Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

Merry Christmas!

Have a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year—Philip

We spent this Christmas in Borstel again at my sister’s: a family get-together, as usual. My second sister couldn’t be there in person with her family, at least partly due to the recent birth of her youngest son, but she was there virtually for part of it by Skype.

We exchanged presents in the morning, ate dinner (and later cake) together, and just talked. The children played with one another a fair bit.

It was interesting to see who spoke which language with whom :) All the children are growing up with at least English (for my youngest sister’s children, the father speaks to them in English, too; for the others, the spouse speaks German to them), yet some of them spoke German to each other. But not necessarily to everyone!

For example, Amy speaks German with her cousins Emily and Frederick but English with their little sister Lucy—and Lucy speaks English with Amy but German with cousin Tamino.

I think part of it is what “category” their cousins fit into in their minds; most know that most children only speak German and so when they meet a new cousin, they assume that German is the appropriate language to speak to them. But I presume that Amy speaks English to Lucianne because when Lucy was small, she spoke only English, and so I guess she got put into the category “people to speak English to”: even now that Lucy speaks quite reasonable German.

I got a number of books: a couple of Calvin and Hobbes ones, some language-related ones and a maths-related one.

Tags: christmas, language

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