I always thought it amusing when one of the few things a person knows  how to say in a language is ‘I do not speak [Language Name]’.

But since it is useful when abroad, outside one’s own native language, to let someone know you can’t understand them, and to please try another method of communication, I see it a valuable phrase to have.

Now, with that context, I raise the subject of my son. He was doing international air transit before being one week old. And now that we’ve settled for a bit, he’s talked at in various dialects of English as well as Arabic, French, Spanish, and Russian. The poor fellow stares with the utmost attention, but not being able to let his conversation partner know his limitations has its limitations.

Thus I am working on teaching the boy a few phrases. The first, and I think most useful phrase for him at this point in life is as follows:

I am a prelingual baby.

Progress is slow, but given time I’m sure he will grasp it and use it to good affect.

~ by jeorgesmith on 24 April 2010.

One Response to “prelingual”

  1. No doubt…
    Do you think that for him to just babble in his baby talk he can communicate in universal baby language?
    It makes me wonder now, if your oldest sib’s ability with so many languages stems from having German, Spanish, Italian, French and Dutch spoken AT him when he was just 14 months old. Hmmm. Prelingual maybe, but absorbing it all nonetheless.

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