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Mich05 June 7th, 2013 05:45 PM

Is anybody else here speaking to their children almost exclusively in a language other than english? we speak mostly french, and i know our kids will pick up english as they get older, but i still struggle with it sometimes. Especially because although we do have other french friends with kids who speak french, most friends' kids speak english only so i find there is a barrier from them playing together. i also know it is much easier for them to pick up english later than french because english is everywhere but i was just wondering if these were normal feelings.
Both my husband and i learned french before english and are fluent in both languages.

bryan and nina June 7th, 2013 06:10 PM

I speak German all day to my daughter while its just her and I at home, but once my husband is there, we speak English since he doesn't know German, so it's not quite the same as your situation... I get where you're coming from, by honestly I'd try to not worry too much. :) I think kids are great at communicating, especially through play, even with a language barrier!

SLP83 June 7th, 2013 06:35 PM

Re: languages
In my opinion you should speak French all the time, the English will come on its own. Now is the time, if you don't do it now it will be so much harder later.

Im so envious of bilingual homes, I only know English but so wish I knew something else.

bryan and nina June 8th, 2013 06:02 AM

Oh Emily, you may be a good person to ask this; do you have any idea if it will confuse Emmy that I speak both English and German to her?? I'm afraid it will. :(

SLP83 June 8th, 2013 07:07 AM

Re: languages
Nope! She's at the perfect age to be able to figure out 2 languages at once :). It COULD result in her taking a bit longer to start talking, but that doesn't necessarily mean she's delayed, it just means she's busy sorting everything out. The only time I might not recommend it is if there is some type of developmental delay or language disorder, which Im assuming isn't a concern for Emmy right now. Keep that German up!

LoverlyJules June 8th, 2013 10:30 AM

Re: languages
I occasionally speak Spanish words around Madalyn or read her a book in Spanish. I'm not quite good enough to speak it all of the time and DH doesn't know it.

bostoncreampie June 8th, 2013 06:30 PM

Re: languages
That's awesome! I used to be fluent in portuguese but I have forgotten most of it. :(

bryan and nina June 8th, 2013 06:48 PM

Thanks Emily! :) I guess I'm just nervous about her figuring out that she should speak German to me when it's just her and I, but English when Bryan is around, since he doesn't understand German... I'm sure she will figure it out! :)

yashobo June 9th, 2013 04:17 AM

Re: languages
Don't worry Nina; kids are very smart and she'll catch on. I've seen kids turn to one parent speak one language and turn to the second and speak another.

To the question, I speak a bit of my language (Yoruba) to my kids and they hear my mom and I speak it when my mom is living with us. I speak it with my friends on the phone mixed with English so they hear it a lot. DD1 will greet me in the morning with it and say few words here and there. I wish I had the discipline to speak it more with them. DH speaks a different language so that's why its sort of hard to speak it and leave him out but I could speak it to them when he not at home like Nina; just need to be disciplined to do it. I do check DD1 in my language in public if she is behaving and she stops; made sure she understood that part right from when she was 1.5 years old. I also speak french averagely well but don't speak it to them at all.

Pageturner June 9th, 2013 08:50 AM

Re: languages
Just English right now. I'm not fluent in anything else, but I used to be fairly well-versed in Spanish. I still know a lot, but not enough to teach him to really speak. I could do vocab words though. I really want him to learn Spanish because living in FL it will really aid him in the workforce later in life. I think I will start trying to teach him :-)

Lav June 9th, 2013 05:22 PM

Re: languages
we do the same as Nina!

But I'm not worried about her talking German to DH. I actually want her to lol so he will learn some German too! He wants to learn it, but is right now too lazy to, and he keeps saying he'll learn it when Savina does. So there we go :D

Also, Nina, if you use baby sign language, Emmy will be even better at learning both German and English, as the signs will be the same regardless of what spoken language you use. She'll be able to put two and two together that way even easier.

We do lots of German and some baby signing. :)

bryan and nina June 10th, 2013 06:08 AM

Thanks Yetty, that made me feel better. I love how many cultures your family integrates! So your dh is from a different region in Africa? I'd love to hear Yoruba; I wonder if they have YouTube videos of it?!

Elli, thanks for that. :) I'm getting a bit discouraged, tbh, with the sign language since she's making no attempt at signing back or even paying attention to the signs much, when I make them.. How about savina?

Lav June 11th, 2013 05:42 AM

Re: languages
Nina, it takes on average 2+ months until babies sign back. I think she's slowly getting the "diaper" sign, and she definitely recognizes the sign for milk, as every time I sign it, she gets all excited to be fed!

I don't think Emmy isn't paying attention on purpose. Babies want to have fun. Teach her the signs incorporated in games. There is a great book sign, sing, play I believe it's called, talking about how to teach babies sign language by making it fun.

bryan and nina June 11th, 2013 10:51 AM

I'll check that book out Elli! Thanks.

I've been signing to her since birth and I kind of thought she would be signing back by now... I read usually by 8 months.

myfavoriteshoes June 12th, 2013 06:55 AM

Re: languages
I really need to stick to French during the day while my DH is at work. We are in a French environment and I am French... they will go to French school (if I decide not to homeschool)... Everyone tells me it's bad that I am talking to them in English... so maybe, maybe I should really reconsider with Elijah at least. With Samuel, he is 4.5 and knows about 10words in French... which is my fault :( But if I do it with Elijah, he might learn too :)

I think I will start now... never too late, right?

And eventually my kids will be partly trilingual because they need to know Spanish for DH's family too...


Originally Posted by bryan and nina (Post 27439282)
I'll check that book out Elli! Thanks.

I've been signing to her since birth and I kind of thought she would be signing back by now... I read usually by 8 months.

It's actually 8 to 10 months. So its still way early!
Eli recognizes for sure, but doesn't sign yet. But hey, he's not even 7.5mo yet! I have a young'in!

Lav July 29th, 2013 08:38 AM

Re: languages

Originally Posted by myfavoriteshoes (Post 27441461)
It's actually 8 to 10 months. So its still way early!
Eli recognizes for sure, but doesn't sign yet. But hey, he's not even 7.5mo yet! I have a young'in!

Actually, I read they can sign back as early as 6 months (especially if you start from birth), and I know a baby who signed at 7 months.

myfavoriteshoes July 31st, 2013 06:01 AM

Re: languages
he has started signing back!!! Milk and Eat :) And a weird version of Tired

babymama10 July 31st, 2013 01:45 PM

Re: languages
English/German. Some German if I think about it. I just am not as good as I used to be. I spent some time in Austria and HAD to learn if i wanted to talk to anyone. LOL
Being left there with no German words at all and everyone speaking to me 100% of the time in German made me very fluent in about 8 weeks.. Amazing after months of book work in school for spanish and can't remember didly!!!

Zukin July 31st, 2013 05:27 PM

Re: languages
i wishi knew itialian.. but i dont, my mom only knew the curse words, and her parents didnt teach. i used to know sign language, i also with we could speak german.

Belita July 31st, 2013 07:53 PM

I once met a 3 year old who spoke 3 languages! It's so great for them!! I wish we were multilingual. I used to know Spanish and ASL but forgot most of each.

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