words missing first letter/sound

(4 Posts)
maymoon Sun 16-Sep-12 23:29:43

My DD is 16.5 months old. I am english (speak good kurdish), DH kurdish (speaks good english plus arabic and turkish), we speak directly to dd in our main language but sometimes me and dh will speak in english or kurdish together depending on the topic and if we are in company. DD also exposed to Arabic when Dh reads to her the parts quran before bed and takes her to prayer on fridays- when she is older she will attend the classes held on a weekend so should develop he Arabic further.

DD has a number of words which are pronounced correctly: English- mummy, ball, bye bye, hello, no, bed,flower, bird, cat, go, milk, slide, shower, spoon, shoes, bag, baby, off, out, car, bus, please. Kurdish- father, bird, monkey, milk, dummy, no, sleep, hello, bye bye, car, dog, shoes, flower.

She has started to develop some other words however the first letter/sound is missing such as- (j)acket, (cl)eaning, (s)leep, (qu)ick. she also does this in kurdish. The english words she cannot quite pronounce I always say back to her correctly.

I have a couple of questions-
Is there anything else I should do on top of repeating her mis-pronounced words correctly?
RE the kurdish words she mis-pronounces, should I repeat them correctly in Kurdish to her (and vice versa for DH)?
She has different words in each language so if I am with her and she uses kurdish for monkey (which she cannot say in English) do I say 'yes there is a monkey' using only English, repeat the kurdish word only as that is what she used or repeat to her in both languages?

Thanks for reading and I hope you can give me some advice

Ruthchan Mon 17-Sep-12 09:43:09

Don't worry about your DD's mispronunciation at the moment.
She is very young to begin talking and it is natural that she will make mistakes. These should iron themselves out as she develops and grows.

It is good to repeat back words correctly, but don't make a big deal of her mistakes. Just allow her to hear the word correctly and then leave it.

It is normal for bilingual children to use different languages for different words. Both of my children did that too. You should probably say 'yes there is a monkey' back to her in English. She already knows the Kurdish word and it will help to reinforce that English speakers use a different word for the same meaning.

Most parents go on the One Parent One Language model, which means that you should only speak English to her and your DH should only speak Kurdish. That way she will learn both and will differentiate between them.

Just remember, she is still young and it will all come in time.

Portofino Mon 17-Sep-12 09:51:43

Agree with Ruthchan - <<waves>> My dd mixed English and French for years. I just repeated the correct phrase in English. She is 8 now and speaks both languages fluently.

Ruthchan Mon 17-Sep-12 12:02:03

Hi Portofino! :-)

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