Languages for Children

A few linguistic tricks to help ease the burden of travelling with children…

As with many (possibly most!?) experiences of parenthood, travelling with children is one which manages to be frustrating, exhausting, stressful and ultimately fabulously fun and rewarding all at the same time.  The chance to introduce our children to life outside of our home towns, cities and even countries, is one which we should embrace wholeheartedly (despite the inescapable knowledge that we will at some point – possibly before reaching the postcode boundary – be confronted with the classic line “Are we nearly there yet?”).

Part of embracing the experience of travelling abroad, for me, is learning the language – at least enough to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.   Children are more than capable of doing the same – even your toddlers will be able to learn simple phrases in another language; which, trust me, is guaranteed to charm the locals!

So, to help you help your child (and maybe you!) to focus on some useful language, here is a list of phrases which my children and I have found to be very useful on holiday.  We have provided the French and the Spanish.  Other languages are available…

English French Spanish
Hello! Hi!
An ice cream please
Chocolate
Strawberry
Vanilla
Chicken
Fish
chips
Thank you
Can I play?
Yes! No!
Goodbye
Bonjour! Salut!
Une glace s’il vous plait
Chocolat
Fraise
Vanille
Le poulet
Le poisson
Les frites
Merci
Je peux jouer?
Oui! Non!
Au Revoir
¡Buenos Dias! ¡Hola!
Un helado por favor
Chocolate
Fresa
Vanilla
El pollo
El pescado
Las patatas fritas
Gracias
¿Puedo jugar?
¡Sí! ¡Non!
Adios

Another great way to practise language skills and pass the time is to play word bingo.

Use a template like the one below, and then stop, look, and listen to everything you can see and hear around you.  It might keep you and the kids entertained whilst you wait for your cerveza or your vin blanc?

Un train

train_clip_art_18113

Rouge

hflvykipmc5g22mc3m0m

La plage

Chaise lounge and umbrella on sand beach.

La piscine

SONY DSC

Bleu

225px-solid_blue-svg

Une limonade

10806

Une banane

banana-crop

vert

green-03

Une glace

vanilla-ice-cream-cone

Blanc

shared-by-redmaroon-01-31-2011-84dwvf-clipart

Une pomme

apple-06

Une voiture

bmw-2-series

  Les frites

free-to-use-public-domain-french-fries-clip-art-e3on3t-clipart

Un avion

20130718-5ecf1146d7bb9437d942a25218db1c6f82eaafec2e6aeb9025668c5-1024

 

Whatever you do, and wherever you go, at home and abroad, we here at LINK wish you safe travels.   Bonnes vacances and buen viaje!

Dominique Crookes

Languages for Children first appeared in issue 170 of LINK magazine.

If you have something to share about life in Sheffield or some pearls of wisdom of interest to parents and carers of small children and would like to write an article for the magazine or blog for the website, email link.onlinesocial@gmail.com or submit it here.

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