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Baby growing up in multilingual home...

 Language Learning Forum : Polyglots Post Reply
43 messages over 6 pages: 1 2 3 4 5
Elexi
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3833 days ago

937 posts - 1835 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: French, German, Latin

 
 Message 41 of 43
30 June 2013 at 11:23am | IP Logged 
I am in the situation Beano describes (except I can speak a little German, but don't
with our son) and we have followed the one parent one language rule. We have a steady
stream of childrens' DVDs from Amazon.de (e.g. Heidi, Jim Knopf and other Augsburger
Puppenkiste shows) and my wife reads German books to my son to provide some external
media.

My 4 year son a) speaks English as his dominant language b) when speaking to us, he
mixes German and English as in 'I want to go to the shop to kaufen it, aber I need some
geld'. According to his teachers at his nursery school he doesn't mix his language
there at all, except sometimes says numbers in German c) has a seemingly perfect
passive understanding of German (he will translate sentences spoken by my wife to me).

Personally, I don't think it matters that the child speaks one language as a dominant
and has a passive understanding of the other. That will iron itself out later - they
are children after all, not walking language laboratories.
1 person has voted this message useful



Duke100782
Bilingual Diglot
Senior Member
Philippines
https://talktagalog.Registered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 2756 days ago

172 posts - 240 votes 
Speaks: English*, Tagalog*
Studies: Spanish, Mandarin

 
 Message 42 of 43
26 November 2013 at 8:34am | IP Logged 
I think the idea of children who grow up in bilingual or trilingual households will become confused and will
start talking a mix such as Spanglish, Taglish (Tagalog and English) or Chinglish instead of, for exampe,
proper Chinese and proper English, and other languages shouldn't be as much a worry as some people
make it out o be. As children grow older, any confusion between the languages disappear, as we can see
from all natively bilingual and trilingual people who walk around today.

Also, I think that early on children will be able to distinguish the differences between languages and
comprehend that each language is a different set of codes. In fact, I subscribe to the school of thought where
children should be exposed to as many languages as early on as possible.
1 person has voted this message useful



Elexi
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3833 days ago

937 posts - 1835 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: French, German, Latin

 
 Message 43 of 43
26 November 2013 at 10:08am | IP Logged 
Well I can report that since my last post on 30 June 2013 (it is 26 November 2013 today)
my 4 year old son has, almost overnight, totally separated English and German and
switches between the two without any mixing. He also considered 'advanced for his age'
in English in school, so the idea of being slowed down by two languages appears to be an
old wives tale.

Amazing what the human brain can do...


4 persons have voted this message useful



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