With my husband's French-Canadian background (where they can actually trace their roots back to France), it is important to him that our children have a sense of French culture and language. And of course, they must be able to speak French fluently, like he does. In an effort to expose Love Bug to the language, he speaks to her all the time in French and we try to take her out as much as possible to hear the language.
The great thing about living here, especially since we'll live back in the US (at least once they complete grade school) is that it's the best place to buy French books, CDs, and DVDs. If we lived in the States, we could buy them, but the shipping and customs costs would be horrible, so we're stocking up now. We plan to keep them in French schools overseas and then switching them to American schools by Junior High, so they are exposed to both. We listen to her CDs all the time and buy American movies with French language tracks.
I don't even really care if they ever live in France (in fact, I hope they don't since I'd miss them living so far away), but knowing a second language opens so many doors and it will be a great transition into other languages like Spanish and Italian.
Well, now that we own all these things, I've been listening to a lot of French music with her, since she's obviously not ready for the movies and has little attention span for the books. My favorite CD is one of Dis.ney Songs in French- it's so much fun. My top 3 favorites are:
1. "Ce Reve Bleu" (This Blue Dream)... otherwise known as "A Whole New World"
2. "Je Suis Ton Ami" (I Am Your Friend)... or "You've Got a Friend in Me"
and the best... is
3. "Sous L'Ocean" (Under the Ocean)... with is "Under the Sea" (the voice of Sebastian is fantastic!)
Two bizarre things on the CD to note. First is the theme song for the Win.nie-the-Po.oh show, which is called "Mon Ami Win.nie" (My Friend Win.nie). It is a concern because the way the French pronounce the word Win.nie; it sounds like "weenie". I can't help but laugh. I'm afraid in 15 years my kids will all laugh at the word weenie, because I do.
Oh, and my other concern is the song "Le Belle Et Le Bete" (The Beauty and the Beast), which was originally sung in English by Celine Dion, who is French-Canadian. She is one of my favorites and actually sang her albums in French first. Well, in the French Disney version, it is sung by someone else. She is good, but really! Who could do it better than Celine Dion? The French tease her for her "charming" accent, but even they admit that when she sings, it sounds just fine. Anyway, my husband claims that it was probably a contractual issue with her record label. Even so, how silly...
By the way, I wanted to link these songs to the blog and this is the best I could do... here is a link to the Ama.zon France page for the album. Click on each song to hear a clip:
Dis.ney Songs in French