He says “(p)allo”!

We have a first word! It is pallo/ball.

Paxlet has started saying what sounds like actual words and even sentences. Of course, we don’t understand most of what he’s saying, but it is just awesome to hear him spitting out word-sounds and sentences. Out of these sounds, there are a few that we are quite sure are words. We know that he is saying ‘pallo’ (ball in Finnish) and it means an actual ball, although he says “allo” or something close to that. Paxlet is also saying “äiti” (mom in Finnish), usually when looking at me, but he also says it at randomly and when looking at other things. And lastly, we are quite sure he is saying something that sounds like “give”, yet again in Finnish (anna). Paxlet’s version is more like ‘anah’. In any case, we know it when we hear it, especially when he is reaching his hand out towards the object he wants and making grasping motions. Too cute! There are a few more sounds that we know he makes often, but we’re not sure of their meaning yet.


Where’s the ball?

What strikes me strange with the words Paxlet is saying, is that they all sound Finnish in origin. Sure, I get that äiti is being said in Finnish because Mr Siili is always talking to Paxlet about äiti this and äiti that, but I also talk to him about ‘momma’ doing stuff too. In any case I just love that he is saying it*. The other words, I have no idea why he has chosen Finnish over English, if that is the case or if we are just interpreting things incorrectly. I mean, Paxlet does spend the majority of his time with me and I speak only English to him. Not that it matters which language he speaks more of right now so long as he learns both.

On a slightly different note, Paxlet is also recognizing words when we say them to him or ask him where something is. We can ask him (in Finnish or English) “Where is Mansi/the ball/äiti/daddy?” and he’ll look for them and sometimes point (more of a stretching his hand in that direction).

*Mr Siili isn’t sure if we can count Paxlet’s saying äiti as his first word or not, because Paxlet says äiti often, often times while he is crawling/cruising around and babbling to himself.


8 thoughts on “He says “(p)allo”!

  1. Yay – it’s so fun to see them recognize and realize that they’re understanding what you’re saying AND that they can “say” something and be understood. I know in English (maybe other languages too, I don’t know) often Dada is the first word. It has to do something with ease of pronunciation. I won’t be too offended but I would LOVE if she said Mama first 🙂

    • Finnish is one of the few languages where dada/dad is not even close to the word for dad. It is Isä (ee-sa, where the a sounds like cat) or nickname isi (ee-see). Well, I guess äiti (aee-tee) isn’t close to mom/mama either…
      I am definitely loving hearing Paxlet say äiti, even if he isn’t quite meaning it to be me.

  2. Wow, that is early! Really! Impressive, Paxlet!
    One thing I can tell you from my theoretical and practical experience: is you want your boy to be bilingual, stick to OPOL- one parent, one language. It is the best, proven method to help children acquire languages with the same level of proficiency. He will prefer one language to the other, perhaps Finnish, since you are living there, and the benefits to speaking Finnish are immediate, but later on, he may switch to English, in any case, he will be fluent in both.

    • You know, I have no idea at what age kids should start speaking. I know that generally bilingual kids start a bit later (with no worries or issues) and also boys can be slower too, so I’ve heard. Also, do these “words” that aren’t fully formed (allo, instead of pallo) actually count as “words”?

      As for OPOL, oh yes! We are definitely sticking to that. There is no way I will be speaking to him in Finnish. At least, not more than a few words here and there when we are in Finnish company with little kids who don’t understand and I need to get a point across. My Finnish is no where near “mother tongue” to teach him without screwing things up royally. hahah.
      I did mean that I am sure he will choose (at some point or other, and maybe even switch off and on) one language over the other, and that is fine. Just as long as he is speaking.
      I’m just a tad big jealous that I didn’t have this opportunity (to learn Finnish, or a 2nd language really) growing up.

      • Many words will not be fully formed for a long time, it is difficult to master the mechanics of hard consonants, especially the pairs PB, MN, FV, so children utter them however easier it comes to them. Actually, those pairs are difficult in MY language, but this applies to English as well, not for individual letter though (eFF- Vee different from ferry-very). Also, clusters of consonant will be heard later, around 3, until them PLease is usually Peas. 🙂
        Later on, the environment will level out the amount of English he will be exposed to (movies, songs, books, vacations in non-Finnish speaking places), so the passive English he acquires from you and the little that he will seem to practice will suddenly explode. That is when you see the importance of early practice.
        In these times, especially in Europe, everyone under 20-25 seems to be speaking at least two languages, out of which one is English, and I think this is a direct influence of the EU context (freedom to travel without a visa and work, for example). Just speaking a couple of languages is not extraordinary anymore, and, just as an example, in George’s kindergarten there are roughly 30 kids (nursery and preschool) and at least 5 of them are trilingual (the kindergarten is German-English, and they speak another language at home). It will be easier for them to focus later on study science should they so desire, and not learn irregular verbs, since they know them already since they were 3. I think it opens up entirely new horizons for them.

  3. That is so so so interesting: since both languages are being spoken, which one emerges first. I guess Finnish is winning for the moment? I wonder when babies start to realize that the words are two different languages vs. just a big mishmash of words. Does that make sense?

    • Yes, I do think Finnish is winning for the moment. It is being spoken more, being that it is the community language here. But, he hears me speak it ALL. the. time. (Whether he wants to or not. hahaha)

      You do make sense and I have no idea when they realize there are two different languages. It will be very interesting to watch this.

  4. George is a late speaker, but when he started speaking, he blew our minds with the big number of words he knows. He realised around 2 I think that what he says at home must be said in the other language at the crèche. And that is when German became dominant. He still says the pair in both languages, especially with new words he practices. Interestingly, he watchs TV in German and English and knows the difference, he switches between languages if he is watching German cartoons or Cars. He still uses the easiest /shortest word out of all three languages first, and then he doubles it in the language the context requires. Absolutely fascinating stuff, this languages aquisition! Now we are in the learning and applying grammar rules stage, and the germanic rules dominate the romance ones as well, which makes for very entertaining conversations. Ending in a verb, of course. 🙂

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s