I spent last weekend at my mum’s house, along with my brother, sister-in-law and their one-year old daughter. The last time I saw my niece was at Christmas, when she was making some sounds, but not really babbling much. Now she is babbling away all the time and sometimes says recognisable words, or at least utters sequences of sounds that might be words. Her mother, who comes from Russia, speaks mainly in Russian with her, while her father speaks only English with her (he doesn’t speak Russian). I haven’t heard any Russian words among her babbles, but there might be some I don’t recognise – my knowledge of Russian is somewhat limited. They also use some signs with her which they have learnt at baby signing classes, most of which look like standard BSL signs to me.

It’s fascinating to observe her linguistic abilities developing, and it won’t be long before she is using more words and starting put them together.

One thought on “Babbling

  1. No expert here, but little ones in the mixed Russian/English language environment is one I’ve observed on several occasions. English being the predominant language outside of the home in the US and then one parent (sometimes primary caregiver, sometimes the caregiver who sees the child less) is the Russian speaker. In terms of Russian words in these cases, I’ve heard ‘eto’ often from the children. This corresponds with “that” or, as children at that age usually put it “dat” or “da'” which is a favorite once the pointing gesture is mastered in little ones. Although I’m an SLA person (studied Russian SLA specifically and not the usual ESL), I love language acquisition in general. I hope you’ll have a chance to give updates on your niece’s language development in the future! I very much enjoy your blog! I’m a sporadic lurker, but this post was such fun, it made me want to de-lurk.

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