Welcome to a new series I’ll be doing on helping your little ones learn Spanish! Now, I need to point out that I am not fluent in Spanish and I’m certainly not a native speaker. If you have access to a native speaker then wonderful! Exposure to native speakers is absolutely the best way to introduce your child to another language. However, don’t give up if you happen to live in the Mid-west with nary a Spanish Immersion School around (actually there is one in Columbus but that’s 3 hours from me). Being bilingual is so necessary in the modern world and it has added benefits for developing minds.
If you are not fluent, like me, you can still help your kids learn Spanish. Aellyn has an impressive vocabulary thanks to Dora and Diego. She counts to 15, knows her colors, etc. all in Spanish and all without my intervention. Since she’s about to turn three I’m going to start being more intentional in my exposing her to Spanish. In this series I’ll be sharing some of the techniques I’ll be using and maybe you and your kids can join in the ride!
First up is just beginning to pepper your daily language with Spanish. I think the easiest way to do this is terms of endearment. Here are some choices for you and the phonetic pronunciation.
[box] mija – a combination of mi hija meaning my daughter. MEE huh
mijo – my son. MEE ho
cielo – literally “sky” or “heaven” but used as angel. see AYE lo
cariño – sweetheart. car EEn yo
chiquita/o – little one. chee KEY tuh or chee KEY toe
mi corazon – my heart. MEE core uh zone
mi vida – my life. MEE VEE duh
reina/rey – literally queen/king but used as darling, sweetie. RAY nuh or RAY
mi amor – my love. MEE uh more
bomboncita/o – marshmallow. bomb on SEE tuh or bomb on SEE toh
quierido – my darling. care EE doh[/box]
Certainly, you don’t have to memorize all of them, but pick a few and try them out! I use mija and mijo most.
Next up I’ll be sharing some common phrases you probably use every day.