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Bilingual and baby signing?? How does it work?

(13 Posts)
archiesmummy Mon 28-Aug-06 22:19:41

Hiya, I have started speaking my mother tongue, Swedish, with DS who is almost 8 months now and DH speaks English and when we are together as a family or out and about we speak English.
We are very keen on baby signing (I know we should ideally have started already, but just been busy), but I'm not sure how this would work with 2 languages.
Has anyone tried it?
Would there be confusion with 1 sign for 2 different words in different languages?
Hope you have osme great tips for us.

moondog Mon 28-Aug-06 22:21:50

If anything,it will help.
I'm a speech and language therapist,and have a lot of experience with bilingual parents (Welsh/English) using signing with babies.

It will be tremendous fun.
Gofor it!

archiesmummy Mon 28-Aug-06 22:26:44

Excellent! Thanx for the very positive respons.

moondog Mon 28-Aug-06 22:29:36

Would advise however that you speak with him in your native tongue all the time,if you want him to be properly bilingual.

If not,you will probably find that he will speak more and more English to you as he grows up and the\Swedish will fizzle out,which would be a great shame.

archiesmummy Tue 29-Aug-06 09:31:32

I had no idea, moondog. Is it still OK to speak english out amongst people? I feel so silly speaking Swedish in public... Or should i just get over it?
Maybe you could advise me aswell, I lived for 8 years in Norway where the language is similar, but not the same, so my Swedish is not perfect as I mix some words. Is it still good for my DS to learn from me even if he will learn some wrong words?

moondog Tue 29-Aug-06 13:26:52

AM,why do you feel silly?It is your language!

The benefits to your child will be enormous.He will be able to move freely between two different worlds,having twice the choice of opportunities such as jobs,training,education,even girlfriends!!

I speakWelsh to my children all over the world,as my father did with my sisters and I (we were never brought up in Wales)

I am in Turkey now,and on the plane over,there were lots of English/Turkish families,obviously coming for holidays with the Turkish side of the family.

They all seemed to be speaking English with their Turkish fathers. I thoguht how sad it was that they obviously wouldn't be able to communicate properly with grandparents,uncles and cousins.

If Swedish is your mother tongue,then don't worry about the odd mistake.You will be able to speak it well enough to pass it on.

The trouble with not speaking it when other people are present is that more often than not other people will be present and as I said,the Swedish will fade away.

Please don't let it happen,and be proud to be different.I am always proud to speak Welsh in public!

TooTicky Tue 29-Aug-06 13:30:27

archiesmummy, I am jealous of your bilingualism! I'm English and trying to teach myself Swedish but it's hard without being able to practise. It doesn't help that we haven't been able to go there for a couple of years. Good luck with the signing!

archiesmummy Tue 29-Aug-06 16:15:54

Thank you moondog I will have to try harder. Short term I want DS to be able to play with the other kids when we go over to visit and they won't be able to speak english so it is important and as you say it gives him an advantage later in life as well.
TooTicky I'm surprised over your choice of language to learn (in a good way surprised), but can understand that it is difficult without actually going there to practise. My sis XDP tought himself enough to hold a conversation in swedish in a couple of years, but obviously he lived with a swedish girl...
Thank you for help and Good Luck!

TooTicky Tue 29-Aug-06 19:28:13

archiesmummy, we have fallen in love with Sweden, dreaming of a stuga in Småland or maybe the lakes, the forests, the wildlife, the cleanness, potty about Astrid Lindgren and Selma Lagerlof...just love it really! Language sounds lovely too, but not the way I speak it!

moondog Tue 29-Aug-06 19:29:14

Ooh yes,Sweden sounds fabulous!

archiesmummy Tue 29-Aug-06 21:15:28

I'm sure you speak just fine TooTicky and you would quickly pich up the, rather strong, southern accent if you bought a "stuga i Småland". I must admit I love Astrid Lindgren too, especially Emil it's just the perfect childhood I think...

Well, thank you both for your lovely help. I'm off to catch up on some sleep from last night (teething DS)

cathmullen Fri 05-Aug-11 16:59:26

Baby signing's great and I came across baby signing Bamba which has been developed by 2 speech and language therapists. It's brilliant and has worked really well with my 3. The twins are right chatterboxes now! I found bamba at

roundthehouses Thu 18-Aug-11 20:59:18

i can´t see why there could be any problem. dh and i spoke our own languages to ds1 and used some baby signs and it worked great. One sigh = one item whatever that item be called in the different language.

good luck, ds 2 isn´t quite 6 months but we´ll have to start flexing those baby signing muscles again soon. one thing i would say, keep it up even if it seems like they aren´t picking it up. we´d all but given up and when he was 12 mths ds1 suddenly started signing and we FREAKED OUT it was so exciting. We still only really used a core few (food, drink, all done, more) but found he would make up his own or we would add others as they were needed, like around 16mths we introduced one for "toilet" (or potty or wet whatever you want) and that was really useful.

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