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I think my LO is confused - trilingual toddler.

(9 Posts)
Mamaprima Mon 18-Sep-17 07:34:52

Hi all. My little boy is 22 months and he doesn't speak so well yet. I understand that every child is different and they do it in their own time. However, his speech consists more of babbles than words. He is very chatty, likes singing and even counting, and all these sound more like babbling. I speak to him in Romanian, my husband speaks in Greek and he learns English at nursery (full time). Is it possible that he is confused with all these languages? For example he says "pish" for fish, which would be a combination of the Romanian and English words. Also, he often forgets how to pronounce certain words and just babbles instead. Did anyone have these kind of "issues"?

Purpleball Mon 18-Sep-17 07:50:45

I think 22 months is too young to pronounce many words correctly. We only have 1 language and DS calls fish 'shish' as an example

amyboo Tue 19-Sep-17 07:44:50

I live in a country where bilingualism and even trilingualism is the norm. All of my kids are bilingual and several colleagues' kids are trilingual. Kids with more than one lanfuage definitely tend to speak later. One of mine was nearly 2.5 before speaking a recognisable word in either language and he now speaks both perfectly. I really wouldn't worry about it at 22 months - he'll soon be saying clear words. He'll probably mix up languages for a bit - mine have always picked the easier word for something when little. But they soon learn to separate them by around age 3 very easily. Just don't compare him to his monolingual peers or you'll drive yourself crazy!

ChilliMum Tue 19-Sep-17 07:55:44

Apparently it's perfectly normal for it to feel that multi lingual children are developing speech slower.

My friends children are trilingual and she looked into it as like you she was concerned. Simply children aquire sounds and words at a similar rate (give or take) and will all have roughly the same number of words at a given stage of development. So for example a monolingual child at a certain stage will have 300 words in 1 language allowing them to have a simple conversation well. A multilingual child will have 300 words but split over the number of languages and so will still be unable to form complete sentence in just 1 language.

My 2 are bilingual and for some topics they have vocabulary in only 1 language (eg contents of a school bag) and for some same vocabulary in both. Their vocabulary in either language is not as in depth as a monolingual child but non the less it is perfectly adequate (except when dd did synonyms and homonymes at school apparently giving a synonym in another langauge is not acceptable grin)

It will even out soon enough and the benefits of having multiple languages will be worth it but I understand it must be frustrating for a while.

Mamaprima Tue 19-Sep-17 20:53:30

Thank you for your replies. Yes, probably I do compare him to his peers at nursery and worry too much. To be honest I find it hilarious when he says "bey bey baba bey" that's for rain rain go away grin

dustyparadeground Fri 10-Nov-17 17:22:41

Just to say keep it up. Rumanian Greek and English wow. My daughter speaks Italian and English and we have a close friend whose daughter is growing up speaking Spanish French and English ...going to be a fantastic advantage without too much work!

Couchpotato3 Fri 10-Nov-17 17:26:14

I had a friend at uni who was trilingual. It was amazing to hear her chatting to her siblings - they would switch language mid-sentence when they wanted to use a particular word or phrase. Fascinating to see them in action!

GoingIn Fri 10-Nov-17 17:30:10

Our dc are trilingual and their speech only really started catching up with others after 36 months, after that it's still a slower process for a while but ime they do catch up surprisingly quick in the end.

RosyWelshcakes Fri 10-Nov-17 17:34:06

My children and grandchildren are trilingual. In fact some of my grandchildren speak English plus one of the other languages you mention as well as a third.

It will all work out ok and all the moreso given that Romanian and Greek are Latin based languages. In fact my Romanian relatives can each speak about 4 or 5 Latin based languages fluently.

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