Spanish, but as he knew that he was talking to Papi, his 2-3 words sentences were in English, and the time between he heard the words in Spanish and he spoke in English was incredibly short. I think it´d take me longer to translate simultaneously the way he was doing it. The conversation was like “Dile a Papi que vamos a comprar globos rojos!” (=”tell Papi that we are going to buy red balloons!”), and he went like “Yaya! (Granny!)-red-balloons!”. Another remarkable milestone is that he is performing quite well at changing the order in adjective+noun combinations, as the order in Spanish and English is the opposite. The 1.BIG 2.ELEPHANT= El 2.ELEFANTE 1.GRANDE. He barely uses this in the wrong order. I can´t help but admitting that I´m absolutely proud and even surprised that he is sticking so well to OPOL. It´s true that he has lots of automatic reactions in Spanish and that you can perceive this every time more, but he also responds quite well when prompted and driven back to English. I think that so far it´s not a matter of preference but an environmental consequence and given the percentage of exposure (I´d say 30% English on a weekly basis as much), I think it´s a very good output.

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