Tuesday, February 22, 2011

It's bib, not beeb

Now here's where the talking gets tricky.

Kendra could say bib and tortoise ages ago (about 4 - 5 months ago) and has pronounced it like we do. Well, "tor-tor" is what they say.

Nanny V says "beeb" not "bib" and "tor-toys" instead of "tor-tis" so now the kids are pronouncing the words like that too.

Not surprising since they spend a gazillion hours every weekday with her.

It was funny in the beginning but not so much any more.

We'd fix the pronunciation over the weekend and then on Monday, Kendra would be all "beeb" "beeb" again.

I must add that Kendra is very correct. I don't know where she gets this. Maybe from V?

Before she starts eating, her tray must be wiped (!) and she must have on her "beeb" :) (okay, couldn't resist).

If by chance, I dare to start feeding her without her bib, she goes frantic, "Mummy! Daddy! Bib!"

Will she figure all the words out eventually or have a weird mixed accent one day?

Has anyone else had this experience?

P.S. D went to a parenting talk on twin discipline tonight (we split up and I'll go to the Love Languages one in March - remember, no evening babysitters.) and announces when he gets home, "those munchkins won't know what hit them tomorrow morning. things are going to be a lot different around here". I laughed and laughed. As you know he is the softy :)


  1. That's so interesting! My hubby speaks with an accent, but I haven't heard the girls saying anything like him. I wonder if there's a gender component? Does C do the same thing?

  2. What amazes me more is how quickly they can pick it up, correct it, and fall back to it!

    I think she'll sort it all out eventually. Many first generation kids speak the language of their birth country flawlessly and speak their parent's tongue equally as well. If anything I think it could possibly be building a platform for her to learn another language. I'm sure there are a bunch of technical terms I'm missing but I'm not speech path.

    Can't wait to hear about D's new techniques!

  3. Interesting! I imagine they will work the conflicting accents out into some mixture of their own creation. My girls aren't exposed to much except "Southern drawl", but Mackenzie sure does have that one down! She drags even the shortest words out into at least two syllables. : )

  4. It is amazing how they pick up other languages at that age. I remember that when my sister's youngest son had a Xhosa nanny...she spoke to him in Xhosa and at 2 he understood everything she said to him....but then he lost it very quickly when she left. In time the little ones will pronounce their words correctly, I don't think you need to worry about that.

  5. Don't worry about the accent - when they go to school and are not with her 100% of the day, they will correct it.

  6. What is your nanny's mother tongue? Maybe get her to rather speak that to the children and then they can pick up another language. There's lots of research saying how much it benefits children to learn more than 1 language. I speak English to the girls, Chris speaks Afrikaans and Joyce Xhosa and it's amazing how much they understand and pick up.

  7. LOL...had such a laugh at this. We had the same issue with our Tween son. We went to Wimpy one day and he ordered (he was nearly 2) a Begga, Cork and Cheeps. We basically just laughed it off. It continued for a while and then just corrected itself, I think because we made sure to pronounce the words properly.
    Don't worry about it too much.

  8. My kids say certain things with a New York accent because of me, and the littles have never lived in NY LOL

    Also, my twins say pretty much nothing at this point, just baby gibberish.

  9. If the Mexican population in our area is any indication - less than half of the kids speak with a Spanish accent or even understand much Spanish once they have finished 2nd grade.

    I was pretty shocked when (our church's neighborhood over the years has become predominantly Mexican) I asked one of the children a word in Spanish and found they hadn't a clue. I started paying attention in the stores and outings and realized that most of the children had a good southern drawl or black accent, but not a Mexican one.

    I've also noticed that the most verbal children will always mimic the accent that they are hearing (intelligence for language skills?)- my Kendra will go weeks speaking with a British accent (one of our best friend families = Mom was raised in England) and then suddenly just quit.

    So, not something I would worry about or even emphasize (lest she start correcting V) ... so she says, "Beeb!" and you merely reply, "Yes, I will get you the bib."

    Joel mispronounced all sorts of words ... until last year when we started learning phonics. He would look at a word and then look at me funny. "Do you know that shirt has a t at the end?"

    On the other hand, Vannan spoke with a perfect Non accent of the mid west until we moved back here - and now she speaks with the nicest Southern drawl. LOL


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