I’ve mentioned before that I’m raising my son to be multilingual in English, Japanese and Swedish. That’s changed a little bit as Swedish is becoming too difficult to fit in all the time. So really I’m now aiming to raise my son bilingual in English and Japanese with some exposure to Swedish thrown in for fun.
One game that just about every parent plays with their children is “peek-a-boo”. Everyone should know this game, but just in case you don’t, here’s how you play:
- Cover your face with your hands or some other object.
- Say to your baby “Where’s Daddy (or Mommy or whatever)?”
- Reveal yourself and say “Peek-a-boo”.
Once kids get older and smarter, they can cover their faces and do it to you too.
Naturally kids love it. Not just kids in English-speaking families, but all over the world. So I learned how to play Peek-a-boo in Japanese and Swedish. It’s really easy.
In Japanese, Peek-a-boo is called いない、いない、ばぁ！ (inai, inai, ba!). You play like this:
- Cover your face with your hands
- Say “inai inai, ba!”, revealing your face on “ba”
“Inai, inai” means something like “not here, not here”. And “ba” just means “boo”.
Here are some videos of random Japanese kids playing Inai Inai Ba!:
Now you can play with your kids too!
In Swedish, peek-a-boo is called “Tittut”. You play like this:
- Cover your face with your hands or some other object
- Say “Var är Pappa (or Momma)?”
- Reveal yourself while saying “Tittut!”
“Var är Pappa/Momma?” means “Where is Daddy/Mommy?” “Tittut” means something like “Look!” (from the verb “titta” I think).
Here are some videos of random Swedish people playing Tittut:
How about in your language?
I have a favor to ask. I want to know how to play peek-a-boo in more languages and share it with everyone else. If you speak, or are learning to speak, a language other than English, Japanese or Swedish, post a comment and tell us how to play peek-a-boo in your language.
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