Last month at a Community Art Sunday put on by Austin’s Creative Action , I met Aileen, one of the women behind MamaLingua, an app for helping families integrate either Spanish or English into daily life with their kids. As a non-native Spanish speaker, I wish I’d had this app when Bilingual Baby was first born. There were so many everyday things that had to do with raising a baby that I didn’t know how to say: bottle (It’s biberon, not botella), diaper, changing table, burp, swaddle….you name it. I could explain someone’s tax return to them line by line in Spanish (thanks to my work at Foundation Communities), but I couldn’t look at my four-week-old and say, “Whoa! What a big burp!”
To grow my vocabulary in those first days, I used a mixture of WordReference, babycenter’s Spanish language site, and a fair amount of consulting of my Spanish-speaking friends. I’ll admit, I also listened closely and took notes during scenes from my favorite Spanish telenovela, El Gran Hotel, whenever they cooed over the twin babies in the show (of course, separated at birth with no knowledge of each other). I wanted to hear how mothers spoke to their babies in Spanish. But I digress (big time).
If you’re learning Spanish along with your kids, the MamaLingua app is a really great resource. I also love that it can be used for Spanish-speaking families who want to fold English-learning into their daily routine.
Aileen and I got to talking, then met up a different day and kept talking over coffee. It turns out we could both talk about bilingualism in children forever. Long story short, MamaLingua is starting a series in its blog profiling parents and caretakers who are raising bilingual kids, and they started with me and Jojo!
Here’s our Bilingual Mom profile on MamaLingua!