Isla’s Arabic

While we were in the States, Isla’s English just exploded.  She went from two, maybe three word phrases to multiple sentences in a row.  Since we’ve been back, she’s been picking up a lot of Arabic as well.


What’s been really funny to me is Isla doesn’t let me speak any Arabic to her.  I usually use only English with her, as most of the research I’ve seen says it’s best to have a relationship established in one language.  But every once in a while an Arabic phrase gets thrown into our conversation as well, and she’ll have none of it.  The other night we were walking home and looking for the moon.  I asked her, “wen il2amar?” (“where’s the moon” in Arabic) and she immediately scolded me.  “Mommy not say “2amar!”  Mommy say “moon!”  Hey, at least she understood me… and it’s great to know that she’s got good categories for the two languages.  :)


11 thoughts on “Isla’s Arabic

    • hehe, that’s my favorite part too. It’s a big holiday right now, so the fireworks have been pretty much non-stop for the past few days. :)

    • Yep, this is very true. BUT, it’s also very important that when you do pick a language, you stick with it permanently – because you’ve established a relationship with your child in that language. So while it would be super easy for one of us to speak Arabic to her now, we have to think about in ten years. Do we want to be having the “birds and bees” talk with her in English or Arabic? Do we want to answer deep spiritual questions that she has in English or Arabic. We COULD do those things in Arabic, but we are obviously more comfortable in English. So, we do a modified version of this. I only speak English to Isla (which is why when I spoke Arabic to her she told me to stop!). Caleb speaks English in the home and Arabic outside, which actually works okay here because mixing languages is pretty common in Lebanon.

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