Junior 3: switching (Spanish-English) (Junior, the bilingual boy)
click image to open video page
Video page URL

An up-close look into the life of Junior on his 3rd birthday, switching from English to Spanish. As you may have seen in the previous videos from this series, Junior is a Spanish boy, from Spanish parents, living in Spain. His father and me speak English to him and everybody else Spanish. We also get some help (a lot) from the TV cartoons (always in English), and this is the result, a perfect bilingual boy, for a 3 year old boy.

Kids don't need to be taught English, they just need to interact in English and they'll pick up the language just as life unfolds before them. A good lesson for kindergarten teachers and also primary school teachers and the like.e

You can enable or disable the subtitles by clickin on the icon at the bottom of the video.

You can watch more videos by Junior here: Junior, the bilingual boy


- Ey, c-c-can you do the church thing?
- oh, can you open it for me, Angel Castaño?
- I'll do it. Can-can you do the church thing? How do you do the church?... Junior!
- This is the church, this is the steeple. Open the door... where are the people? / This is the church, this is the steeple. Open the door, and here are the people!
- Ha ha, oh, that tickles!
- Can you open it for me, please?
- Alright, I'll open it for you... Hey, hey, it's broken now, what did you do with it?

[- ...-as velas.]
[- ¿Tú soplas?]
[- Sí, yo soplo]
[- ¿Y cómo vas a soplar?¿has ensayado?]
[- No...]
[- ¿Dónde vas?]
[- Voy a poner la silla aquí]

- You're going to get up?
[- Que te caes]
- Wait, it's not yet.
- I'm not.
[- Espera que acercamos la silla]
- Daddy, daddy, daddy,
- What?
- Daddy, da- hey, daddy. Hey, daddy! the perf-the performance.
[- ¿Por qué no está encendido, Alvaro?... Alvaro, Alvaro, eh, Alvaro, ¿por qué no están encendidos?, Eh, Alvaro, ¿por qué no están encendidos?]
[- Ahora lo encendemos]

... (Spanish conversation on the phone)...
[- Tres]
[- ¿Quién es? ¿Quén es?]
[- Maxi]
[- Dile: "está aquí Alvaro"]
[- Está aquí Alvaro]
[- Pero díselo más alto]
[- Díselo tú, díselo tú]
[- Está aquí Alvaro]
[- No te ha entendido. Espera, que se tiene que poner Paula]
[- ¿Quieres que se ponga Paula? Díselo: "¿y Paula?". Pregúntale]
[- ¿Y Paula?]
[- Paula ahora se pone]
[- ¿Está Paula?]
[- ¡Angel!]
[- Hola Paula]
[- Felicidades]
[- Gracias]
[- ¿Qué tal en el cumple?]
[- Sí, están aquí las velas]
[- Sí, ¿has apagado las velas?]
[- Sí]
[- Todavía no]
[- ¿Y te han regalado muchas cosas?]
[- Sí. Toma]
[- ¿Qué te han regalado?]
[- Corre, dile qué te han regalado. ¿Un...?]
[- Un camión de la basura]
[- ¿Un camión de la basura?]
[- Sí]
[- ¿Me lo vas a enseñar cuando vengas a Ciudad Rodrigo?]
[- Sí]

- Alright, so, what are you going to do with the candles?
- To blow them.
- Right.
- Did you make a wish? Uh?
- But I can't make a wish.
- Why not?
- Because...
- OK
- Because what?
[- Ahora- ahora no me acuerdo como... pero bueno!]
[- Mira a ver, mira a ver, mira a ver que se apagan]
[- ¿Que se apagan?] You're going to blow them off again?
[- Cumpleaños feliz, cumpleaños feliz, te deseamos Angel, cumpleaños feliz.]
[- Me acuerdo del primer añito que no sabía ni soplar]
[- Bieeeeen]
[- Bravo]
[- ¡Mi amor!]

- Again [otra vez]
[- Bueno, vamos a comerla ¿no?]
[- Tú español, y tú español]

- And me?
- You English and... [y...] and [tú...]
- And what?
[- Y tú inglés]
- Ha ha ha, that was a fine mixture.
- And [tú i...], and you English. And you English [y tú español y tú español. ¡Eh, otra vez!]
[- Ahora se nos derrite el queso y aquí no come-...]

- What are we doing?
[- ... y aquí no comemos tarta]
- You are *switching on the candles.
- Lighting the candles. Ha ha, switching on...
- And what are you going to do now?
[- Rojo, amarillo...]
- What are you going to do?
- [Rojo, amarillo, verde] I'm going to blow the candles... like that.
- Ok, do it.
- Blow them *off [out].
[- Primero tienes... tenéis que cantar]
- What? Sorry?
- Happy birthday. And then I blow the candles.
- Alright.
- Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Angel, happy birthday to you.
- Yayyyy!
- Ok, enough!
- Now you're going to eat the cake?
[- ¿Quieres la chocolatina?]
- Do you want to try it?
- Yeah.
[- ¡Bueno!]
- Are you sure?
- Yeah.
[- ¡Oy oy oy oy oyyyy! Me parece a mí que nos lo vamos a tener que comer]
[- Espera, que subimos las mangas, ven]
[- Jamás lo vi yo eso. ¡Uy madre!]

- Is it good? Junior? Uh? Is it good?
[- Es fresa]
- Junior! Eh, is it good?
[- Pero bueno, pero bueno, no me lo puedo creer]
[- Es grosella]
[- Mira qué cara está poniendo]
[- No, que le dieras, +++ que le dieras la chocolatina]
[- Que juntos no entran]
[- Ahí]
[- ¿Ahí? ¿Y eso? ¿No se entra en algún sitio eso?]
[- No]
[- ¡La casa!]
[- ¿Cuál?]
[- La casa. ¿Dónde va la casa?]
[- Aquí va. Aquí va la casa]

- Oh, so the- they live in the ho- they live in the mountain, on top of the hill? Uh?
- No, that's a draw-bridge.
- Oh, that's a *traw-bridge.
- No, that's a hill.
- A hill. Ok, that's a hill.
[- Mira por aquí cómo está. Aquí tiene escalones]
- It's like a tree house.
- There.
- What are you doing?
- I-I-I- I'm watering the plants.
- Why?
- Because they are very thirsty.
- They're very thirsty?
- *Where's going the water?... Where's going?
- The water's going inside... the dirt there.
- Ha ha ha, what happened? Eh, what happened?
- It- it fell down.
- It fell down? You dropped it?
[- Se ha caído]
- Mummy's angry? No, no she's not.
[- Estoy con Angel Castaño aquí abajo]
- Yeah, it was- it was just an accident.
- Go away cars! No cars coming.
- No cars coming, so you can cross?
- No, with me, come.
- Alright.
- No, no, not here. Where do you have to cross?
- The zebra crossing.
- Where?
- On the zebra crossing.
- The zebra crossing? Are you cold?
- Daddy, Angel Castaño, follow me.


3yo= 3 years old.

I’LL DO IT= We use WILL to express a decision we make at the moment of speaking.

STEEPLE= A thin conical tower church (see picture)

TICKLES= To touch (the body) lightly so as to cause laughter or twitching movements.

THE PERFORMANCE= Here Junior is referring to the video recording. The first self video recording he saw was a recording of a kindergarten performance where he appeared. Since then, he calls “performance” to any video recording.

SWITCHING ON CANDLES= This is a mistake, of course. We use “switch on” with electrical devices, not with flames. He should have said “light the candles”.

ENOUGH= /ɪnʌf/ It is often used meaning “stop doing that”.

DRAW-BRIDGE= /drɔ: brɪ/ A bridge which can open in the middle, lifting up, so big ships can cross under it (see picture).
His pronunciation is not too clear and I thought he was just making up a new word, “traw-bridge”, which is what I echoed after him.

WHERE’S GOING THE WATER?= The correct question would be “where’s the water going?”.

THE DIRT= Loose earth, soil.

SE HA CAÍDO= (Spanish) It fell down.
He suddenly reverts to Spanish because he feels guilty and he’s thinking of his mother’s reaction. So this sentence is, actually, a spoken thought addressed to his mother. That’s also why next he says another Spanish sentence addressed to his absent mother: “estoy con Angel Castaño aquí abajo” (= I’m down here with Angel Castaño). Yea, at that time he used to call me “Angelcastaño”, nobody really knows why (of course it’s my name, but nobody calls me that way).

ZEBRA CROSSING= Also called “pedestrian crossing” (see picture)