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My friend's son loves dinosaurs. He'll show me a toy or a picture of one, and say "dinosaur-ous!"

My child is rapidly approaching speech, and I was wondering if it is better to point out errors like that? ("No, it's dinoSAUR.") Or should you simply agree with the child, but pronounce it correctly for them? ("Yes, I see the dinosaur!")

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    Is your friends' son or family from another country? I know in Danish and German "dinosaurus" is correct. Might be an opportunity to discover that different languages exist. Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 10:47
  • Related
    – user420
    Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 13:11

4 Answers 4

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"Yes, I see the dinosaur!"

As far as I've heard and read (I have no source at hand, that I could cite), it is good to repeat the words pronounced clearly and correctly
and IMHO it is better for the child if you encourage it with "Yes....".

Our son (now 4 years old) is relatively far with speaking. He does not like it at all, when he is corrected and then sometimes repeats the wrong pronunciation in defiance of us.

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At toddler age - all you can do is repeat with the correct pronunciation.

At 4 or 5, you can be a bit firmer and say, "Not quite right, it's 'dinosaur'" and the message can get through, although, as @BBM said, when they feel awkward that can just make them deliberately say it wrongly :-)

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I correct Matthias' English when he mispronounces words. It's normally a gentle, "You almost had it right, try again - and then enunciate the word (or a part of the word, then the other part) and get him to repeat it.

Sometimes he uses an English word, sometimes a Danish - and then there's the "Danglish" words - those are the most fun to correct.

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I have four kids of my own and spend a lot of time watching other people's kids. What I have found is that they all develop language skills at a different paces. As a toddler, I wouldn't do anything other than making sure you pronounce the word correctly. My youngest son calls them sino sores. Whenever he mispronounces it, I usually repeat it back to him while clearly enunciating the word. "You are right! That is a dinosaur!". Make sure that they can see your mouth and try to over exaggerate the movements. I have a daughter in speech therapy and this is one of the suggested techniques. If you find the problem continues as he gets older, this may be an indication of a speech problem. However, problem with a few words is not an indication of a speech problem. I would only start worrying if he has problems pronouncing certain sounds like s or l. Also, I wouldn't worry about that until they are older.

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  • It could also be an indication of a hearing problem if it continues - they can't follow your suggestion if they aren't hearing it correctly! Commented Oct 31, 2012 at 15:30

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