Kids Communicating: It’s sery, sery sunny

“Grandma is sery, sery sunny!”

Is it any wonder toddlers get frustrated when they are simply trying to make themselves understood? Although, Immy speaks well for her age (I counted a six word sentence recently – yes, SIX!), visitors to our home (and even her Dad) sometimes look to me for a translation. As I am with her most of the time, I have become accustomed to her little sound substitutions, like ‘s’ for ‘f’ and ‘v,’ and most of the time I understand what she is saying.

Though she did throw me the other day. We were playing when she came out with what sounded like ‘womela.’ It took a good few minutes and her repeating the word many times for me to work out she was asking for ‘watermelon.’ It didn’t help my translation that we were nowhere near the kitchen at the time and certainly not talking about food!

According to Speech Pathology Australia, toddlers and young children often make ‘mistakes’ when learning to talk (which is completely normal) and may;

  • Substitute an easier sound for a difficult one
  • Leave out sounds or parts of words (hence my difficulty with the watermelon!)
  • Mix up the order of sounds, like the classic psghetti
  • Say one sound instead of blending two together, like bider for spider

We certainly see all of these at various times and will for some time to come I am sure. I wish that I could bottle up these moments for prosperity as her little substitutions are so precious (well, at least the ones which don’t result in a frustrated tantrum when I just cannot work out what she is saying). Sometimes they even make me laugh out loud.

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  1. lotusutol says:

    Did you mean 'posterity'?
    Abi had little gems, like 'wee-dwee' for already, 'waining' for both raining and mandarin, and 'tar-toe' for tomato 🙂
    If only I remember the rest!

  2. Christie - Childhood 101 says:

    I did mean posterity!

  3. SquiggleMum says:

    Hehehe… posterity ;-P

    My daughter always mixed up s and f. She was sure srogs went fwimming!!

  4. My favourite is the way my daughter (2.5) says spagetti which is "skadeppi"

  5. I love these little things. My oldest son went through a brief period where helicopters were "hopper coppers," which my husband and I missed terribly as soon as it went away.

    My 2-year-old is now in the middle of learning so much about speech. And her pronunciations are just amazing. My favorite is that that a consonant+R often ends up as an F sound. Which gets pretty funny when she points out trucks or requests a cracker!

  6. I have to hold myself back from giggling sometimes with my nearly 3 year olds translations. Like yesterday when she asked me to watch her as she was running around the ouse with a bucket on her headyelling "to ifilidy an eyon" which I later worked out to be "to infinity and beyond" (buzz lightyear). As hard work as toddlers can be at times, there are so many funny moments that I wouldn't trade for the world!

  7. Oh I do love those quirky little miss-pronunciations! I am always sad when the child in questions grows up a little and learns to say things correctly… and immensely happy when one of those mixed up words or sayings makes it into our family language permanently!

  8. Zoey @ Good Goog says:

    The mistakes are my favourite part. I also like being the translator because it's kind of like being in on a secret language. My favourite words at the moment – noo-noo (doona) and oosh (push).

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