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(8 Posts)
sorozat Mon 15-Dec-14 16:51:25

Hi Everyone!

So I live abroad with my wife and our DS. Not an issue, but interesting how it will work with languages. I am originally from a different country, so will be speaking my mother tongue to DS, and I will be a minority. My wife will speak her mother tongue which everyone speaks. But how will English be picked up?

I've read in this article that the child will pick up English from hearing parents speaking to each other. Any experience in this?

acharmofgoldfinches Mon 15-Dec-14 16:59:05

My niece has an English mum, a French dad, and half-French/half Spanish grandparents on one side, and English on the other.

She is 12 and now speaks English, French and Spanish fairly fluently, can write fluently in French and reasonably well in the other two and somehow worked out the difference between them as she got older - she took a little longer to be comfortable with speaking than some of her friends, but this is completely normal for bi or trilingual kids. Each language also developed to the proficiency she needed for each of them ie French is now best as that's where she lives and goes to school, the other two she has "stopped" developing at a point where she can get by day-to-day.

So don't worry it'll just happen!

acharmofgoldfinches Mon 15-Dec-14 17:06:03

oh and buy books/comics etc in all the languages your DS will use - from another thread I think he's still tiny, but we bought our DN stuff in all languages right from the word go, and she just took it all in. It wasn't very long before she was interpreting between different members of the extended family - quite astonishing and the ease with which she slips from one to another is lovely to watch, and we think it will give her a great advantage whatever she chooses to do in life smile

weegiemum Mon 15-Dec-14 17:07:59

I have friends whose mother speaks Korean, dad speaks German. They lived in the uk so speak English, and also in Laos so dc also speak local Lao dielect and French.

Mine speak English and Gaelic.

sorozat Mon 15-Dec-14 17:16:11

So it works that the child will pick up a third language although no one uses this language with the child at all, its only used by the parents?

acharmofgoldfinches Mon 15-Dec-14 20:47:21

well yes if it's a language spoken at home regularly, my niece learnt English because that's what her mum and dad spoke between them, so if English is what you and your wife speak to each other, that's how your DS will pick it up.

allergictodiets Wed 04-Feb-15 21:00:33

I'm Polish, my DP is English, we live in Germany where our DD ( now almost 4 ) was born. While she understands Polish and English ( we are sticking to our native languages when talking to her, but generally speak English at home ) her chosen language is German - that is the language she uses when answering us.

Boobz Tue 10-Feb-15 20:04:50

DH and I are English, we live in Rome and send our 3 DC (6, 4 and 3) to a French Lycee.

They speak English at home, French at school and Italian when in shops/at their Italian friends' houses etc. Apparently their Italian is better than their French (they went to a Italian/French/English trilingual nursery last year, but most of the kids were Italian so that is what all the kids spoke in the playground) but we are hoping that their French catches up after a full year at the Lycee!

It is simply amazing to see them swap between all 3 languages so easily - I only speak GCSE French and hopeless Italian so I am very jealous!

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