I am from Finland, my husband from Pakistan, and we live in Peru. So I speak to our kids (2y9m and 1y) in Finnish, my husband speaks to them in Urdu, we speak English to each other, and the older one goes to preschool in Spanish. Any particular tips or experiences or commiseration on a similar situation?
Me! Me! We live in India (so I can understand spoken Urdu, and I can read some... very slowly!) and have Hindi locally; then there is English spoken at home, and we have Spanish and French that are family languages, and we want to move next to China...
We are focusing on English as our majority language, and then Hindi and Spanish. Hindi is generally done by our ayah (house-help), and A will be going into daycare for a bit and will be getting Hindi there... that should meet our 30% threshold pretty well. Spanish? That's a whole different ball of wax, because I've never studied it, so we are making a family effort to study/learn. Here's what we do:
* Spanish at meals (... when we remember. >_<) * Spanish books are part of bedtime reading (as are a couple of bilingual Hindi-English) * Spanish music, including some kids' songs
You could probably do something similar, with picking activities/events that are in English, Spanish, Finnish and/or Urdu. Maybe if there is Skype ability, Skypeing the Urdu and Finnish-speaking family would help?
We also have 3 languages: English is the community language, I speak Russian to the kids, and my husband speaks Serbian.
Elodie, in another thread I noticed you said you speak German with your husband, although you are both fluent in all three languages. Maybe you and your husband could switch languages in order to increase your son's exposure to one of the minority languages. My husband and I speak Serbian, and that has worked out well, since my kids' Serbian is weaker than their Russian.
Hi! We also have three languages at home: Spanish between me and the kids (ML since we live in Madrid and I'm Spanish), Dutch (ml) between my husband and the kids and finally English between my husband and me.
When we met we didn't speak each other's language, so English was the natural option and although his Spanish is nowadays excellent I never wanted to stop using English with him in order to keep it 'fresh'. Now that the kids are learning English at school we don't regret the decision we made in the past. They understand more and more when my husband and I talk to each other in English, and sometimes they also want to use it with us. So I foresee that English might be in the future our language at home when the four of us have a conversation. Of course Spanish and Dutch will always be there because both my husband and I feel more authentic with the kids in our mother tongue.
Our fear was always that Dutch might cause them problems in learning English (both languages have some similarities) but it's being the other way around: Dutch is helping them with English at school. So we think that the more languages kids are exposed to the better.
I'm glad that there are families like ours with three or more languages all over the world... So, pleased to meet you!
Hi! I just came across this post and I’ve also got 3 languages going…
My husband and I speak English (ml) to our daughter and to each other, we live in the Basque Country, Spain where her ML up until now has been Spanish, but she just started the 2 year class at the local grade school where it’s all in the Basque language.
The majority of the words she speaks are in English and Spanish, but recently with the Basque influence from school, she’s starting to sing and say Basque words (my husband and I understand very little Basque).
From what we’ve heard when talking to other parents at the school who are in the 2 language situation (Spanish/Basque), the ML is going to be Spanish and ml Basque. So, most likely our daughter will have Spanish ML, Basque ml and English ml.
Our plan is to keep reinforcing English at home, have the community and eventually school (at 6 she’ll start Spanish classes at school) teach her Spanish and have school teach her Basque.
Marisa: "Victory moment:" My almost 4-year-old daughter told me yesterday in the ml (rough translation): "mom, there's something wrong with the cartoons, can you fix it, please?"... she was accidentally watching TV in the ML! So I gladly obliged
Jan 18, 2020 4:15:02 GMT 9
Amy: Awww bless her, Marisa!!! That was so cute!! <3
Jan 18, 2020 5:25:44 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Marisa, give that little minority language lover a big hug from me!
Jan 18, 2020 8:04:49 GMT 9
Mayken: We're at Harry Potter Book Night at the English bookshop in Paris. The activities are all in French but my daughter teamed up for the treasure hunt with a girl who also speaks ouf ml German!
Feb 8, 2020 3:50:49 GMT 9