For my son having non-Arabic speaking parents he’s turned into quite the linguist at 3 1/2yrs of age! Apparently playing with a multitude of Jordanian kids and flirting with Saudi women in niqab at the mall on the weekends has turned my son into quite the Arabic speaker. Serilously, he’s moved beyond the simple “Shukran” and “la” that he used to know to actual sentences consiting of 3-4 words or more complex sentences mixed as English, Arabic and Farsi. Its actually really, really incredible, mashallah.
I first noticed it a week and a half ago when the hubby dropped him and I off at this newly opened department-store like shop to poke around and see what they have. Well, we were waiting for him to pick us up and stood by the toy counter (usually a bad idea!) then all of a sudden he bust out in Arabic! He started pointing to this toy and say a jumble of Arabic words which I sort of recognized as him saying “I want THAT toy”. I was rather surprised and said, excuse me…and he repeated it in another time in Arabic then he looked up at me and switched to English. Then he kept pointing at it saying “that, that” in Arabic! I immediately got all excited and like a loon called the hubby who was on his way and blabbed about the cool thing our lil’ offspring just did.
Then the following day I was next door over, having coffee and talk time with the Jordanian woman Ive become friends with while my son played with her 3 kids (range from 2 yrs to 5 yrs) and i told her what he did the previous night and she said, yah I know…a few days ago he came up to me while over here and asked me for juice in Arabic.
I said…really! Why didnt you tell me!?! She said she had forgotten.
But then we both started to notice that when her kids and him play they play mixing both Arabic and English and while my son is rapidly picking up Arabic and beginning to make sentences with it, her children are doing the same in English to the point that sometimes they speak to each other in mixed Arabic/English sentences.
I can only say…I wish I could learn Arabic that fast!
Its incredible what kids at that age can do..they are like sponges! DH and I are sure that if we were staying 1 more here he’d be entirely fluent like a Arabic-native speaking child.
And speaking of him flirting…hes also turned into a TOTAL flirt, even more so than what he was in the US. LOL…anytime we go to the Mall and sit down, if a woman comes and sits beside him, especially a woman in niqab he turns to her and says “HI” and smiles…then usually what follow is he giggles and says cute, 3 yr old stuff, she giggles and winks and offers him a candy (women here always carry candy) and if she has friends with her they all giggle, wink, wave and talk to him. Its incredibly embarrassing, cute and funny all at the same time!