Los Angeles, California, USA
I was introduced to Spanish at the age of two when my parents moved from Los Angeles to Mexico City. I was mastering English quite well by then, but put the brakes on as far as Spanish was concerned. My mother used to tell the story about how I would announce "it is NOT mantequilla Mommy, it is BUTTER." Of course I was at the "no" stage then. We only stayed a few months on that visit. When we moved to Madrid, I was 14. Spanish came very easily, so that early exposure must have had some good effect.
I had a friend in Madrid, who moved from the U.S. with a two year old son. Setting up house proved too difficult, so Bobby was sent to Berlin, along with his Spanish nanny, to stay with Granny. The poor child was totally confused by all the moving and language changes. He refused to learn German, and dubbed the poor nanny "Malo" (Spanish for "bad"). The poor woman was forever known by that unfortunate nickname.
I hope my anecdotes help. Eventually I added French to my repertoire, and Bobby is fluent in English, Spanish, and finally German.
15 July 2003
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