Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Baby Speak as a Foreign Language

The alternative way to learning a new language.
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A group of parents willing to share some of their quality family time with others, who are attempting to learn that language.

Having just recently begun learning Spanish, it occurred to me how dull and tedious most Teach Yourself Books and courses can be. I propose a scheme whereby people attempting to learn a foreign language can join in with the toddlers/young kids who are also learning these strange new words for the first time. This would be a much more fun, and way less tedious environment in which to learn the colours of the rainbow, learn to count your fingers and be able to tell someone that you need to go the toilet etc. To avoid major emmbarassment and at risk of being shown up by the kids, the attendee would be far more likely to learn their new words.

jamagandie, Jan 24 2002

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       the Spanish baby might also learn a lot of English swear words.
sappho, Jan 24 2002
  

       Children learn words that are useful their situation. One of the motivators for a child to learn language is to express their wants clearer so that they can be fulfilled. If you're going to learn with the kids, expect the first lesson to be on food and 'waste management'.   

       That last paragraph was going to be a tirade on why this is such a bad idea. In writing it I've found that I rather like it. Spend a day with some three year olds land learn the numbers, a day with the four year olds and learn the alphabet. Keep learning with older and older kids so that:
• It doesn't take you 16 years to learn the language.
• You don't start calling one set of parents 'madre' and 'padre'.
st3f, Jan 24 2002
  

       I suggest you abandon the "Teach Yourself" books and enroll in a class or hire a personal tutor. Both of which are much easier, simpler, and certainly more effective than learning along with toddlers.   

       If tedium is your problem, just imagine how tedious it'll be lying on the floor beside little Juanita who is taking 2 hours to grasp the concept of 'agua', which you've got in the first 30 seconds.
waugsqueke, Jan 24 2002
  

       [waugsqueke] 30 seconds! Please give me some credit... maybe 25.
jamagandie, Jan 24 2002
  

       You might grasp the concept, but not in the same way that the kid does. Second languages, unless you are immersed in them for a long time, rarely function the same way as first languages. For a kid to grasp 'agua,' they need to make the connection in a more primordial way than for us to understand that 'agua' is 'water,' and then forget it a few years later.   

       I'm also curious as to which languages most closely approximate baby speak.
RayfordSteele, Mar 30 2002
  
      
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