07/29/17

Polyglot Toddler

Our daughter Anna is 1 year 9 months soon and experiencing her learning to speak is super exciting. I always thought I would know what her first word is, but in the beginning it was hard to say what counts as a word or not. 

At the moment she can understand Finnish, Cantonese and Mandarin. I speak to her in Finnish. Her dad speaks to her in Mandarin and Cantonese, his family uses Cantonese. Our nanny who worked for us almost a year spoke mostly Cantonese with Anna.

Here is a list of words she can say in each language.

Mandarin: cellphone (no other words yet)

Cantonese: wash hands, to hug, raining, go upstairs, small bird, dog, fish, water.

Finnish: boob, poo, pee, finished, more, cat, bag, flower.

She uses the word she knows, no matter if the person understands that language or not. The concept of language will develop much later. 

She is in a stage where she points at things and wants to know what the items are called, both in books and in real life around her. She also uses sounds to mean certain things too, like meow for a cat.

Next week Anna will start in a Japanese kindergarten which brings a new language to her mix. We weren’t planning on introducing Japanese yet (her dad speaks it fluently), but the daycare was the best option for us right now. It will be interesting to see what Japanese words she will pick up. They have English lessons too so let’s see if she starts speaking English as well!

I’m a monolingual parent, only spoke Finnish at home when growing up, it’s fascinating to see how my daughter learns to speak. 

07/26/17

Back in Guangzhou


During my seven years in China, I go back to Finland every Summer. Just once had a longer stretch in between when I didn’t go. In many senses it’s the highlight of the year. It’s Summer holiday, visiting family, seeing friends and breathing fresh air.

This Summer me and Anna spent 3 weeks and my husband 9 days in my hometown. Not nearly enough to see everyone, but I needed a week before work to battle jet lag.

Summer was full of love. My little sister got married! First weekend we arrived, second was bachelorette party and third the big day. My husband got to experience a traditional Finnish wedding. We never had a wedding in Finland, only a small one in China back in 2014.

Being back in Guangzhou is great too, it’s nice to come home no matter how humid it is. We’ve spent time as a family, which is a rare opportunity for us as we worked such a long hours during the Spring. Even started upgrading our small backyard!

Next week it’s back to business! I’m very excited to see where my company Expat Chinese will go this Autumn. So many big things happening! If you want to know more check Expat Chinese.

Anna has exciting news too! After being at home with a nanny, she is now at the age of 1 year and 9 months going to daycare! She is so active and we hope she can have more activities and friends at daycare. I’m eager to see how this new chapter will go.

August, we are ready for you!