Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

On speaking a language to a child in which you don’t have a huge vocabulary

I found this article on “speaking Esperanto adequately to your child”.

Apart from the specific suggested dictionaries, it’s obviously also applicable to parents who talk to their child in a language where their vocabulary isn’t particularly vast—for example, in my case: I did go to school through the medium of English, but the things we talked about there are not always the things that interest children (such as names of animals, plants, or construction machines).

So the formula “prepare—anticipate—apply or improvise—check” mentioned there is probably also handy for cases like mine, even if they do not involve Esperanto.

Including the advice not to be ashamed to admit that you don’t know a word and have to look it up—and the reassurance that even native speakers of the local language don’t always know the (“proper”) word for something, or don’t always “properly” distinguish between related words (say, cricket/grasshopper). (Or for a personal example: for me, “yoghurt” and “pudding” are pretty much interchangeable, perhaps meaning something like “dairy-based sweet dessert”.)

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