Friday, August 13, 2010

Divide and conquer - The Tri-Lingual Family

In a comment to one of my earlier posts, someone asked whether I planned to raise Baby Sunshine bi- or tri-lingual. I have detailed plans for this issue that makes it worthy of a post in itself I believe.

Since the previous balance of power was evenly matched between me and Mrs. Sunshine, I felt quite comfortable with my position in the family, but now with Baby Sunshine entering the picture, I must now try to maintain a position of power facing two females. This potential shift of power is alarming and I intend to use whatever means that are at my disposal to not be overthrown: language will be one of my key leverage points.

The main plan is to make sure that Baby Sunshine understands Swedish, thus I speak in Swedish to her (although the level of conversation at this stage is hardly that advanced). Although I am very slowly teaching Mrs. Sunshine some words in Swedish (mostly limited to words such as poo, vomit, hiccup, diaper etc.) her understanding is severely limited. Also, we do not intend to raise Baby Sunshine in English in the early years and keep the languages to Japanese and a little Swedish without throwing in another language in the mix.

Through this cunning strategy, I can ensure that I maintain the language dominance in the household, being the only person who can understand all three languages spoken within the Salaryman family. With this advantage, I feel comfortable that I can play them out against each other to divide and conquer. I believe that scenarios like this could very much be the case:

Baby Sunshine: (In Swedish) Daddy, can we go to Disneyland?

Salaryman: (Also in Swedish, enthusiastically) Yes baby, that sounds like a great idea and I really really wanna do that, but I have to ask mom to see what she says first (having since previously agreed with Mrs. Sunshine that the timing is not right for a trip)

Salaryman: (Turning to Mrs. Sunshine and say in English) Hey Sunshine, do you mind if I spend $3,000 dollars on buying a new computer so I can play the latest game with the best quality?

Mrs. Sunshine: (In English, angrily) What?! No! You just bought a new expensive computer just a year ago, we can't spend that kind of money on things like that again so soon!

Salaryman: (In Swedish to Baby Sunshine, sad) Oh, I'm sorry baby, I really wanted to go but mommy says that we can't go! You heard how angry she got at you!

The main books I study for handling family matters are Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" and "The Prince" by Machiavelli!
(Hmmm.. considering that Mrs. Sunshine occasionally checks in on this blog, maybe I shouldn't be so open with my plans...)


Corinne said...

Wow, that'S the most evil approach I've ever heard of when it comes to raising a child bi/tri- lingually, well done!

Of course I fear your battle against two women will be pointless, Mrs Sunshine is prpbably two steps ahead of you and already teaching baby sunshine Spanish on the sly.

Good luck though!

Martin said...

You never reveal hwo you are in the blog. How can Mrs Sunshine be really sure it is you?

Sakie and Thomas Gantz said...

lol, thanks for the laugh dude. I needed it. :-) (especially after seeing below upon entering this comment that my Word Veriication word is "corpse", lol

Anonymous said...

I applaud you sir. This will surely result in blissful family relations for years to come. Make sure you start your child's therapy fund now though.

Although, I do have to agree with Corinne when she says that it is likely that, because we are dealing with two women here, you are probably already lost. I am sorry.

Mr. Salaryman said...

Corinne - Unfortunately I am afraid that you are right... I guess a secret sign-language would be the most effecient thing that they could develop together without me ever figuring it out...

Martin - And the other way around! Is the person writing this blog really married to Mrs. Sunshine!

S&TG - Nice, maybe someone is trying to tell you something through word verifications?

Anonymous - I am afraid that you have a point... It would be best to produce a little Salaryman to level the field at some point!

BiggerInJapan said...


Haha, good Salaryman, you have figured out things well!

Daniel said...

There is no balance of power and that plan backfires

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