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What age did your child start talking?

(15 Posts)
america Mon 08-Sep-08 16:28:19

DS is juggling with three languages and doesn't seem to make a difference between them. DH is all upset because DS calls him "daddy" and not "papa" (he used to call DH "papi" and uses his few words in English rather than our native languages. We've been speaking him our languages since he was born and are wondering how to help him learn all three without getting too confused. He's only 16 months now.

Mammina Mon 08-Sep-08 16:33:58

Hi america, DD is 18m old, to be honest she doesn't say that many words but the ones she does are mainly in my native language, and not English (DH's language), but I think that's mainly because I am home with her all day so that's what she hears the most of. She definitely understands both languages though. Does your DS go to nursery? If so, he probably picks up the english from there..?

Pitchounette Mon 08-Sep-08 18:43:36

Message withdrawn

america Tue 09-Sep-08 09:24:05

Yes, DS is with a childminder too many hours a day and I guess it's normal that he starts with English. Pitchounette, how did you encourage your sons to learn French? DS does long hours but I'd rather DS picks up French from him than from he to avoid my accent/errors... Do you know where to find out about French playgroups in SE-area or similar? Thank you!

WelliesAndPyjamas Tue 09-Sep-08 09:37:34

Hi america
I think at 16 months it is probably to early to expect DS to be very strict about separating his languages. My DS, who has just turned 5, has only recently started truly switching languages according to who he is talking to. When he was much younger, I think he mixed because he simply used the words he felt most comfortable pronouncing/using out of the three choices he had. Then he moved on to a phase of being so eager to move on to the next activity/game/mischief that he spoke too fast to remember which language to use grin. Interestingly, he did this when he knew the person listening to him would understand any of the languages, whereas if he was talking to someone who would only understand one of them he just stuck to that language.

Just keep doing what you are doing. Your DS will be trilingual for as long as you do so

taipo Tue 09-Sep-08 13:36:54

My dc have been brought up bilingually (English and German).

Dd started talking when she was around 15 months.

Ds was nearly 2.

cory Wed 10-Sep-08 10:13:44

I wouldn't worry; in the end, he will get them sorted. OPOL is one way. Once he gets older, you can also talk to him about languages, point that this is how we say it in one language, but in English they say it this way.

WelliesAndPyjamas Wed 10-Sep-08 10:22:48

Completely agree, Cory. That's how we did it with DS - "Mammy says it this way, Daddy says it that way, and Xxx says it that way, and DS can say it in the three ways" - helping him categorise the languages using people.

Kewcumber Wed 10-Sep-08 10:25:22

SALT advice for a friend who is raising her DS bilingually is for the same person to ALWAYS speak to him the same language eg if you are the french speaker - you always speak to him in French if DH is an Urdu speaker he always speaks to him in Urdu etc.

Don;t know if that helps.

I know a trilingual family and the kids cope just fine with all three but 16 months is still too young to have "got it" yet. IMO.

hobbity Wed 10-Sep-08 20:47:35

Hi we're doing OPOL although I speak to my DH in his language mainly so that I get some practise too. I think there may be some boy / girl differences at play too! My DS 19months can say "hallo" and has a wide variety of purrs, beeps and burrs for different animals and food but shows little inclination to talk, however he fully understands and ignores us in both languages :-) His older sister on the other hand seemed to start talking quite early and hasn't shut up since :-) :-)

Maveta Thu 11-Sep-08 21:07:41

I was just going to post a similar question and feel really relieved to hear your experiences!

Ds is 16mo and is also growing up trilingual. He says 'hiya' and 'hola' but in that way that you'd only know that if you were paying attention iykwim, not very clearly. Apart from that he says Dadadadadada in a whole variety of situation grin sometimes 'Dad' very clearly to dh but I don't get anything resembling 'mama' except 'uh-mumumumumumumum' when he's upset hmm

He very clearly understands us which as I guess you all say is the main thing but I saw a vid of a friend's baby today of the same age singing (ok a fair bit of nonsense but some clear words too) and the difference was quite startling.

Pomi Fri 12-Sep-08 15:11:38

dss started speaking at 2. ds1 couldnt even understand us before the age of 2. Now 4 he is a chatter box.

lilQuidditchKel Fri 12-Sep-08 17:49:41

blimey if my children were speaking 2 languages (or more!) by 16 months I think I'd skip school altogether and aim straight for MENSA.

DS (now 2.6) is just beginning to get beyond 20 words, mix of German and English. He uses the easier one - play dough is "Knet" which is easier to say!

DD (15 mo) is finding speaking easier, so I'm hopeful that it will be less of a struggle with her.

Everyone will tell say, oh relax, it takes time, but TBH being able to speak with your child is such a helpful thing, it's hard to not want it to happen faster!

KashaSarrasin Fri 12-Sep-08 20:22:23

DS1 is 3.3 and bilingual English/French. He didn't really start speaking in phrases until approaching 3, and it's only since he turned 3 that he's speaking in sentences, but he's improved very quickly recently. However, we moved from France to the UK when he was 20mo and I think the change of "environmental" language slowed him down quite a bit. Now DH is the only person who talks to him in French regularly and English is definitely DS1's dominant language, although he's still mixing French and English words in sentences quite a lot.

DS2 is 10 weeks old, not really talking either language yet! wink

pena Mon 15-Sep-08 05:38:54

DS1 only spoke at 2 yo. Paed even started getting worried that he would be behind - I think DH told her to shut up since he was determined that our kids speak French, Mandarin and English.

6 years on - ds is fully fluent in all 3 - we went thru' periods when he would mix things up. He's not 100% great in each language compared to a monolingual child e.g. he still makes gender mistakes in French, and the number of times we have to remind him that its "j'ai faim" and not je suis... oh well, but otherwise, we coped bec. I think we were very disciplined - the main approach that experts endorse is the OPOL one parent one language, plus the community language. That has worked for us.

DD started speaking at 6 months and in full sentences at 1.5 yo. But then she's got a unique talent for languages plus being a girl and being 2nd child.

Just don't get stressed - keep the languages going. Stick to your guns

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