Where’s the cat? What does the cat say? And other crucial questions

Maximilian

12 months

  • Max’s range of sounds has extended. He says “atya-a-a” a lot. However [ka], [ga], [gaka] and [kaka] are still Max’s favourite.
  • Max gets very emotional when he sees his favourite objects (cars, planes, lamps and fans) and creatures (fish, cats and dogs) and he shouts his favourite [ka], [ga], [gaka] and [kaka] in a variety of intonations. He shouts until you acknowledge what it is he is seeing.

13 months

  • пока (Rus. “bye”)
  • мама – (Rus. “Mommy”)
  • папа – (Rus. “Dad”)

 

14 months

  • Max mutters something to himself all the time.
  • He likes using his tongue when speaking, he tests his tongue’s abilities, curls it and sticks it out.
  • He likes to finish his words with a long [i:]: [aee], [kali:]. [kali:] is his new favourite. He experiments with the word by rolling his tongue at the [l]. We are curious about what it means!
  • Says tack tack (Swedish for “thanks”) [ta: ta:] or [ka: ka:] when giving something to us.
  • Calls Zoë [ðoi:] or [doi:] or [oi:]!
  •  When prompted, says “Bye-bye [ðoee]”!
  •  Says дядя and тётя (Rus. colloq. for “a man” and “a woman” when seeing someone in the street) – [t’at’a].

15 months

  • Says tack tack (Swedish for “thanks”) [ta: ta:] or [ka: ka:] also when getting something from us.

16 months

  • да (Rus. “yes”);
  • [dʊθ]- душ/dusch (Rus./Swe. for “shower”);
  • says [nʌmi:] when wants us to give him something. It is hard to be 100% certain about the etymology of this word, but one idea is that it is the combination of Russian [на мне]: на for “here” (when giving something to someone) and мне for “me” (in Dative).

 

16,5 months

  • [mʌmi:] for Mom;
  • prefers to say “bye-bye” when someone is leaving to “пока“;
  • [θɪθ] – сыр (Russian for “cheese”)
  • starts to repeat more words after us, e.g. when he was served couscous, he kept saying [kʊku:s’], нектарин (Rus. “nectarine”) – [tali:]; рис (Rus. “rice”) – [ji:];
  • да (Rus. “yes”) is Max’s favourite answer to our questions at this stage. “Да” is a new “no“!
  • [ʌdi:n] – один (Rus. “one”). We have taught them to answer the question “Сколько Максику/Зоеньке лет?/Hur gammal är Max/Zoe” (Rus./Swe. “How old is Max/Zoe?). They answer “Один” and raise their index fingers. They do not really know what this means though.

 17 months

  • calls his daddy [ma:mə], and mommy [mʌmi:] or also [ma:mə];
  • bajs ( Swe. “poop”)
  • starts using Genitive in Swedish/English pointing at his sister’s objects: Zoë’s/Zoës;
  • [kai:] – конец (Rus. “the end”) when something finishes
  • “uh oh” when something falls
  • тень (Rus. “shadow”)
  • haj (Swe. “shark”)
  • nej (Swe. “no”)
  • [ʊs] (Swe. ost “cheese”)
  • He sings along when Martin sings the Swedish song Lilla snigel (Swe. “A Little Snail”): akta dig (Swe. “watch out”).
  • [bi:] – bil (Swe. “car”)
  • [jaji:] – Riley (our American friend, 1 year and 4 months older than Max and Zoe)
  • When Max and Zoe drink milk, they hit each other’s bottles and shout [skɔ:] – skål (Swe. “cheers!”).
  • [sku:] – sko (Swe. “shoe”)
  • [kɔku:] – йогурт (Rus. “yogurt”)
  • [kɔkɔ:] – молоко (Rus. “milk”)
  • [əbʌs’-əbʌs’] – and bounce, and bounce and
  • [ʌkɔs’-ʌkɔs’] – across, across (from the kids’ gym classes, where their instructor Kiki does a war,-up with them using these instructions)

18 months

  • [ʌda:] – вода (Rus. “water”)
  • bebis ( Swe. “baby”)
  • [kaje:ts] – конец (Rus. “the end”)
  • [ʌbu:s’] – арбуз (Rus. “watermelon”)
  • пись-пись (Rus. a sound for peeing)
  • баба (Rus. “grandma”)
  • [dʌdi:/deda:] – деда (Rus. “grandpa”)
  • папа/pappa (Rus./Swe. “Dad”)!!!
  • Никита (Nikita, Svetlana’s brother-in-law)
  • Наташа (Natasha, Svetlana’s sister)
  • hiss (Swe. “elevator”)
  • ägg (Swe. “egg”)
  • boll (Swe. “ball”)
  • [ku:ka:] – кукла (Rus. “doll”)
  • алё (Rus. answer when picking up the phone)
  • [pʊpɔ:] fotboll (Swe. “football”)
  • [kʌm] – крем (Rus. “cream”)
  • wow!

19 months

  • [ʌp] – napp (Swe. “pacifier”)
  • [du:s’a:] att duscha (Swe. “to take a shower”)
  • [ʌti:]/[ʌki:] – очки
  • (Rus. “(sun)glasses”)
  • [bʌba:j] – трамвай (Rus. “tram”)
  • кит (Rus. “whale”)
  • apa (Swe. “monkey”)
  • [tɔ:ta:m] – кто там? (Rus. “who’s there?”)
  • [kʊka:ka:] – pannkaka (Swe. “pancake”)
  • [ti:z] – cheese (only when photos are being taken, not when he eats actual cheese, thus, “cheese” was learnt in California as a social formula)
  • [kʊt] – kort (Swe. “card”)
  • [ʌpɔ:bəs] and [bʊs] – автобус and buss (Rus. and Swe. “bus”)
  • олень (Rus. “deer”)
  • дом/hus (Rus./Swe. “house”)
  • [ɪz’a:] – нельзя (Rus. “not allowed/do not!”
  • [ʌpa:] – äpple (Swe. “apple”)
  • more and [ɪs’ɜː] ещё (Rus. “more”)
  • [di:si:] – джинсы (Rus. “jeans”)
  • [kɔfə]/[kʌfə] – кофе/kaffe (Rus./Swe. “coffee”)
  • [t’aj] – чай (Rus. “tea”)
  • no/nej/нет
  • пить (Rus. “to drink”)
  • [kʊs’ʌt’] – кушать (Rus. “to eat”)
  • [pi:si:/pi:pi:] – писать (Rus. “to pee”)

20 months

  • [ki:gə] – книга (Rus. “book”)
  • [ija:] – луна (Rus. “the Moon”)
  • [ʌme:t] – омлет/omelett (Rus./Swe. “omelette”)
  • [ʌpɪsi:nɪ]  апельсин(ы)/apelsin (Руs./Swe. “an orange”); Max uses the plural form in Russian.
  • [tʊtu:/tɪtu:] – a word Max is using for “a plane”. It does not really correspond with the phonetic forms of the Russian or Swedish word for “a plane”.
  • [ʌdu:] – hejdå (Swe. “bye”)
  • [kɔ:jɪ]/[kʌji:] – кролик/kanin (Rus./Swe. “rabbit”)
  • båt (Swe. “boat”)
  • [ba:s’a:]/[tu:] – башня/torn (Rus./Swe. “tower”)
  • [gɔ:ka:] – горка (Rus. “slide”)
  • [jʌs] – SAS (Scandinavian Airlines)
  • [ɪsa:] – лиса (Rus. “fox”)
  • [kɔkɔ:]/[mɔk] – молоко/mjölk
  • (Rus./Swe. “milk”)
  • [ɪs’ɔ:]/[æg] – яйцо/ägg (Rus./Swe. “egg”)
  • [bʊbu:] – bubblor (Swe. “bubbles”)
  • [təi:] – шары (Rus. “balloons”)
  • [ʌbʌka:] – oблака (Rus. “clouds”)
  • [mɔlj] – moln (Swe. “cloud”)
  • [nɔl’] – ноль (Rus. “zero”)
  • farfar, farmor (Swe. “grandfather, grandmother (the father’s parents)”
  • [ti:ni:ŋ] – tidning (Swe. “newspaper”)
  • [pæt’] – пять (Rus. “five”)
  • Mike (Riley’s father)
  • [sʌja:] – Sarah (Riley’s mother)
  • [m’a:t’] – мяч (Rus. “ball”)
  • [mʌs’] – Max
  • [kʊs’ʌt’] – кушать (Rus. “to eat”)
  • [kɔj] – korv (Swe. “sausage”)
  • [s’u:s’a:] – Ксюша (Ksyusha, Svetlana’s friend)
  • [ʊz’u:m] – изюм (Rus. “raisin”)
  • [ʌkʊja:] – ankorna (Swe. “ducks”)

21 months

  • [ʌbʌka:] яблоко (Rus. “apple”)
  • [kə’ka:s’] – коляска (Rus. “stroller”)
  • [jɔs’] – лось (Rus. “elk”)
  • кафе/kafé (Rus./Swe. “cafe”)
  • нос/näsa (Rus./Swe. “nose”)
  • [ʌga:] – нога (Rus. “leg/foot”)
  • [mi:ka:] – мишка (Rus. “bear”, slang.)
  • [ʊpa:j/a:] – упал/а (Rus. “fell down” m/f)
  • [pʌpa:s’a:/pʌpa:jəs’] – попался/попалась! (Rus. “got you!” m/f)
  • [nɔθ] – нож (Rus. “knife”)
  • mun (Swe. “mouth”)
  • [pɔpi:/pɔpu:] – (сесть) на попу (Rus. “sit down on the booty”)
  • Komm! (Swe. “come!”)
  • [tu:l] – стул/stol (Rus./Swe. “chair”)
  • [pʌka:j] – попугай (Rus. “parrot”)
  • [mʊt’] – мультик (Rus. “cartoon”)
  • [mɔka:] – мокро (Rus. “wet”)
  • [pi:kʌ] – вилка (Rus. “fork”)
  • [kɔv] – кровь (Rus. “blood”)
  • [ʌgɔ:] – огонь (Rus. “fire”)
  • [ju:s] – ljus (Swe. “candle”)
  • [ʌka:] – рука (Rus. “hand/arm”)
  • [kejka:] – наклейка (Rus. “sticker”)
  • [pes’a:] – песня (Rus. “song”)
  • [pʊt’] – пульт (Rus. “remote control”)
  • bada (Swe. “to have a bath”)
  • älg (Swe. “elk”)
  • [ses’a:]/[jeta:] – сердце/hjärta (Rus./Swe. “heart”)
  • [sɔsa:]/[su:] – солнце/sol (Rus./Swe. “sun”)
  • [pɔ:tɪt’] – поезд/tåg (Rus./Swe. “train”)
  • вот (Rus. “here”, when pointing at something)
  • [bʊma:] – blomma (Swe. “flower”)
  • [kʊg] – круг (Rus. “circle”)
  • [pɪk] – fisk (Swe. “fish”)
  • akta! (Swe. “watch out!”)
  • [ʊti:] – ух ты! (Rus. “wow”!)
  • [‘nætʌ] – nästa (Swe. “next”)
  • [da:tʊj] – dator (Swe. “computer”)
  • [vʌj] – val (Swe. “whale”)
  • [ɪki:k] – язык (Rus. “tongue”)
  • [pa:ti:] – пальцы (Rus. “fingers/toes”)
  • [ja:lej] – лайнер (Rus. “liner ship”)
  • гуси (Rus. “geese”)
  • många bil (Swe. “many car”)
  • åka hiss/bil/buss (Swe. “take/go by elevator/car/bus”)
  • no+object, ex. “no омлет!” (English “no” plus Rus. “omelette”)
  • [ma:jɪ] – маленький (Rus. “little”, adj.)
  • [ʊpa:j/ʊpa:jʌ] – упал/а (Rus. “fell down”, m.,f.)
  • [ekɔja:/be:ka:] – ekkore/белка (Swe./Rus. “squirrel”)
  • [mʌji:s] – малыш (Rus. “baby”)
  • farmor (Swe. “grandmother”, literally “father’s mother”)
  • farfar (Swe. “grandfather”, literally “father’s father”)
  • [gʌi:s’/ə] – голыш/голышка (Rus. “naked baby-boy/girl”)
  • там/där (Rus./Swe. “there”)
  • здесь/här (Rus./Swe. “here”)
  • [səja:t] салат (Rus. “salad”)
  • киви/kiwi (Rus./Swe. “kiwi”)
  • [pi:ka:] – рыбка (Rus. “fish”)
  • [pi:ka:] – flicka (Swe. “girl”)
  • [ma:tɪk]/[pɔka:] – мальчик/pojke (Rus./Swe. “boy”)
  • бусы (Rus. “necklace”)
  • суп (Rus. “soup”)
  • [gi:s] – gris (Swe. “pig”)
  • [pu:tə] – пусто (Rus. “empty”)
  • sova (Swe. “to sleep”)
  • [u:kɪ]/[ɜːjə] – ушки/öra (Rus./Swe. “ear/s”)
  • [a:nə] – ладно (Rus. “alright/OK”, said to agree to do something)
  • [aɪ’fa:ɪ] high five
  • [gu:s’ə] – гусеница (Rus. “caterpillar”)
  • [u:kə] – уточка (Rus. “duck”)
  • [sa:ɪs] – заяц (Rus. “hare”)
  • [kɔ:və] – корова (Rus. “cow”)
  • [ku:kə] – лягушка (Rus. “frog”)

22 months

  • [fa:bu:(r)] – farbror (Swe. “uncle/man”, literally “father’s brother”, but kinship is optional)
  • дома/hemma (Rus./Swe. “at home”)
  • äta (Swe. “to eat”)
  • titta (Swe. “to look at”)
  • sitta (Swe. “to sit”)
  • [vi:də] – выдра (Rus. “otter”)
  • [‘bebə] – зебра (Rus. “zebra”)
  • [kə’te:t] – концерт (Rus. “concert”)
  • [dɔʒ] – дождь (Rus. “rain”)
  • [‘mɪkəpa:də] – мишка панда (Rus. “panda bear”)
  • [mə’de:ts] – молодец (Rus. “atta boy/girl! Well-done!”
  • [də’fi:n] – дельфин (Rus. “dolphin”)
  • [ɪdi:t] – сидит (Rus. “is sitting”)
  • [ʌkɪva:jəm] / [zʌkɪva:jəm] – открываем (Rus. “we are opening”/”we are closing”)
  • [tek] – снег (Rus. “snow”)
  • [ɜːgə]/[gʌ’za:] – öga/глаза (Swe./Rus. “eyes”)
  • [ʌ’je:n’] – олень (Rus. “deer”)
  • [pɪni:n’] – павлин (Rus. “peacock”)
  • [pʌp]/[gɪp] – svamp/гриб (Swe./Rus. “mushroom”)
  • [bɔt] – blöt (Swe. “wet”)
  • [əka:kə]/[æst] – лошадка/häst (Rus./Swe. “horse”)
  • [‘paji:] – планер (Rus. “glider”)
  • [ma:ti:n] Martin/Мартин
  • [ja:nə] Lana/Лана
  • [vi:s] – вниз (Rus. “(go) down”)
  • [pædi:] – färtig (Swe. “ready/all done”)
  • [pʊs’pʊs] – puss-puss (Swe. “kiss-kiss”)
  • [tu:j] – stor (Swe. “big”)
  • [ti:stə-ti:stə] – чисто-чисто (Rus. “clean-clean”)
  • [ku:kə] – kaka (Swe. “biscuit”)

23 months

  • [bə’sɔ:j/bə’sa:jə] – большой/ая (Rus. “big”)
  • [kʌza:] – коза (Rus. “goat”)
  • dansa (Swe. “to dance”)
  • [pa:kʌ/jə] – плакал/а (Rus. “cried”)
  • [krʌm] – kram (Swe. “hug”)
  • duktig (Swe. “well-done”)
  • [tʌk]/[sɔ:] – так/så (Rus./Swe. “so/this way/like this”)
  • [‘bɔnə] – больно (Rus. “painful”)
  • [bəli:t] – болит (Rus. “hurts”)
  • [sa:m] – сам (Rus. “myself”, m.)
  • [‘dejəjet] – делает (Rus. “is doing”)

Zoë

12 months

  • Says [kak] a lot, which I tend to explain by the fact that I ask plenty of Как лает собачка? (Rus. How does a dog bark) Как мяукает кисонька? (Rus. “How does a cat meow?”) Как is “how” in Russian. If before it took Zoe a week to learn to imitate something, like the noise cars make, now we only show her once or twice, and she tries to copy.
  • Zoe now greets everyone she meets, just about anyone she meets in the street, “Hi!” or “Hej!” (Swedish). She can’t have enough of it. She waves and smiles as well.

13 months

  • пока (Rus. “bye”)
  • дай (Rus. “give (me)”)
  • дать (Rus. “to give”),
  • как (Rus. “how”)
  • мама – (Rus. “Mommy”)
  • папа – (Rus. “Dad”)
  • Zoe emphasizes the last [k] in как. She is trying to repeat words after us, like [ptika] – птичка (Rus. “bird”).
  • She says [bampa] when she sees a lamp (Rus. лампа; Swedish lampa).

14 months

  • Both kids have known to shake their heads “no” since they were around 7 months. Now Zoe has learnt to nod her head “yes”.
  • Says tack tack (Swedish for “thanks”) when giving something to us.
  • Says дядя and тётя (Rus. colloq. for “a man” and “a woman” when seeing someone in the street) – [t’at’a].
  • One week before she turned 15 months old, Zoe said [tak u:] for “thank you” and [nə] for “no” (Swedish nej or Russian нет [net]).

15 months

  • Zoe has a new favourite word that she seems to use to attract attention, or when she needs to cuddle, or feels insecure, or hurt, or needs to reach her favourite toy: [məmi:]. She can repeat it on and on, and on! She calls me [ma:ma:], so the two words are different. I wonder if she picked the new one up from our American friends Sarah and her now 31-month-old daughter Riley. This is most peculiar.
  • Says tack tack (Swedish for “thanks”) [ta: ta:] or [ka: ka:] when giving something to us or getting something from us.

15,5 months

  • Says [dedi:] for дельфин (Rus.)/delfin (Swe.)(dolphin).
  • Says на! (Rus. “here” – when giving something to someone).
  • Says no a lot with a perfect British rising intonation.
  • [θɪθ] – сыр (Russian for “cheese”)
  • 16 months
  • да (Rus. “yes”)
  • [dʊθ] – душ/dusch (Rus./Swe. for “shower”)
  • counts [wa: – tu: – gɔ:]! on the slide (“one – two – go!”)
  • [nʌmi:] when wants us to give her something (see the same for Max).
  • Calls Max [ma:] or [ma:θ], [ma:p’s’] or [ma:s’].
  • Komm! (Swe. “come!”)

16,5 months

  • [mʌmi:] for Mom;
  • says “go”
  • [tɪta:t’] – читать (Rus. “to read”)
  • да (Rus. “yes”)
  • [ʌdi:n] – один (Rus. “one”). We have taught them to answer the question “Сколько Максику/Зоеньке лет?/Hur gammal är Max/Zoe” (Rus./Swe. “How old is Max/Zoe?). They answer “Один” and raise their index fingers. They do not really know what this means though.

17 months

  • bajs ( Swe. “poop”)
  • кака (Rus. “poop”)
  • kiss (Swe. “pee”)
  • calls his daddy [ma:mə], and mommy [mʌmi:] or also [ma:mə];
  • [kai:] – конец (Rus. “the end”) when something finishes
  • [tæ] – всё (Rus. “that’s all/all done”)
  • says “wow!” a lot when she is surprised or astonished by something
  • “uh oh” when something falls
  • [ɔpa:] – опа! (Rus. exclamation used when doing physical exercise, or getting up from a lying or sitting position)
  • hatt (Swe. “hat”)
  • haj (Swe. “shark”)
  • nej (Swe. “no”)
  • [ʊs] (Swe. ost “cheese”)
  • oops!
  • [jaji:] – Riley
  • [ʌtə deɪ] – akta dig (Swe. “watch out”); from the song about the snail (see the right column)
  • When Max and Zoe drink milk, they hit each other’s bottles and shout [skɔ:] – skål (Swe. “cheers!”).
  • [sku:] – sko (Swe. “shoe”)
  • [əbʌs’-əbʌs’] – and bounce, and bounce and
  • [ʌkɔs’-ʌkɔs’] – across, across (from the kids’ gym classes, where their instructor Kiki does a warm-up with them using these instructions)
  • [kɔku:] – йогурт (Rus. “yogurt”)
  • [kɔkɔ:] – молоко (Rus. “milk”)

18 month

  • [ʌda:] – вода (Rus. “water”)
  • [kʌmi:]/[kʌme:] – come here/ко мне (Rus. “to me” as in “come to me”)
  • bebis ( Swe. “baby”)
  • more/ mer (Swe. “more”)
  • [kaje:ts] – конец (Rus. “the end”)
  • [ʌbu:s’] – арбуз (Rus. “watermelon”)
  • пись-пись (Rus. a sound for peeing)
  • баба (Rus. “grandma”)
  • деда (Rus. “grandpa”)
  • Никита (Nikita, Svetlana’s brother-in-law)
  • Наташа (Natasha, Svetlana’s sister)
  • hiss (Swe. “elevator”)
  • ägg (Swe. “egg”)
  • boll (Swe. “ball”)
  • [ku:ka:] – кукла (Rus. “doll”)
  • [kʌm] – крем (Rus. “cream”)
  • [bi:] – bil (Swe. “car”)

19 months

  • [ʌp] – napp (Swe. “pacifier”)
  • [ʌti:]]/[ʌki:] – очки
  • (Rus. “(sun)glasses” )
  • папа/pappa (Rus./Swe. “Dad”)!!!
  • [gɔ:ka:] – горка (Rus. “slide”)
  • [bʌba:j] – трамвай (Rus. “tram”)
  • кит (Rus. “whale”)
  • apa (Swe. “monkey”)
  • [tɔ:ta:m] – кто там? (Rus. “who’s there?”)
  • алё (Rus. answer when picking up the phone)
  • [ti:z] – cheese (only when photos are being taken, not when he eats actual cheese, thus, “cheese” was learnt in California as a social formula)
  • [bʊs] – buss (Swe. “bus”)
  • [ta:] – там (Rus. “there”)
  • дом (Rus. “house”)
  • [ðoi:] Zoë – when she wants something to be given to her
  • [ʌpa:] – äpple (Swe. “apple”)
  • [ʌpa:] – up (when wants to be picked up or put up on something)
  • [ɪs’ɜː] ещё (Rus. “more”)
  • no/nej/нет
  • [kɔfə]/[kʌfə] – кофе/kaffe (Rus./Swe. “coffee”)
  • [t’aj] – чай (Rus. “tea”)
  • пить (Rus. “to drink”)
  • [kʊs’ʌt’] – кушать (Rus. “to eat”)
  • [pi:si:/pi:pi:] – писать (Rus. “to pee”)
  • тень (Rus. “shadow”)

20 months

  • [ki:gə] – книга (Rus. “book”)
  • [ʊja:] – луна (Rus. “the Moon”)
  • [ʌme:t] – омлет/omelett (Rus./Swe. “omelette”)
  • [ʌpɪsi:nа:] –апельсин/apelsin (Rus./Swe. “an orange”); Zoe uses the singular form in Russian/Swedish
  • [pəti:tə] – простите (Rus. “sorry”)
  • [kəja:s/ə] – коляска (Rus. “stroller”)
  • [ʌdu:] – hejdå (Swe. “bye”)
  • [kɔ:jɪ]/[kʌji:] – кролик/kanin (Rus./Swe. “rabbit”)
  • båt (Swe. “boat”)
  • [kʌpi:] – корабль/и (Rus. “ship/s”)
  • [ba:s’a:]/[tu:] – башня/torn (Rus./Swe. “tower”)
  • no more
  • [nɔna:n] – банан/banan (Rus./Swe. “banana”)
  • [kɔkɔ:]/[mɔk] – молоко/mjölk (Rus./Swe. “milk”)
  • [ɪs’ɔ:]/[æg] – яйцо/ägg (Rus./Swe. “egg”)
  • [bʊbi:] – bubblor (Swe. “bubbles”)
  • [təi:] – шары (Rus. “balloons”)
  • [ʌbʌka:] – oблака (Rus. “clouds”)
  • [mɔlj] – moln (Swe. “cloud”)
  • [ʊɔs’] – лось (Rus. “elk”)
  • [gi:s’] – gris (Swe. “pig”)
  • farfar, farmor (Swe. “grandfather, grandmother (the father’s parents)”
  • попа (Rus. “booty”)
  • [pɔpi:/pɔpu:] – (сесть) на попу (Rus. “sit down on the booty”)
  • [kɔr] – korv (Swe. “sausage”)
  • Mike (Riley’s father)
  • [sʌja:] – Sarah (Riley’s mother)
  • [des’] – здесь (Rus. “here”)
  • вот (Rus. “here”, when pointing at something)
  • mat (Swe. “food”)
  • [kʌf] – шкаф (Rus. “wardrobe/cupboard”)
  • [kejka:] – наклейка (Rus. “stocker”)
  • [ʊz’u:m] – изюм (Rus. “raisin”)
  • [kʌka:t’] – виноград (Rus. “grapes”)
  • [ʌkʊja:] – ankorna (Swe. “ducks”)
  • [bʊma:] – blomma (Swe. “flower”)
  • [kʊg] – круг (Rus. “circle”)
  • [ʌka:k] – ягодка (Rus. “berry”)
  • [ɪz’a:] – нельзя (Rus. “not allowed/do not!”
  • [s’u:s’a:] – Ксюша (Ksyusha, Svetlana’s friend)
  • [ɪsa:] – лиса (Rus. “fox”)
  • олень (Rus. “deer”)
  • [kʌs’a:] – карандаш/и (Rus. “pencils/crayons”)

21 months

  • [ʌbʌka:] яблоко (Rus. “apple”)
  • кафе/kafé (Rus.-Swe. “cafe”)
  • нос/näsa (Rus./Swe. “nose”)
  • [ʌga:] – нога (Rus. “leg/foot”)
  • [ma:jɪ] – маленький (Rus. “little”, adj.)
  • [mi:s’a:] – мишка (Rus. “bear”, slang.)
  • [ʊpa:j/a:] – упал/а (Rus. “fell down” m/f)
  • [pʌpa:s’a:/pʌpa:jəs’] – попался/попалась! (Rus. “got you!” m/f)
  • [nɔθ] – нож (Rus. “knife”)
  • [ʌd’ɔ:m] – пойдём! (Rus. “let’s go!”)
  • akta! (Swe. “watch out!”)
  • mun (Swe. “mouth”)
  • [pa:t’ə] – платье (Rus. “dress”)
  • [bɪni:] – блины (Rus. “pancakes”)
  • [tu:l] – стул/stol (Rus./Swe. “chair”)
  • [pʌkəja:j] – попугай (Rus. “parrot”)
  • [mʊti:t’] – мультик (Rus. “cartoon”)
  • [mɔka:] – мокро (Rus. “wet”)
  • [ka:s’a:] – грязно (Rus. “dirty”)
  • [vi:kʌ] – вилка (Rus. “fork”)
  • [kɔv] – кровь (Rus. “blood”)
  • [ʌgɔ:] – огонь (Rus. “fire”)
  • [ju:s] – ljus (Swe. “candle”)
  • [ʊka:] – рука (Rus. “hand/arm”)
  • [pes’a:] – песня (Rus. “song”)
  • [pʊt’] – пульт (Rus. “remote control”)
  • [ja:lej] – лайнер (Rus. “liner ship”)
  • bada (Swe. “to have a bath”)
  • älg (Swe. “elk”)
  • [ses’a:]/[jeta:] – сердце/hjärta (Rus./Swe. “heart”)
  • [sɔtsə]/[su:] – солнце/sol (Rus./Swe. “sun”)
  • tåg (Swe. “train”)
  • [ʊti:] – ух ты! (Rus. “wow”!)
  • [ʊpa:j/ʊpa:jʌ] – упал/а (Rus. “fell down”, m.,f.)
  • [ekɔja:/be:ka:] – ekkore/белка (Swe./Rus. “squirrel”)
  • eld (Swe. “fire”)
  • [mʌji:s] – малыш (Rus. “baby”)
  • farmor (Swe. “grandmother”, literally “father’s mother”)
  • farfar (Swe. “grandfather”, literally “father’s father”)
  • [gʌi:s’/ə] – голыш/голышка (Rus. “naked baby-boy/girl”)
  • där (Swe. “there”)
  • здесь/här (Rus./Swe. “here”)
  • дома/hemma (Rus./Swe. “at home”)
  • [pi:ka:]/[pɪk] – рыбка/fisk (Rus./Swe. “fish”)
  • [pi:ka:] – flicka (Swe. “girl”)
  • [ma:ɪk]/[pɔka:] – мальчик/pojke (Rus./Swe. “boy”)
  • бусы (Rus. “necklace”)
  • суп (Rus. “soup”)
  • [səja:t] – салат (Rus. “salad”)
  • [pu:tə] – пусто (Rus. “empty”)
  • sova (Swe. “to sleep”)
  • [u:kɪ]/[ɜːjə] – ушки/öra (Rus./Swe. “ear/s”)
  • [a:nə] – ладно (Rus. “alright/OK”, said to agree to do something)
  • [aɪ’fa:ɪ] high five
  • [gu:s’ə] – гусеница (Rus. “caterpillar”)
  • [u:kə] – уточка (Rus. “duck”)
  • [sa:ɪs] – заяц (Rus. “hare”)
  • киви/kiwi (Rus./Swe. “kiwi”)
  • [ɪki:k] – язык (Rus. “tongue”)
  • [pa:ti:] – пальцы (Rus. “fingers/toes”)
  • [ja:lej] – лайнер (Rus. “liner ship”)
  • гуси (Rus. “geese”)
  • [dej] – дверь (Rus. “door”)
  • [mi:tə] – мышка (Rus. “mouse”)

22 months

  • [fa:bu:(r)] – farbror (Swe. “uncle/man”, literally “father’s brother”, but kinship is optional)
  • no+object, ex. “no омлет!” (English “no” plus Rus. “omelette”)
  • [kə’te:t] – концерт (Rus. “concert”)
  • äta (Swe. “to eat”)
  • [mɪkəpa:də] – мишка панда (Rus. “panda bear”)
  • [mə’de:ts] – молодец (Rus. “atta boy/girl! Well-done!”)
  • titta (Swe. “to look at”)
  • sitta (Swe. “to sit”)
  • [ɪdi:t] – сидит (Rus. “is sitting”)
  • [ʌkɪva:jəm] / [zʌkɪva:jəm] – открываем (Rus. “we are opening”/”we are closing”)
  • [sek] – снег (Rus. “snow”)
  • [ɜːgə]/[gʌ’za:] – öga/глаза (Swe./Rus. “eyes”)
  • [ʌ’je:n’] – олень (Rus. “deer”)
  • [pɪni:n’] – павлин (Rus. “peacock”)
  • [pʌp]/[gɪp] – svamp/гриб (Swe./Rus. “mushroom”)
  • [bɔt] – blöt (Swe. “wet”)
  • [əka:kə]/[æst] – лошадка/häst (Rus./Swe. “horse”)
  • [‘paji:] – планер (Rus. “glider”)
  • [ma:ti:n] Martin/Мартин
  • [ja:nə] Lana/Лана
  • [vi:s] – вниз (Rus. “(go) down”)
  • [pædi:] – färtig (Swe. “ready/all done”)
  • [pʊs’pʊs] – puss-puss (Swe. “kiss-kiss”)
  • [tu:j] – stor (Swe. “big”)
  • [ti:stə-ti:stə] – чисто-чисто (Rus. “clean-clean”)
  • [ku:kə] – kaka (Swe. “biscuit”)
  • [kɔ:və] – корова (Rus. “cow”)
  • [əgu:tɪt’] – огурчик (Rus. “cucumber”)
  • [ə’vet’a] – овечка (Rus. “sheep”)

23 months

  • [bə’sɔ:j/bə’sa:jə] – большой/ая (Rus. “big”)
  • [kʌza:] – коза (Rus. “goat”)
  • dansa (Swe. “to dance”)
  • [pa:kʌ/jə] – плакал/а (Rus. “cried”)
  • [krʌm] – kram (Swe. “hug”)
  • duktig (Swe. “well-done”)
  • [tʌk]/[sɔ:] – так/så (Rus./Swe. “so/this way/like this”)
  • [‘bɔnə] – больно (Rus. “painful”)
  • [bəli:t] – болит (Rus. “hurts”)
  • [məka:t’] – макать (Rus. “to dip”)
  • [səma:] – сама (Rus. “myself”, f.)
  • [‘dejəjet] – делает (Rus. “is doing”)

NB Language preferences

Sometimes Max and Zoe prefer to use different languages in the same context. For instance, Zoe says “Bye” when someone is leaving, whereas Max prefers to say the Russian “пока” in most cases, although closer to 15 months he begins to say “bye-bye” as well, especially in “Bye-bye, Riley” (his friend, who is 16 months older than Max). They know that both bye-bye, пока (bye) and hejdå (bye, Swedish) are used when someone leaves.

NB Peer influence

It is interesting that Zoe starts saying “no” a lot at 15 months. It is typical for this age to say “no”. However, why does not she say “nej” (Swedish) or “нет” (Russian)? She does not hear “no” from her mother or father. She only hears “nej” or “нет”. Again, this may be the result of her interaction with our American friends, particularly the little girl Riley (2,5 years) who would say “no” to her mother.

It is Zoe’s interaction with Riley and other English-speaking children in the playground that we hold accountable for her counting to three in English as well at 16 months.

Max said “nej” for the first time when he was 17,5 months old. We were camping with our Irish friends who have a 5-year-old daughter. The little girl has Swedish friends from whom she has picked up a few Swedish words, including “nej”. She likes saying these words sometimes. It is fascinating that as soon as Max heard her saying “nej” during our camping he started saying it himself. Once again, his motivator was a slightly older girl. This underlines the importance of the influence of older children on language development among younger children.

NB Verdict “The word is in!”

At the age of 17 months, Max and Zoe repeat a lot of 1-2-syllabic words, which makes it more challenging to take notes of their new words. Their vocabulary explodes at this age in Russian and Swedish. Some more new English words enter their repertoires too. I decided to take notes of the words that they say themselves without our prompts. Thus, if I serve them lunch and say “Вот сыр” (Rus. “Here’s cheese”), and somebody repeats “сыр”, I do not write down this word as their new milestone. I wait till they say this word again themselves when seeing cheese and without being prompted what it is called.

NB Sentences

Max and Zoe start to say “good-bye” to things and people around 17-18 months: “Bye-bye, Riley!” This is their first 2-word sentence, as it accomplishes a conversational goal and it is complete and conveys a message.

Technically, Zoe’s first 3-word sentence appears when she is 18 months old: “Мама, ко мне!” [ma:ma: kʌme:] (Rus. “Mommy, to me!” as in “come to me”).

At the age of 19 months, Max adds another 2-word sentence: “Pappa/Mamma duscha/r” [pa:pa: du:s’a:] (Swe. “Dad/Mom to shower/is taking a shower”). He says it when his father/mother is in the shower.

At 20 months, both kids say in Russian “More +noun” when they see one more of the object they have just seen: [ɪs’ɜː ʌpɪsi:n] – “more/another orange”. Similarly, “No+object” was added at 21 months: “no апельсин” – “no orange”. Also, subject+object sentences emerge, for example, Max says “Farfar tidning” (Swe. “Grandfather newspaper”, as in “Farfar läser en tidning” – “Grandfather is reading a newspaper”).

3/4-word sentences appear in Max and Zoe’s speech around 22-23 months:

  • “Мама пьёт чай” (Rus. “Mom’s drinking tea”);
  • “Pappa läser bok” (Swe. “Daddy’s reading a book”;
  • “Pappa läser bok där” (Swe. “Daddy’s reading a book there”);
  • “Мама пьёт чай там” (Rus. “Mom’s drinking tea there”).

NB Russian and Swedish equivalents

At the age of 18-19 months, Max and Zoe passively know many equivalent words in Swedish and Russian: when we look through picture books and ask them where this or that object or animal is, they almost always equally easily point at the right pictures when they hear the names in either language. Occasionally, they actively use either equivalent of the same word in different or even the same sentence/context, for example, katt/кошка (“cat”), akta dig/берегись (“watch out”). But sometimes, there are obvious favourites in one of the two language. For instance, Max prefers to say “akta dig” to “берегись”, or “pannkaka” to “блин” (“pancake”). When he hears me saying “берегись”, he would say “akta dig”; same goes with “pancake”. So, our prompts in one language sometimes trigger their echoing in the other. This indicates that they are aware of the fact that the two words refer to the same concept.

On the other hand, using all the words that denote the same concept in Russian, Swedish and/or English in the same communicative situation becomes characteristic for both kids at 19-20 months. For instance, I asked Max once: “Максик, ты хочешь еще пюре?” (Rus. “Max, would you like more purée?”) His answer was: “No. Нет. Конец” (“No. No (Rus.). The end (Rus.)”. Saying a word in one language reminds them of its variant in another language.

 

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