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Dutch or Flemish children in UK

(21 Posts)
Rustler74 Thu 09-Feb-17 13:38:17

I'm 5.5 months pregnant, ideal time to start blabbing to bump in my language, Flemish, although I must admit it is declining.
I am hoping that my partner will keep supporting me as much as he is into bringing up our child bilingually. And I'd like to be consequent, but sadly I realised only after my visit to the Belgian embassy that I'd not spoken Flemish when picking up my passport and when enquiringly after Belgian (dual) nationality for my baby.

I know of some success stories as well as families where the Dutch was eventually abandoned due to a variety of reasons. If only there were a group nearby such as my DSIL has for her Japanese. I'm in Hertfordshire
Is anyone else planning to speak Flemish or Dutch to their child? Or doing so already?

Rustler74 Sun 26-Feb-17 21:05:10

Bumping as no reply

Member652554 Thu 13-Apr-17 20:13:05

I plan on teaching my DD as much Dutch as I can but unfortunately I am starting to forget most of it myself as I don't speak it daily.

Rustler74 Sun 16-Apr-17 18:44:00

Which area are you, @Member652554 ?

Member652554 Sun 16-Apr-17 19:37:31

Midlands smile

Rustler74 Sun 16-Apr-17 20:36:40

I'm in herts and also not speaking it daily but I know I won't forgive myself if I don't talk my mother tongue wth my baby x

NuclearMumb Mon 05-Jun-17 00:05:25

When your DC is born, you will speak it daily, and you'll soon be used to it. My kids are 6 and 3, they are both fluent in Dutch (I'm in Surrey). But you will have to be consistent and only speak Flemish, no English, otherwise it won't work so well.
Good luck!

ojalele Mon 05-Jun-17 00:15:07

we tried to speak Dutch to dd when she was little. She was often in tears though as she said she couldn't be herself at home. So we gave up.

We did get a Belgian au-pair some years later which helped.

Letsgohome Mon 05-Jun-17 00:23:52

My sil speaks Flemish to her dc and has dvds in Flemish, also plays Flemish games. They're fluent but prefer to speak in English and will often reply to their extended family in English except for their cousins or other children. They've had the luxury of spending the summers in Belgium which may have helped. They were slightly later with getting started talking but no problems now. Good luck!

Rustler74 Sun 11-Jun-17 11:33:40

I'll get my nephews and niece to come over here and speak Flemish to my son (oh yes he's born now!)
Thanks for your reactions! Still hoping to get local Flemish / Dutch people to socialise!

boldlygoingsomewhere Thu 22-Jun-17 10:46:17

I'm also trying to teach my DD Flemish/Dutch. It's hard going when there are comparatively few resources and not such a large diaspora in the uk. I am in Surrey. She loves the songs and knows quite a few phrases but if I try and talk only in Flemish she gets quite upset. I'll keep persevering as I want her to have a working knowledge even if not completely fluent.

Rustler74 Thu 22-Jun-17 17:52:17

How old is she @boldlygoingsomewhere ?
So far I've been just talking Flemish to him (1 month old !!!) but he hears predominantly English so I'm desperate! YouTube is my friend during his awake hours !

boldlygoingsomewhere Thu 22-Jun-17 20:39:17

She's 3 now. It's hard to get out of English as a default - I've lived here so long now. I find I have to spend some time listening to Belgian radio to get back into the flow of speaking Flemish again. Children's films which have a Dutch language option are useful too. I really wish we could get Belgian tv stations here.

Hortonlovesahoo Tue 11-Jul-17 19:59:59

I'm the opposite (living in Holland but British). We're doing OPOL but when we're doing "Dutch" time, my husband puts on Dutch Netflix or kids shows with Dutch subtitles. "sesame Street" or "word party" are the biggest hits at the moment.

We've also got a few Spotify lists of children's songs that work well in the car to build the language through music.

Rustler74 Thu 20-Jul-17 23:53:22

@Hortonlovesahoo hello! How do you find living in Netherlands? Do your kids not pick it up in school? How old?

@boldlygoingsomewhere so far so good with the Flemish. I went to meet people in London a week ago, 'Vlaamse Club Londen' and they do monthly activities some of which with families.
There's also BVN tv.

Hortonlovesahoo Fri 21-Jul-17 06:01:45

Hey Rustler :-) I like it. We're in a town so I can really use my Dutch a lot. My daughter is still young (16months) so plenty of time but I'm already seeing the dual language (alsjeblieft, this, yes).

Mipe Sun 06-Aug-17 16:16:48

Hi Rustler! I am in the Northwest so not local to you but just wanted to say good luck! My dd is 11 now and sadly not really interested in learning Dutch anymore, I always spoke English to her and just did some dvd's and stories in Dutch thinking she would pick up the basics that way. It felt like the right thing to do at the time but now I REALLY wish I had spoken Dutch with her so she would be fluent and able to speak to my family! smile

HipKitten Wed 13-Sep-17 21:41:21

I'm Dutch and would love my children to understand the language and speak it to some extent. Like others, my Dutch is a bit rusty and it would be helpful for my boys to meet up with Dutch/Flemish speakers from time to time. I started off very well with DS1 but in the madness of early motherhood with DS2 it slipped away. To this day my 6 year old understands a fair amount but my 5 year old calls it 'that silly language' sad If you can manage it, speak as much Flemish/Dutch from the start. If anyone knows about any get togethers for nederlandstaligen near Guildford, Surrey I would love to hear about it.

boldlygoingsomewhere Sat 23-Sep-17 22:18:16

HipKitten, I'm not far from Guildford but not aware of any groups for Dutch/Flemish speakers. It's frustrating.

HipKitten Sun 08-Oct-17 18:26:54

Thank you boldlygoingsomewhere. I'm pretty sure there isn't one either.

LewisThere Sun 08-Oct-17 18:36:49

Not Flemish here but french.
Fwiw I think my situation was similar to yours. I didn't know anyone with children who were french speaking in area. No family around either and only one hols back home for two weeks.

What worked for me was
- only speaking in my language to the dcs. So in effect the OPOL method but not because i believe it was better. It was very much about getting as much exposure to my language as possible.
- books and books, reading at bed time and during the day
- when they we older, cartoons in french (I got sooo many dvds....) but nowdays youtube and the internet is just as good
- getting a VPN to be able to watch french TV live or on replay

My french WAS getting rusty but speaking to the dcs did help keeping it up.
It has required a lot of effort from my side so that I wouldn't start speaking English instead (much easier to me nowdays!).
What would have been good is to be able to spend more time back in France as well as seeing children their age.

Fwiw, my dcs are now teens. They are both more or less bilingual (dc2 is making more mistakes than Dc1 but is still very good).
It's hard work but really worth it smile

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