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Speak English or More?

One Language or More?

In many bilingual families, parents make a conscience effort to teach their babes both languages. If one parent is proficient in one language and the other in another, it is normal for each one to talk to their tot solely in that tongue.

I try to chat in Spanish with my babe, but I'm not as diligent as I'd like to be. Luckily, her nanny is teaching it to her every day. And, at this age, she is soaking words up like a sponge.

Just the other day we were on a walk and she looked up at me and said, "Mano!" A little puzzled, I thought to myself, "Mano?" Then it hit me, "Hand! That means hand in Spanish!" So I reached down and her tiny palm met mine and off we went.

Will your child be bilingual?


Join The Conversation
Martini-Rossi Martini-Rossi 9 years
I dont have kids but my kids will be (hopefully) speaking two languages. I speak Creole (I'm Haitian) and my fiance is Serbian (he doesnt speak the language), I grew up speaking both languages and I feel that its important for my kids to speak creole. So I hope I can make that happen.
moss1080 moss1080 9 years
My husband and I are trying to become proficient in Spanish and sign language for our future children
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
Our children will speak english, and norwegian (thats where my family is from) I plan on boycotting Dora the explorer and all her evil ways.
karlorene karlorene 9 years
my dream is to pick up another language! When I have a child, I will make sure they get tutored in another language right from the start...
SugarKim4203 SugarKim4203 9 years
By the way you can use ASL with your kids even if you only know a few words (mom, dad, food, more).
SugarKim4203 SugarKim4203 9 years
My dad swears that he will only speak Vietnamese to my future babies but we'll see if that really happens. I'm hoping that my husband will teach our unborn babies Spanish (again, we'll see if that really happens). I am an American Sign Langauge interpreting student (in my last semester...yipppeee) and will be using ASL in my home. I didn't spend the last three years learning a language to not use it on a daily basis. For those of you who are thinking about teaching your child sign, I highly reccomend it. Children's motor skills are developed before their oral/talking skills are developed. How awesome would it be if you could communicate with your child before they are able to speak. One of my friends (and fellow classmate) has taught both of her sons sign and told me of a time when her youngest was on the verge of having a temper tantrum. She looked at him and said/signed "what do you want?" He looked at her and signed "thirsty." She gave him a juice box and he that was the end of the temper tantrum.
lorioz lorioz 9 years
My husband will speak only Turkish to our child, when she comes in two months, and I will speak only English. We speak English at home and she will get more than enough Turkish from his family and from living in Turkey. Hopefully she will be able to learn a third language at school.
Beanalby Beanalby 9 years
My wife's fluent in French, and I keep telling myself I'm going to try to pick it up so we can teach it to our kids (which we'll be having sometime in the next year). I think learning a second language is great just for the kids to know how to "shift gears" between the two languages. "The hardest language to learn is your second one", I remember hearing.
jessy777 jessy777 9 years
I plan to teach more than one language if I ever have children. I wish that I had been taught another language from a young age when it is easier to learn and maintain.
JLovely84 JLovely84 9 years
My BF will speak to our baby only in English and I will speak only in Spanish... that's how I became bilingual.
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
Mme Hart, schnappycat is right, ASL stands for American Sign Language... Sorry ! I didn't think about people not knowing what the abbreviation stood for :(
schnappycat schnappycat 9 years
I think it's American Sign Language, Mme Hart. Wow, I am impressed and envious of all of you! My husband and I only speak English, so that's all we have to offer. I guess I can look into school or other programs when my son is a bit older, but I've heard unless the language is used in the home or the child is immersed and uses it often, it's easy for it to go by the wayside. I feel lame.
Mme-Hart Mme-Hart 9 years
By the way, what is ASL??
Mme-Hart Mme-Hart 9 years
We speak multiple languages at home (English, French and Spanish) and work (German for DH and Italian for me) and James is being raised in French and English (we live in France and English is an important language in the world to know!). He will be schooled under the International Baccalaureat system which teaches many languages. We're very happy about that. We both know how confusing it can be sometimes to speak many languages and sometimes we speak in a mixture of all 5 because of the situation above that you mentioned: you seriously forget a word in a language sometimes so substitute it for another :D We'll try to help him, but it is very common over here in Europe to speak many languages without problems.
Twinkle1 Twinkle1 9 years
My kids speak Finnish and English and are now learning Swedish.
cottonpoots cottonpoots 9 years
Trilingual, hopefully - the most obvious being English, Vietnamese, and Spanish.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
we're trying to teach our kids different languages (dh speack german because he lived there growing up). my middle daughter is doing well with german and they do spanish at school, but our youngest is really resistant. this is their 3rd year going to german school on saturdays and just this year child #3 started to participate. basically everyone in europe speaks 2 or more languages, we're behind in that regard.
macgirl macgirl 9 years
There's this joke that that goes something like: What do you call someone that speaks three languages? Trilingual What do you call someone that speaks two languages? Bilingual What do you call someone that speaks one language? An American.... I'm terribly jealous of all my international Sugar Sisters that speak like 3 to 5 languages!! We are going to try the Rosetta Stone as well. We figure we will start with Spanish since we live in Southern California but then we want to do French as well. I wouldn't mind doing a little German too. My son has said he wants to learn Italian! We told him if we can learn the languages we can travel to where they speak it. He is hot for that :-)
CoconutPie CoconutPie 9 years
My partner and I both are from bilingual countries, and I would love if our kids could speak all four languages someday (French, English, Finnish, Swedish). They'll be raised in both French and Finnish, and they'll probably learn English quite fast because it's the language we use together. We'll see about teaching them Swedish. I just hope our kids won't get too confused.... Anyone in a similar situation?
foxie foxie 9 years
My husband and I plan to bring our children up speaking Arabic. Our daughter will have an Arabic name also.
kia kia 9 years
My father is from a Spanish-speaking country and never spoke to me in Spanish and I had to learn in school and through travel/work. I don't want to do that my children so they will grow up with more than one language.
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
jennifer76, let me know how the Rosetta Stone thing works out... I've always wondered if it actually works and I would love to learn another language (besides ASL that I will learn this summer :))
graldi19 graldi19 9 years
i haven't had kids yet, but i plan on having bilingual kids. my bf grew up speaking spanish and his whole family still does, and i'm learning the language. when we have kids, we definitly plan on teaching them both english and spanish from the start.
juiceejuice juiceejuice 9 years
i don't have any kids, but i'm multilingual, so i plan on having multilingual kids.
milosmommy milosmommy 9 years
My husband and in-laws (who live with us) are native spanish speakers so we speak both spanish and english in our house. I love that my son will grow up with both.
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