Pictionary in a multilingual home

Stacked books with the English, German, Japanese and Thai words meaning "book"

I recently got the game Pictionary—without thinking very deeply about it. It was just one of those games that I loved as a young person and I thought our kids would enjoy it.

Well, it's turned out to be quite a different game in our household!

The game we have is in English. Engineer (now 12) and Tigerlily (10) both have ok English although not at a native level, so when it's their turn to draw, they look at the card and see if they know the word.

If it's the adults' turn to guess, the kids have to figure it out themselves, involving a lot of whispered consultations. Oftentimes, Engineer has to read the word for Tigerlily.

If another adult is also drawing, they can ask us — but they have to ask in Japanese, German, or Thai, depending on who is drawing :)

I was pretty impressed how many English words Engineer already knew and that Tigerlily could ask Papa for help in German and could understand Papa's explanation to figure out what a "seahorse" was.

And then of course the guessing is completely multilingual. 

As long as the word is correct, it doesn't matter if it's shouted in Japanese, German, Thai, or English!

Can you guess what this word is? By Entropy (6).

It's funny how Husband — who doesn't even like the game and has hardly ever played it — is good at this because he just yells out whatever words come into his mind, regardless of the drawing. (Which completely destroys the purpose of drawing in the first place, but...whatever 🙄)

Meanwhile, Nanny, a smart college grad who can think on her own (if we have a problem or whatever, she can figure out a solution independently — which is not a skill taught in Thai schools), is completely stumped 😁 Maybe this is good association training for her too.

I'm liking how this game has turned out to be vocab-building.

Now if only I can get the kids to play it more. They're a bit discouraged because (ahem) I'm the best player so they all want to be on my team 😂

Incidentally, 6-year-old Entropy is enjoying the game as long as there's no competition and he's the only one drawing 🥰

[Answer to the drawing above: "police" (and also "robber")]