Friday, August 12, 2011

Language Learning

One of the biggest, most wonderful responsibilities God gave me is being Ethan's mommy. We pray for our little guy every day and hard on our hearts right now is Ethan's transition to a new country, culture, and language.  We know that God has called all three of us to Skopje and he will not forsake us!  We are excited that Ethan will have a global experience and that he will be multi-lingual. We are fully expecting that Ethan will have a handle on the language(s) long before we will.

We've been working on the {very few} Albanian words that I know with Ethan over the last few weeks. Every morning we greet him by saying "Mirëmëngjes, good morning!"  to which he will now say back to us with a BIG smile!   We also practice single words like apple (mollë) and ice cream (akullore) and he is picking them up really quickly.  Oddly enough, there are some word that he says that sound more like Albanian than they do English...hopefully this is a good sign!

I left work early today and picked Ethan up from "school" (aka daycare) and as we were driving home here's how our conversation went...

Me: "Ethan, say Mirë..."
E: "Mirë" (with a big smile)
Me: "dita"
E "No, no, mom.... Mirëmëngjes!!"

Yay!! I think I was as excited then as when he used the "big boy potty" for the first time!! I could feel the Spirit reminding me... he's gonna be okay! What a sweet reminder!

After praising him for remembering his morning greeting we started working on our "after school" greeting (the whole "afternoon" concept doesn't really work for someone that doesn't know what/when "noon" is).  "Mirëdita" means good afternoon.  He says it perfectly!

I found a wonderful book online just for Ethan (ok, and for us too!) It has about 120 words and pictures for us to learn together. Here are a few pages:


Language learning is going to be a long, bumpy road for all of us but we are excited to embark on this all together! We are enjoying the stress-free, learning for fun-learning right now but we know that we will engage in serious language  acquisition once we get to Skopje in a class or tutor environment as well as immersion. Please join us in prayer as we seek to learn the language and communicate effectively, eventually. 

1 comment:

  1. What a great posting, Alicia. You 3 are going to do great!!! Ethan won't have to work as hard at it as you and Jeff - because children learn SO fast.

    I remember when we went to France for language study before we moved to West Africa to live and work - the children were in French schools and we were going to language school. For several months, we would have to ask the children (ages 9 and 5) what someone was saying. So embarrassing!! But wonderful that they learned so quickly!!

    We are thinking of you al especially this year as you prepare to come to Skopje. A year full of so much change - even though it is good and exciting - is still stressful because it is change. HA!

    Love you all,
    Shelia and Arville