What language are you trying to teach your child?

Christianne - posted on 05/14/2009 ( 15 moms have responded )

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I am brazilian and have been trying to speak portuguese around Caio as much as I can. My dream is that he will be fluent in both languages.



(He is almos 10 months old)

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Wendy - posted on 05/20/2009

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I am Taiwanese-New Zealander and married to a Kiwi. I am fluent in Mandarin, English and Taiwanese but my husband only speaks English. I have always tried to speak Mandarin to my boys (Daniel 3yr, Jonathan 9 months) when its just us at home. However about 6 months ago I realised it's not enough, so I started speaking to them in Mandarin EVERYWHERE, and that's made quite a difference. To start with I was afraid my husband will feel excluded, so I told him we will trial it for 2 weeks then review. We've not looked back. Daniel does mix the 2 languages but then so do I sometimes.

To Jessika - if you decide to do the same (ie speak English to your baby even when other people are around), talk to your husband first and also let all your friends, families and in-laws know. People are generally very supportive and was overwhelmingly positive about it. Some even requests I speak to their kids in Mandarin.

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Amrit - posted on 07/31/2012

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I am an American married to an Indian and he speaks to our 3mo in Punjabi. I speak with her in English, though I have studied French as well as Spanish, Arabic and Russian. French has been my main focus, but I am not confident enough in my skills, especially grammar to speak french to my little one- I wouldn't want to teach her the wrong use of the language.

Marie-eve - posted on 09/23/2010

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I am French-Canadian to and my husband is German. We also live in BC and all the programs we access right now are in English. Our daughter, almost 3, is amazing in English and understand a lot of German as my in-laws visit for at least 4 weeks every year and don't speak much English. As for the French, I speak to her in French regularly but she seems more receptive in the mornings. She is curious about it and does ask what the words are in different languages for things around her. Living in a country with 2 official languages has it's positive aspect because she will probably be able to go to French School.
Hopefuly things will keep on going well!
Good luck to all the other moms (and dads) teaching their kids many languages, it's not always easy but worth it for sure.

Coco - posted on 07/20/2010

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I'm french canadian and the hubby is 'english-canadian' we are both bilingual and speak our mother tongue to our son. We live in BC (english-speaking) but since I spend most of my time with my son, he speaks more french words than english, but understands well both! My sister has done the same and her kids are bilingual without a problem!

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My son will be 3 tomorrow and he can speak/understand Spanish, Arabic, and English. My husband and I really want to teach him our languages first since it will be so easy for him to speak English in school. My husband speaks Arabic/French/English, and I speak Spanish/English. Plus, many doctors have told me that children who speak more than one language beginning at a very young age, tend to be more ahead in school. Plus, when they look for jobs they will have a huge advantage. I wish all of you well on teaching your children more than one language! It is a great thing you're doing, don't let up!

Chui - posted on 01/02/2010

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Quoting Wendy:

I am Taiwanese-New Zealander and married to a Kiwi. I am fluent in Mandarin, English and Taiwanese but my husband only speaks English. I have always tried to speak Mandarin to my boys (Daniel 3yr, Jonathan 9 months) when its just us at home. However about 6 months ago I realised it's not enough, so I started speaking to them in Mandarin EVERYWHERE, and that's made quite a difference. To start with I was afraid my husband will feel excluded, so I told him we will trial it for 2 weeks then review. We've not looked back. Daniel does mix the 2 languages but then so do I sometimes.
To Jessika - if you decide to do the same (ie speak English to your baby even when other people are around), talk to your husband first and also let all your friends, families and in-laws know. People are generally very supportive and was overwhelmingly positive about it. Some even requests I speak to their kids in Mandarin.



I am a Malaysian Chinese, my husband is NZer (half Maori and half Irish). I am fluent in English but also speaks relatively well in Mandarin and Cantonese (even though I don't read/write in those two languages much). Our son is now 7 months old. We both want him to learn both English and Mandarin (not just spoken language) even though my husband doesn't speak/understand Mandarin. But he was keen to learn. I have started conversing with our son in Mandarin ever since he was 3 months old especially when we are home (just him and me), mix English and Mandarin when my husband is around (so he knows what was being said- ie three way conversation) and when we are around friends who speaks/understand Mandarin. In the beginning it was challenging, especially when the three of us are together supposedly having conversation. I also have to translate what I said in English to my husband. I also realised that for him to feel at ease with the language I have to create more environment where he is around other kids who speaks Mandarin. We are based in Hamilton, finding playmates for him (around his age group) that come from Mandarin speaking family is not easy. But it will have positive effect on him grasping the language and actively using it. Books in Mandarin will be helpful.

Cassy - posted on 12/30/2009

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I speak English to the girls while my husband speaks Spanish, the younger the better!!

Sonja - posted on 09/14/2009

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I am a German/American, was brought up by two German parents in America, and speak German to my boys. My husband is also American and speaks English to them. He tries to speak some German to them at times. My boys understand both languages, but are more comfortable speaking German right now.

Helen - posted on 07/09/2009

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I am English and live in England too but try to talk to my baby Louise (11 weeks) in Spanish as I am a Spanish teacher. Hubby doesnt talk any foreign languages and I'm finding it hard to talk Spanish to her when he is around.

Emma - posted on 06/26/2009

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I am British and my husband is French and we live in France. I always speak English and he always speaks French to our 17 month old daughter. We can both speak both languages and we have English and French speaking friends so cross fingers Libby will learn and speak both languages. For the moment she doesn't say much but understands quite a bit in both languages. I suppose you have to understand before speaking???

Christianne - posted on 05/27/2009

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I live in the US and english is everywhere. I have lots of brazilian friends here in San Diego, and most of their kids don't speak Portuguese. :( The ones that do ONLY spoke portuguese at home when they were little. I think this makes the difference. I plan on going to Brazil once a year as well. I think that will help a lot.
My husband is a big supporter and I think he ends up learning a lot from me teaching Caio. But sometimes I switch to English when other family members are around (mother in law, sister in law, neighbors...) I hope that doesn't make it harder...

Jessika - posted on 05/20/2009

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Thanks for the advice Wendy! I know I am jus going to have to be firm on this matter, I know on certain fronts I am going to have to put up with certain resistance (inlaws!), but I know it will make my daughters life a lot easier having good level of english (the same as your kids with mandarin!) I guess I will just have o put up with the funny looks I get on the streets (with my bother and mum I speak in english also, and people always look at us!)

Jessika - posted on 05/19/2009

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I am from New Zealand, but living in Argentina, I try to speak to Maica (17 months) in english but it's really complicated for me sometimes, especially since most words are easier in spanish!! She does say a few english words though, cheese and poo. She seems to understand what is said to her in both languages (my brother and mum talk to her in english also), I suppose it's just a matter of deciding to speak to her in english, atleast when we are alone!

Stacy - posted on 05/15/2009

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I am American and speak English to my Girls but my Husband is Mexican and speaks only Spanish to them. They both understand everything he says but are reluctant to speak much Spanish.

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