Beside always wondering with what identity the children will end up, whether they will be culturally confused, how to make parenting styles of spouses match and work for the best of the family, there are so many little issues that arise every day.
One of the things I always wondered about since I started learning languages is how to translate and adapt songs, poems, nursery rhymes, favorite stories and fairy tales into different languages. I love translating and interpreting hence I never stop!
While working as a kindergarten ESL teacher I found it easy and more fun to try and translate children’s favorite nursery rhymes and simple songs into English. It always worked well and children enjoyed singing along the familiar tunes.
Now that I have my own children I try doing the same for them.
Lian zhi xiao wa wa ya
Zhen de da dien hua ya
Wei wei wei ni za na li ya
Ei ei ei wo zai you er yuan
Two little children
Talking on the phone
Hello hello where are you?
Hello hello I’m at my school
It’s and easy easy and catchy tune.
Here’s another rhyme which I translated for my baby yoga and English fun class:
It’s raining it’s raining
Come out and let’s play
Xiao yu xiao yu
Lai yi qi wan
I used this rhyme to play a rain game, and the 1.5-2.5 year olds loved it!
In my humble opinion, and experience, it is not very hard to adapt popular songs and nursery rhymes to a foreign language. It doesn’t mean to forget common for the language and culture own nursery rhymes.
Try it and let me know how it goes!
Varya blogs at Creative World of Varya. She is a mom to 2 girls, early development specialist, baby massage and perinatal fitness instructor, breastfeeding consultant. Varya has been living in China for the past 12 years working and raising her multicultural family.