A friend of mine is a School Social Worker. She’s from a Western European ethnic heritage, her husband from a branch of Latino heritage.
Their 5 y/0 daughter, Julia, has been brought up bi-lingual, and has been attending a pre-school at a Jewish community center, where she was learning some basic Hebrew, too:
Julia comes into the kitchen and says to me, “Mommy, there is a new friend in class….her name is Yoeli.”
I say, “Oh, Julia, that is wonderful.”
She says, “Yoeli doesn’t speak English, so I spoke to her.”
Thinking Yoeli’s from a Spanish-speaking country and how wonderful it is that Julia is feeling more comfortable speaking in Spanish, I say, “Where is Yoeli from?”
She says to me, “She’s from Israel. So I said to her, ‘Shalom!’ And then I counted to her 1-10 in Hebrew!”
I said, “Oh? Yoeli just came from Israel to America? So what did Yoeli say to you?
Julia says, “She counted 1-10 back to me in Hebrew!”