Need some advice with bilingualism please..

Discussion in 'Baby Club' started by flutterbylge, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. flutterbylge

    flutterbylge Riley's mummy & expecting

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    Hi there ladies..

    I am 6 weeks pregnant at the moment, and I am Turkish and my husband is English. We have always wanted to raise our child bilingually knowing both Turkish and English. I was just wondering if anyone has any experience or knowledge in this area... any advice is very welcome. Thanks in advance for your support.

    Love, Bilge from Manchester xxx
     
  2. cupcake

    cupcake Mommy of a gorgeous boy!

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    Hi, we live in the middle east and speak English at home like a lot of our Anglo friends and the kids learn the local language from the time they start going to kindergarten and within 6 months they are fluent.
    I also have friends who speak two different languages at home, one the father speaks, and one the mother speaks, i have noticed their 2 year old says some words in the the one language and some in the other, but seems to say words in the language his mom speaks more. probably because they spend more time together.
    As a rule kids don't have a problem picking up two languages especially when they are started on this very young and don't really have a problem with a third either. You will most likely find the child will be stronger in one language, or prefer to speak in one language: in your case i would assume English as its the language the child will hear around him and go to school in. I think its a great asset for your child to have, and a great bonding experience to his dad. There may be some evidence that bilingual children say less words than those who speak one language, but I think this is because they speak two languages, so they say some words in one language and some in the other.
     
  3. Faerie

    Faerie Proud Mummy

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    Hi, we'll be doing the same, I'm English and my husband's first language is Italian. We will be moving back to mainland Europe soon after the baby is born, either to an Italian, French or Spanish speaking country (I speak French and hubby all 3).
    Plan is that English will be the language of the house, but if DH is speaking directly to the children he will speak in Italian.
    I worked as an aupair in bilingual households and it's very important that you stick to the language that you're meant to speak with your child. One father would start off speaking English and then remember he was meant to speak French and switch halfway through the sentence (plus his English wasn't great anyway) and the poor child was so confused and had terrible speech delay. In another family, the mother only remembered to speak to the children in her native Swiss German when she was disciplining them, which unsuprisingly led to bad association with the language for the children and they refused to speak it.
    I think being persistent but not pushing it is the key. DH's mother always spoke Spanish to him, but he would reply in Italian, however as an adult his Spanish is still fluent and now he enjoys speaking it. As a child he just wanted to be the same as his peers.
    I would also suggest have bedtime story tapes in the language that isn't the main one the children will hear (ie Turkish for you if the children are brought up in the UK), this really helps them subconciously pick it up.
    I shall be learning as I go along too, so it will be interesting to hear from any other bilingual families for their tips!
    Good luck :)
     
  4. cupcake

    cupcake Mommy of a gorgeous boy!

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    ya this is very important. It's also important to have the child reply to you in the language you speak to him in , if you want him to be fluent. A lot of our friends kids understand the English spoken to them perfectly but dont reply in English because their parents did not ever insist on it.
     
  5. Faerie

    Faerie Proud Mummy

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    It's a tough one though, because if you try and force a child they can end up resenting it. I think it does depend on the child though too - if I remember correctly DH would respond to his Mum in Spanish until he started school, then he stopped and would only speak Italian. I think a lot of that probably had to do with not wanting to be different, especially as Switzerland was (well, still is) very racist and not open to foreigners so he probably didn't want to be singled out. His little brother, who is 9 years younger than him, has always spoken in Spanish with his Mum.
    I think what also helped DH was even if he wasn't speaking it all the time at home he would go off to Mexico for 5 weeks in the summer and be with family and then he had to speak Spanish.
    Hmmmmm, long holidays with Grandparents calling ;)
     
  6. flutterbylge

    flutterbylge Riley's mummy & expecting

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    Thank you so much ladies, it has helped a lot already! I ordered a book online about raising a bilingual child, will share some with you as well if I find something interesting. Will keep in touch, and more advice is welcome :) xx
     
  7. nikky0907

    nikky0907 Well-Known Member

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    I was raised bilingual and will be raising my daughter like that too.In three languages in fact.

    You know well that children are like sponges at such age and it's the easiest time to teach them.
    My mother spoke Croatian to me all the time.Very rarely she'd say anything to me in English while my father and other people around me spoke English.
    I learned both languages simultaneously.
    Although my first word was in English I very quicky learned to respond to my mother in Croatian.
     
  8. doumauk

    doumauk mama to salim,expecting

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    Im english and my husband is moroccan so speaks arabic. Depending where we decide to live, if in the uk we will talk arabic at home or in morocco talk english at home because they will pick up the other language outside the home. Either that or I speak to him in english and daddy speaks to him in arabic. Its a daunting thing to face but im sure it will be fine. Good luck
     
  9. brownhairedmom

    brownhairedmom Well-Known Member

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    It is so much easier for children to learn languages than us. Do you know that when a baby is born he/she has the ability to make the sounds of all different languages, but once they hit 5 years old...if they haven't been taught it, they lose that ability (like trilling your r's for example!).

    I agree with everyone above, the most important thing is that each parent has a language they speak!
     
  10. Faerie

    Faerie Proud Mummy

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    Another point to make, slightly unrelated but - I did French at school for 5 years, got a B at GCSE but basically couldn't ask more than where the toilet was by the time I got to 21 (after 5 years of not speaking). When I was 21 I went to live with a French speaking family in Switzerland, after 3 weeks I could converse enough to tell the little boy he was badly behaved, hee hee. After 10 months with the family I was pretty much fluent. That was with no classes, just having to pick it up.
    So if an adult can do that, children should have no problem picking up another language once they submersed in it, even if you're not speaking it at home once they go to school or meet other kids they'll be fine.
     
  11. ayshahudson

    ayshahudson Mum & TTC no.2!

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    I speak Urdu with Joseph & OH speaks English :) i think if you try & stick with one parent speaking their native language, your LO will become accustomed & become in fluent in both :baby:
     
  12. DNA0930

    DNA0930 <3 Baby L & Baby Q <3

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    I was raised in a bilingual home (portuguese & english) and wouldn't trade it for the world. Now that I have a son, we plan on raising him the same way. Believe it or not, he's only 10 months, and he already knows about 3-4 portuguese words, and about the same in english words. My mother is a big influence on this as she lives with us and is always talking to him in Portuguese.

    Hope that helps, and good luck :)
     
  13. Faerie

    Faerie Proud Mummy

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    I am worried about making DH speak Italian with LO, especially as we speak English mostly (sometimes French, just to confuse poor little mite). I guess if we're living in Switzerland it'll be easier with the Italian, as all his family will speak Italian.
     
  14. tinytoes

    tinytoes Guest

    Myself nad my partner are English but are raising our son in France. He'll speak English at home and French at school. I assume that as long as the child is exposed to both languages from an early age it shouldnt be a problem. A friends child started school speaking very little french and within a few months was speaking it no problem.
    I'm going to start my LO with bi-lingual toys - there are many that play French and ENglish songs.
    I understand it's much easier for chldren to lekarn langauges and they dont mix them up - as amazing as that is!!!
     
  15. Faerie

    Faerie Proud Mummy

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    :hi: Having the same nursery rhymes/story books in both languages is really good in my experience.
     
  16. alyxzandra

    alyxzandra Mom to Sebastian

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    My first language is English, but I speak Norwegian since I used to live and work there. I want my son to learn a second language as I believe it is helpful to eventually learn another one later on down the road. I plan on teaching him Norwegian and it helps I have a friend I know from Norway who lives here (and is also our dentist!). But, I did wonder how it would work.
     
  17. flutterbylge

    flutterbylge Riley's mummy & expecting

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    Thank you for all the info. I also have one more question. We are planning to give the baby one English and one Turkish name. And as I will be speaking to her in Turkish, should I be caliing her Turkish name or should we both call her the same name, which would be the English one I suppose as we will be living here in Manchester. Thanks in advance for any info xxx
     
  18. tinytoes

    tinytoes Guest

    if i were you i'd call her whatever her first name is - surely you want everyone to use the same name whatever language it comes from?
    I personally chose a name which was easy to pronounce for
    French and English speakers. I really liked Harry but knew that the French would have issues with the H and it'd become "Arry".
     

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