I went through an ambitious phase where I thought ‘my son will learn French and grow up trilingual’ – I speak Mandarin. Several years on, and my ambition remains a pipe dream. He only speaks English, thinks Mandarin is a made-up language and French, well, bof.
Sophie and Tom are going to the museum are one of several dual language books so carefully chosen for educational purposes now lying unloved and untouched on the bookshelf. Very occasionally, I still pull them out for a bedtime story. And with child no. 3 on the way, perhaps I could have another go at hothousing bringing up a linguist.
And this is how the story begins.
Aujourd’hui, Sophie est au musée avec sa classe.
(Today, Sophie is at a museum with her class.)
Le maître leur montre un tableau.
(The teacher is showing them a painting.)