Our Spang-lish Toddler

The Definition of Spang-lish is a hybrid language combining words and idioms from both Spanish and English, especially Spanish speech that uses many English words and expressions.

Our daughter who is 3 about to turn 4 in a few months is a beautiful combination of two parents from two different and unique cultures. My husband, her father, is from Mexico from which he was born and raised, and his primary language is Spanish with a little English. I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas, and my primary language is English with a little Spanish.

Being that I am the primary caregiver staying home with her since she was born and my husband goes to work, I speak English to her, and when Daddy is home he speaks Spanish. Since she was born, I have put Spanish cartoons on and played Spanish music for her that we sing and dance to, her favorite being Bidi Bidi Bom Bom by Selena for which she now loves to tell her Alexa to play over and over again.  I have also bought numerous Bilingual books for her so that I can read to her in English then Daddy reads to her in Spanish. But for now, she is Speaking in Spanglish, which is actually very cute, and one example is:

Mommie, I need to wash “Mi Manos” (which “Mi Manos” means “My Hands”.)

Daddy speaks to her completely in Spanish, and yet she understands everything but will respond in Spanglish. Also, she chooses to call him Daddy as opposed to traditional Papi or Papa or Pa. This was something she picked up on her own as she grew older, as we did start out with calling him Papi; however, she just started one day saying Daddy, and that was that–Daddy!

My wish, as is my husband’s, is for her to be fluent in English and Spanish and to be able to read and write as well. So we are looking forward to her being able to attend The Spanish Immersion Program that Lafayette Parish offers when she starts Kindergarten. So until then, we will continue to enjoy our Spang-lish toddler and all her cuteness overload.