Here's a peek into the brain of a 3-year-old who just figured out how to talk about two different languages. (Sterling now knows there is Finnish, and there is English, and something can be "called" different things in each.)
We were on Ruissalo island last weekend and we saw a beautiful swan floating in the sea. We said, "look, a swan!" to Sterling. Then, anticipating his "what is it called in Finnish?" question, I said, "it's joutsen, in Finnish."
Well, Sterling's brain had already been hard at work. He said:
"No, it's called duck in Finnish."
I could almost hear the internal monologue: Mom, I already had a word for that thing with feathers floating on the water: duck. Then you said swan, which must be the other word in that other language. So there is no room for this joutsen nonsense.
Ah, kids. So smart, and yet.