Baby Piglet and Language Problems

How time flies! My baby granddaughter has just celebrated her tenth birthday which is a landmark birthday in France. Fortunately, her English is VERY good which means we can talk on the phone. Not so her younger brother. He is now seven and speaks very little English. My ongoing health issues over the last three years and then COVID has meant we have not been able to travel as we once did so we’ve not had the same social and language interaction …

Piglet in Portugal

The last two weeks in France have literally ‘flown’ by! Looking back it seems like only yesterday we were eagerly driving to Lisbon Airport to catch a plane to Lyon. Our daughter, husband and Baby Piglet had just moved to their new home in the French countryside and we’d volunteered our services to help them settle in.

She likes my singing!

Mr. Piglet’s DIY (Do-It-Yourself) skills were well utilized and a long list of jobs had already been drafted on our arrival. I was head cook and bottle washer plus baby entertainer and nappy changer.

Their new home is approximately 250 years old – a rustic farm-house with a wealth of character features which gives the place a real ‘homely’ feel. The garden, approximately 1.4 hectares, is great but will be a full-time job in itself to maintain! There are several nut and apple trees along with vines and fruit bushes which already offered…

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12 thoughts on “Baby Piglet and Language Problems

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  1. I hope you can get to visit your family in France soon. How is the vaccine rollout in Portugal?
    I battled with the language when I visited Turkey and Morocco. Other countries I’ve been fine, but those 2 countries were rather challenging.

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    1. The vaccine rollout started very slowly while they organised online booking for appointments and vaccination centres on a grand scale. They are now doing the 60+ age group and most of my friends have now been vaccinated. I’d say it is going well 🙂

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  2. We lived in Germany for 6 years and my kids were born there. My husband would speak Portuguese to them and I would speak English to them as we intended going back to South Africa after the work contract was over, so the kids would need to speak English to start school. They also learned German as they went to kindy. They could talk in either of the 3 languages depending on who they spoke to. Nowadays I notice my grandkids and most other Portuguese kids here in Perth, get spoken to in Portuguese and they just answer back in English. Not sure why that happens, but I can only say that it is an advantage to be able to speak more than 1 language from childhood.
    Hopefully you will be able to visit your grandkids soon 🙂

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    1. That’s cool if they can speak three languages. Your comment made me smile: ortuguese kids here in Perth, get spoken to in Portuguese and they just answer back in English.

      When I speak Portuguese the reply to my question often comes back in English 🙂

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  3. Thank you for sharing this. I’m wondering if I might have similar issues in the future. My daughter is marrying a Swiss guy soon and they will live in the German part of Switzerland. I also read your post about the French Christmas. It sounded lovely, but gosh, I feel as if we Americans inherited our taste in desserts from our British ancestors. All things oatmeal. Sometimes I do feel so plain next to Europeans. 🙂

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    1. I think it really boils down to how much time you get to spend with the grandchildren. Before Covid and my operations before that we went out several times a year to babysit in the school holidays or when the childminder went on holiday… We did try to learn French when we were younger but nothing stuck and when we did try we were ridiculed as with the pain au raison/chocolate incident, which was one of many. It makes all my energy trying to remember words in Portuguese.

      We have nice solid desserts although I adore the French pastries such as strawberry tart and other assorted fruits.

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  4. I smiled when I read “pain au chocolate and pain au raisan” 😁
    You’re right, the French don’t speak English. At school, years ago, there was no good teaching and that’s why, around my 40’, I started to learn more on my own. Young people and teens speak better now but it will take years to improve the English level of French people… Don’t the other grandparents speak a little English?

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    1. It reminds me of the time I went into a tourist information office. the woman looked at me in disgust when I asked if they had literature on the area in any other language except French. Even in our small town, all the marketing literature about the local area is in English, French, Spanish and German… as well as Portuguese. but there you go.

      The other grandparents speak very little English but we get by. Sign language and charades are wonderful aids.

      They do have a teacher who tries to teach English in the local village school but my grandaughter says she has to correct her…. Scary.

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