4.23.2014

spanish with baby at mealtime

Speaking a second language with your child or children requires commitment and discipline. Often times I find myself slipping into English without realizing what I'm doing, or not saying anything because I can't find the words fast enough.


Mealtimes, however, seem to be one of the easiest times to stay in the target language. I have taught enough food units and ordered at enough restaurants in Spanish-speaking countries to have a pretty good grasp on food vocabulary. Pippa is an engaged learner, because she is obsessed with eating (why bother learning the pincer grasp when you can shove handfuls of food in your mouth?) Mostly our mealtimes consist of her signing "más" to me, and me responding, "¿Quieres más plátano/manzana/zanahoria/Cheerios/queso/pavo/etc?" I did have to look up the wording for phrases like "One at a time!" and "Ok - but only one more handful." (I've ended up on: uno a la vez! and solo un puñado más.)

I also discovered this amazing children's song to learn the different items and utensils in the kitchen using a little dance - and I can't say I didn't learn a word or two from this little ditty. I also catch myself singing it when I'm not even around Pippa, which some would consider to be embarrassing.

Finally, in an effort to counteract the unfortunate music with questionable moral lessons Pippa so often hears coming from her parents' iPhones, I have decided to start teaching her mealtime prayers - or at least modeling them for her. I dug up my Catecismo Menor de Martín Lutero to find a suitable prayer. I liked the one I found so much, I decided to replace the common table prayer I use in English with Luther's version. Here it is in Spanish and English:

Before the meal - asking a blessing:

Los ojos de todos esperan a ti que tú les des su comida a su tiempo. Abres tu mano y con tu buena voluntad satisfaces a todos los seres vivos. 
The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. 

Señor Dios, Padre Celestial: Bendícenos y bendice estos tus dones, que de tu gran bondad recibimos. Por Jesucristo, nuestro Señor. Amén.
Lord God, Heavenly Father: Bless us and these your gifts, which we take from your bountiful goodness. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. 

After the meal - returning thanks:

Den gracias al Señor, porque él es bueno; porque su amor es eterno. 
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Te damos gracias, Señor Dios Padre, por Jesucristo, nuestro Señor, por todos sus beneficios.
We thank you, Lord God, heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, for all your gifts.

¡Buen provecho!



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