I thought that my Unplugged post this week would be about the bird's nest outside of our kitchen window.
But we have yet to see any actual birds near the nest, so I am going to talk about linguistics instead.
I've wanted to reintroduce the Russian language in our home, but haven't decided quite how to do it. Although I can speak and read Russian proficiently, I am nowhere near fluent enough for the kids to learn "natively." I have also been reticent to use Russian text because of the similarity (and therefore confusability) of the alphabets.
Agent 002 gave usthe kickstart that we needed.
For the past few weeks, he has been pulling Russian books off of the shelf, demanding that I read them. Never being a mom to refuse the opportunity to read to the kids, I have obliged willingly each time. His favorite story is Колубок, a Russian language version of The Gingerbread Man with a puffy round pastry in place of the man made of cookie.
Given this new-found interest in Russian language books, I decided to pull out some of our Russian picture books.
Inspired by this week's Unplugged theme, we started with the book about birds -- Птицы.
Agent 002 echoed each words as I read it, except without my Yankee accent. I knew that the Russian phonemes would still be accessible to him, but I did not know that he would be able to pronounce words correctly even without a proper model. Mind you, he had no idea what the words meant, but they rolled off his tongue like it was his native language.*
Agent 004, on the other hand, had a very difficult time pronouncing multiple consonants together. Птица sounded more like "puh-pizza" than "ptitsa." But she sure had fun trying!
It was her, however, that was fascinated to learn the Russian word for familiar birds. Here is what she learned:
- птица (ptitsa) - bird
- утка (ootka) - duck
- петух (petookh) - rooster
- индейка (indeika) - turkey
- гусь (goose) - goose
*I guess it is, in fact his native language, although his English vocabulary was better than his Russian ever was by the time he had been with us six months. And it really did surprise me to hear him speak that clearly.