Obviously, I’m the “bilingual” one in the family. The children get their languages from me with the Husband trying to fill in the blanks. (One only has to hear someone yell “Das ist nicht für dich!” so many times before understanding that means “That is not for you!”)
So the kids have learned all the German that I speak to them. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been a lot. If we were to travel to Germany (which I’m hoping we can sometime in 2009) I think that they might be able to make themselves understood but barely. This is an utter failure on my part so I’m going to start spending thirty minutes a day studying German to get my skills up to par. Right now if I know how to say it in German, I do, with one notable exception. When we are in public it is harder for me to speak German to them. Whether I feel like I’m being rude to the people we’re spending time with or I feel embarrassed because of the reaction of others who think that because we’re speaking another language we *must* not speak English which seems to be a mortal sin as far as many are concerned.
So in addition to more study on my part, I have to make more of an effort to speak German when we are out and about and in the company of others. I have already been adding more time spent speaking German lately and the difference is noticeable. Fin is soaking up the additional vocabulary wonderfully, in fact he’s doing so well that it makes me want to figure out a way to speak another language to them. He’s four, almost five, which is supposed to be an “age of opportunity” and you can definitely tell.
The obvious choice would be Spanish which is most likely what I’ll go with. But my heart yearns for Mandarin or Japanese. I think that Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday I’ll speak German. Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday will be Spanish. I’ll see how that works out after a week and post the results. Tomorrow will be the start day, a Spanish day.