AN ANGRY POLYGLOT

Little Sophia’s behavior is often characterized by persistent refusals (without apparent reasons) to act on suggestions and orders of others. The family takes it easy: Sophia’s father (my son) was also a negativist when he was two years old, but now he is most delicate and considerate in his relationship with other people.

The family lives in a multi-language atmosphere. Generally, they speak Ukrainian at home, Sophia’s elder sister Maya attends an English-language school, and Sophia also chatters in English with her little friend Izzy on the playground. The German language is cultivated too: the mother of the family is fluent in it and Maya frequents a German Sunday school. So, whenever Sophia wants to reject something, she uses the Ukrainian “NEE” talking to her parents, the German NEIN is used in her address to Maya and the categorical English NO – while speaking with Izzy.

Once Sophia was extremely angry. The word “angry” may be the mildest term: Sophia was maddened and wrathful, enraged and furious, frantic and frenzied… Voicing her indignation to Mum, she raised her feelings to the third power exploiting all the languages she knew: “No! Nein!! Nee!!!”

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