First words / Language and development / Trilingual

Fishing, fishing game, and fish vocabulary

Last week I have fished for the first time since I was 6 or 7. I always watched the fishers admirably, either those lined up on the historical Galata Bridge in Istanbul, or those ice fishers in Helsinki sitting hours and hours in front of a tiny hole in freezing weather. There, our relatives’ beautiful mökki, my brother-in-law taught me to fish. And the magic revealed itself, a meditative act interrupted by the excitement of a visitor fish! I caught three ahven, two something else we did not know (fyi – we sent all of them back to the lake).

There, Aren got to touch a live fish, and even got a kiss! Of course he could not help but try holding the fishing line. He was so ecstatic that he talked about the event several times after that day.

So here is our fish conversation:

  • What did uncle Memo do?
  • A: Abiligid Memmu blign bidii ahjun gilid pis
  • How does Silvia say “balik” (fish in Turkish)
  • A: pez
  •  How does Laura say “balik”
  • A: kallaa

And we continue asking other people around us, for Spanish speaking people, he correctly says “pez” and for others he uses “kala”. He does not say the Turkish word yet, but it is still amazing that he learnt differentiating languages. No wonder that happened with an amazing and REAL activity like fishing! This is actually what I love most about Finland; nature is so well preserved and so well accessible that kids can grow up absorbing nature.

Hmm, what are some other ways to help a multilingual toddler understand differences between languages?  Any ideas?

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