Anybody bilingual?

Discussion in 'Baby & Toddler' started by futuremum, Jan 17, 2006.

  1. futuremum

    futuremum Well-Known Member

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    Hi!!!

    Being French myself, I am talking French to Thomas as much as possible but not all the time. I was wondering if there is anybody who talks another language or whose partner does talk another language and how do you plan to teach the two languages to your baby?
     
  2. melhoney

    melhoney Well-Known Member

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    coucou!

    well, that's a tricky one, isn't it!

    I am French too, my husband is pakistani and speaks urdu, and we live in the UK!!!!
    you see how complicated it can be! :)

    We plan to do the "one parent/one language" thing, where I will only speak French to lkittle one, and my hubby will only talk urdu, and when we will be together (my husband and I) in front of baby, we will talkm in english.
    Well, that's the plan, anyway, but can't say if we will manage!!!! :?

    I have a colleague who was in the same situation as you and that's what they have done, and it worked very well (I know her son, he is now in Year8!!!) He kept on using both languages at random till one day, when she was dressing him up and he said:
    -" pour toi maman, ca c'est un lit, mais pour papa, c'est bed". And she says that from that day onward, he never got confused again!!!
    But she says it is hard work, because you have to remember to ONLY speak your language with your child, and when he/she speaks to you in a different lgge, you must ask him/her to repeat, in French for you, sort of "Quoi, qu'est-ce que tu as dit?" or "desolee, mais je ne t'ai pas compris".

    It definitely worked for her, so I am going to give it a go!

    Anyone else can help?

    mel xx
     
  3. Skidoo

    Skidoo Well-Known Member

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    I'm exteremely jealous of anyone who is able to bring their child up bilingual!!

    I have freinds who have done it with English and Swedish. One of the things they noticed was that their daughter would make references to each parent in their own language - ie the Swedish mother was holding the little girl while the English father was taking a shower and the little girl pointed to her father and said 'Daddy's in the shower' rather than saying it in Swedish. Not very useful for you perhaps, but quite interesting!

    You are giving your child a tremendous gift by giving them two (or even three!) languages from day one.
     
  4. pips

    pips Well-Known Member

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    woohooooo exciting post!!!
    i too am french! and i want my child to ba trilingual (well i'm starting off with english and french and hope to add german)

    my child and i are getting dual nationality as soon as poss after the birth. basically i have been bilingual from birth as well- as my mother is scottish and my father french, though my strongest language is french (multilingual children ALWAYS have a stronger language)
    my parents organised it so she spoke nothing but english to me and he spoke french though both were perfectly fluent in both. having looked into it that is the way to teach a child both languages in the best way. it may take a child longer to speak but when it does it will have understood that there are two separate languages AND at least two worlds out there meaning it has understood that the world is not only home, school, friends, but that there are also countries..... i hope i am being clear
    this subject gets me awfully excited! :D

    i am a language student and am starting to prepare a dissertation on how bilingualism affects a childs brain from the moment it is concieved. its very interesting.
    basically my message is: if you decide you want a bilingual child, you are much more likely of helping it to become perfectly fluent in both if you stick entirely to speaking one language to it, and your partner the other for instance.

    i have a problem with that as well, as i am single... my mother, whom we the child and i will see quite often will talk english to it. in edinburgh the child will get both languages as my friends are from both countries. but i will be moving to germany soon and then would like to settle there for good(otherwise i will be in france). french is easiest for me as i master it perfectly, my english is slightly more dodgy, but as my mum spoke english to me english comes to me as a very maternal language. i dont know which one to choose and am still debating that one in my head

    i hope i havent rambled on for too long and you have got the gist of what i am saying
    good luck with all that: it is not easy!!!
    if you need any more info, feel free to ask, i hope i can help :)
    bises a toutes
     
  5. melhoney

    melhoney Well-Known Member

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    Hi pips, thanks for sharing your experience, it surely makes more sense now :)

    I just have a question, because this is where I am not quite sure of how to do it: when you were with your mum AND dad together, having lunch for eg, which language did your parents choose to talk? I mean I can see how the one language sytem can work when you are either with mum, or with dad, but once the family is reunited, and child old enough to take part in conversation, I am a bit confused!

    What was YOUR experience?

    bon courage pour les etudes!!!!!

    Mel xx
     
  6. Guest

    i am hoping to do the same, but my mum and nan is speaking a different launguage and i put a tape player on when shes alseep in a different language so hopefully she will pick it up, if she doesnt i will send her to stay with her great nanny for 6 months :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
     
  7. futuremum

    futuremum Well-Known Member

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    I am so glad there are several people in the same situation!!! I found myself talking to him in english when i was on my own, it was just natural to me until i have realised!!!!

    I hope it will not confuse Thomas having 2 languages at home. I am very interested in knowing what happened when the 2 parents were together, which language was used!!!
     
  8. pips

    pips Well-Known Member

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    both!! i knew they both spoke the other language so that it didnt matter what they were speaking when we were together (it was mostly french probably because we were in france, but english came up often as well). the only rule when we were together was that they spoke to me, when addressing me, in the language that 'belonged' to them

    anyway i think your children will dictate their rules as to how they want to learn ( i was very demanding). some children even refuse to become bilingual, although they have that great opportunity!

    the fact that they are taking in two languages or more though is enough to balance out the two brains, even if they dont want to speak the languages. it has been proved that children growing up that way learn practical things in life more easily i.e shoe laces

    baby signing is also great to introduce languages to a baby. i will try that...

    merci mel :)
    xx
     

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