Monday, January 30, 2012

Spanish/English Hybrids: Coopee Kikos Mystery Solved

This is the face you get when you ask him to smile
I'm sure you were all losing sleep over this, so I wanted to fill everyone in ASAP.  A few posts back I mentioned that Leo says "coopee kikos" after meals, when he burps, or when he's trying to get by someone that is in his way.  Basically any time "excuse me" would be appropriate - so "coopee" made sense, but we were completely stumped as to what "kikos" meant.

Well, today at meal time we were chatting in Spanish (we vacillate back and forth between English and Spanish throughout the day with a 70/30 or so split) and as he finished his meal he asked to get down and I asked him to please say excuse me ("con permiso") and he repeated "coopee kikos" - and the similarity of the phrases struck me immediately.  Of course!  I felt so silly for not thinking of the obvious - the same phrase only in Spanish!

 We will add it to the list of Spanish/English hybrid words that he has created.

socketin - sock/calcetin
shupatos - shoe/zapato
planana -  banana/platano
coopee kikos - excuse me/con permiso

I'm so relieved to have figured out what he was saying (I feel so bad when he is trying to tell me something and I'm just not understanding - this was definitely the most persistent example!) and I'm so amazed to see how he's navigating two different languages.

It can't be easy to be learning colors, numbers, the alphabet and a whole set of vocabulary in two different languages.  He clearly understands that English and Spanish are different languages.  English has a clear edge over Spanish - he was able to name colors, body parts, etc. in English before Spanish and often when I speak to him in Spanish he will answer me in English.  When I press him a bit to use Spanish, for example asking him "How do you say 'blue' in Spanish?" most of the time he will answer correctly, but sometimes he isn't in the mood and will either say he doesn't know or say "blue in Spanish".  Smarty pants.

I'll leave you with this video that was taken right before the coopee kikos revelation.


  1. I think the only thing in that dish that my kids would eat is the rice. . . and only if it weren't touching anything else. You're so lucky! :) Sweet video. . . what a great talker! Love it!

  2. oh my god. i could listen to him say "broccoli" all day long.

  3. I'm so glad that you two are having another baby, because your first one is absolutely adorable. Love the talking!

  4. :21 = my nirvana

  5. we are lucky. He will eat pretty much anything, and even if he doesn't like it he's pretty good about tasting new things or giving things a second chance. every once in a while he will have a picky day - but overall he is a little garbage disposal!

  6. That is exactly what I was trying to get on film! Brocabelleki. Slays me. Second only to his "I no no"

  7. Thanks :) We are pretty stoked about it too!

  8. hahaha, yes, it's quite funny. although I do hope he actually knows the real words!

  9. Ha, glad I checked because I assumed it was the "I no no" - but yes, that face is pretty awesome, too.