We're a bilingual family raising a 22 month old in NYC. I was born in Cuba but immigrated to the states as a young child. I was raised in Miami and my parents never were able to grasp English so our house, and much of our community as a whole, was Spanish-only. Consequently, I have excellent command of my native language although English has become my dominant language. My husband's father is also an immigrant and native Spanish speaker but his mother is deaf, so they only spoke English at home because that's what she can lip read. He consequently understands some Spanish but doesn't speak it much or very well.
For the past 12 or so years I have lived in mainly English-speaking communities and only have needed to resort to Spanish when speaking to my parents or, occasionally, for work. I stay home with our daughter and have taken great pains to speak to her only in Spanish but it is hard for me because it just doesn't come as naturally as it did when I was younger. I have only been able to find one or two other mothers in the area that are Spanish speaking and they both immigrated to the states when they were much older so they don't struggle as much as I do. All of which is to say, I have joined The Bilingual Zoo with the hope of accessing some much needed support and motivation as we continue our bilingual journey.
Post by Dave Hartley on Mar 28, 2017 21:18:35 GMT 9
Welcome to the Bilingual Zoo! It's great that you joined, and your background as you described is interesting. I think I face similar challenges to you, because I have a language that became rusty, and now that I want to pass it to my kids it doesn't come naturally.
You'll find some really great ideas, suggestions and well needed encouragement here! And I'm sure you'll make great progress in time.
Thanks for the warm welcome, Dave! I think you described it perfectly - it's less so that I struggle to speak it and more so that it doesn't come naturally so it feels labor intensive to stick to it all day long. I appreciate the encouragement and have already learned so much from reading through some threads.
Claudia, welcome! I responded to your situation in a longer reply at this thread, so please take a look. I hope the thoughts I've offered there can be helpful to you!
Cheers from Hiroshima to New York! (Actually, I went to college just outside New York--Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville--but I haven't been back to the area in many years. I miss it! Especially the bagels! )
Adam Beck is the founder of Bilingual Monkeys and The Bilingual Zoo, and the author of the book "Maximize Your Child's Bilingual Ability", praised worldwide by parents and experts in the field. Available at Amazon amzn.to/22XKuCt, the global Amazon sites, and other booksellers.
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Raquel: I love it, Mayken! What a sweet lady. I would have listened in and not asked, hehe. Did you use it to show your daughter how useful the ml can be?
Dec 21, 2017 20:35:38 GMT 9
Mayken: Raquel, my daughter loved it - both the coincidence, and that this lady was learning our language!
Dec 24, 2017 22:25:47 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Happy New Year to you all! Let's make 2018 a really good year!
Dec 31, 2017 7:04:50 GMT 9
Joanna: Packing to go home from Canada...luggage scale reading 23 kg of minority language books!
Dec 31, 2017 23:48:06 GMT 9
Amy: Happy new year to all! . May 2018 bring you every success in your bilingual endeavours!
Jan 1, 2018 23:08:58 GMT 9
Mayken: Happy new year to everyone! I shared a little New Year's Eve story in the Snack Bar.
Jan 5, 2018 5:08:21 GMT 9
Mayken: 7yo wrote her Christmas letter in the ml and sent it to Santa's address in our ml country. This week she received his reply - and was somewhat offended that he replied in the ML
Jan 5, 2018 21:47:21 GMT 9
Adam Beck: That's very cute, Mayken!
Jan 6, 2018 7:57:09 GMT 9
Amy: Oh no Mayken!! I'd also feel very gutted in her shoes! Hope he made up for it by spoiling her on Xmas!
Jan 7, 2018 1:12:53 GMT 9
Mayken: He totally did, Amy! Especially her most important wish - the second illustrated Harry Potter (in ml, of course).
Jan 9, 2018 0:06:05 GMT 9
Raquel: Happy 2018!! How come Santa replied in the wrong language? That's weird.
Jan 9, 2018 19:26:41 GMT 9
Mayken: Raquel, he gets letters from all over the world at that German address, and I guess the reply is in the language that matches the country fo the child's return address. Next time she'll use my mom's address (if she still wants to write to Santa then).
Jan 10, 2018 0:38:19 GMT 9
Raquel: Mayken, I just was surprised that, reading a letter in a certain language, they would reply in a different one. But if it's an standarized letter, then it makes total sense.
Jan 10, 2018 21:42:23 GMT 9
Mayken: It is. Our local ML Santa, to whom my daughter wrote the year before (in ml) replied in ML too but started the letter with her name. But then he's serving a town of 37,000 people only.
Jan 10, 2018 23:18:32 GMT 9
Raquel: Makes sense, Mayken. Thanks for explaining.
Jan 11, 2018 22:31:51 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter called me out twice this week for using the wrong language with her. The second time it was only one work (number of a métro line).
Jan 12, 2018 0:16:39 GMT 9