The other day my mom said, I noticed Leo does not pronounce certain words correctly. Does he also have that issue with English?
That got me thinking. I remember reading somewhere that young children learning Chinese will learn to pronounce the words better as they grow. So I didn’t give it much thought.
For those unfamiliar with Mandarin Chinese, the language is based in different tones. There are four tones in mandarin and depending on the tone, words can have different meanings.
Sometimes, Leo sounds like a foreigner speaking Mandarin because of his pronunciation. But a few days later, he will say the exact same word perfectly. What I noticed is that the same happens in English but in a different way. In English, there are no tones. So he can’t mispronounce the tones. But what he can mispronounce is the spelling. For instance, some young toddlers can’t pronounce “L” or “Z” so they will either replace it with another letter (very creative, right?) or skip it.
Leo used to say that his name is “EE O” when he was about 15months. His little friends also called him EE O . And then all of sudden, one day, he just got the correct pronunciation.
I think every language will present a different challenge for the child. But as long as they continue to hear the language around them and are spoken to in that language, they will eventually speak it flawlessly.
What are the challenges your child faces in your language? Leave a comment below and let me know!