Here is our bilingual baby (possibly trilingual!) He's already 3 months old and we had our first visit from the in-laws at the weekend. We are mostly speaking to him in Norwegian (ml1) but his dad also sometimes speaks to him in Sami (ml2) and I use some English (ML) when I don't know the words in Norwegian. I'm pleased at how much I've been able to speak to him in Norwegian and how natural it feels. I'm trying to use songs and books already and that's been a good way to boost my language. I think it will be hard as everyone else we meet only speaks English and so he is going to hear me speaking English the majority of the time. I could be listening to more Norwegian radio but it's far too tempting to watch TV and listen to the radio in English as my language skills aren't quite good enough to understand everything in Norwegian. It was great having the in-laws here and, although they mostly speak Sami, I did pick up some Norwegian baby phrases too. I was really pleased that they also brought us three lovely Sami children's books as it is hard to get hold of them. My husband and I are continuing to try and switch from speaking English to each other to using Norwegian all the time but that is tough as it slows down the conversation so much and I need so much repetition. And with the sleep deprivation and busyness of looking after a new baby it's extremely mentally taxing! Overall we're off to a good start so we'll try to keep going a day at a time.
Congratulations on your handsome little man! Special times are coming ahead!
The first few months as a parent are trying. Don't pressure yourself. Just take your time, try to push yourself a little extra mile week after week to speak more Norwegian with your partner and slowly, before you know it, the habit will sink in. And as tiredness slowly moves out and you recover mental strength, you will be able to walk over to the final stretch of your challenge and switch completely to ml@h.
As to Norwegian media, start little by little: maybe 10min a day, and go increasing this span as you grow more comfortable or/and less tired. Choose a time of the day when you are less tired and have more time to yourself to sit with a good cup of tea and listen.
All my best wishes to you and your beautiful family.
***"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars" - Oscar Wilde***
I echo everything Amy says. Just wanted to say also that I have a Norwegian colleague whose children follow some internet-based programme run by the Norwegian government to foster language sklls among children with Norwegian heritage living abroad. I guess it is for much older chidlren but good to know it exists!
Alison, congratulations to you and your husband! We're happy to help welcome your sweet son into the world!
It's true, the first few months can be very tiring so, while it's good to do what you can with the minority languages, please don't pressure yourself too much. Just move forward at a sane and steady pace, day by day. And above all, savor this precious time with your son--he'll be 10 years old (like my son) before you know it!
Adam Beck is the founder of Bilingual Monkeys and The Bilingual Zoo, and the author of the popular non-fiction book Maximize Your Child's Bilingual Ability amzn.to/22XKuCt and the humorous novel How I Lost My Ear amzn.to/2EsjVRS, both available worldwide.
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Agnese: Thank you for the suggestion!
Jul 21, 2018 15:40:43 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter met some inversed ML/ml kids today who live in our ml country. Their parents probably weren't thrilled they found n ML (for them) friend in their ml country. I'm sorry...a little bit.
Aug 7, 2018 2:07:34 GMT 9
Amy: Looks like the 3 weeks in ml1 country paid off: my ML mother reports my youngest would only speak ml1 to her! Lol Not sure ML childminder will be so happy when she returns... loool!
Aug 25, 2018 0:38:50 GMT 9
Mayken: Sounds like fun times ahead, Amy! Keep us posted.
Aug 27, 2018 23:15:08 GMT 9
Adam Beck: NEW! Something Strange Happened 2 Days After We Moved into Our New House (And Its Significance to Change and Transformation on the Bilingual Journey)buff.ly/2ww8WDD
Aug 31, 2018 10:30:39 GMT 9
Amy: Happiest bilingual mum in the world : the new lady who conducts activities in ml2 with my eldest just assessed her level as pretty much equivalent to that of a native ml2 child! After that awful back-to-school start, this is like music to my ears.
Sept 6, 2018 0:00:13 GMT 9
Wojtek: I've been thinking for a long time to write an update and hopefully, I will do it one day. My brother married a Russian woman. That was nice to see that my 5-year-old daughter could play with her and speak English together!
Sept 7, 2018 21:37:25 GMT 9
Wojtek: After some time, she ran up and told me: "She is speaking English!"
Sept 7, 2018 21:38:31 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Nice to hear your happy news, Wojtek! And congratulations to your brother and his bride! It sounds like they may have a bilingual child in their future, too! Cheers to you all!
Sept 7, 2018 21:58:17 GMT 9
Mayken: Victor's flashcards look amazing! I hope I'll win the giveaway - if not, I'll purchase a set for Christmas for sure. Thanks Adam for sharing these gems with us!
Sept 26, 2018 23:32:30 GMT 9
Marisa: Adam, I second Mayken's enthusiasm and gratitude for your posting about Victor's flashcards, they look amazing, thank you so much for the post! I already bought one set
Sept 30, 2018 10:25:51 GMT 9