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Dutch mum/German dad

(4 Posts)
Dutchie77 Sat 11-Jun-11 21:43:48

Well, it's not very exotic LOL. We are expecting our baby in December. We already decided that it's going to have my nationality (Dutch) and his last name (German). Nice deal.

We never speak German in the house, always English, but I want to raise our child with Dutch language, next to (first of all) English and a bit of Spanish. My partner lives in the UK for 10 years (before that in Paraguay) and I moved over last year.

Any other continentals living in the UK, expecting a baby?

MmeLindor. Sat 11-Jun-11 21:47:28

Not expecting a baby, but mother of trilingual children (English/German/French).

Can I ask why you are not going to teach your baby German? Does your DP not have family in Germany? It is great that you are going to speak Dutch with your baby - it is sometimes hard work when no one else speaks the language but it is worth it.

We did a loose version of the OPOL method, but were not very strict and it worked well.

Dutchie77 Sat 11-Jun-11 22:18:51

I will google the OPOL method. Trilingual sounds great too, do the kids speak all the languages fluently?

We just don't speak German, my DP only lived in Berlin till he was 12. And my German is not very good to be honest. I mess up all the verbs and grammar. He spend more time in Paraguay, so I think we try English, Dutch, Spanish. My Spanish is okay'ish.

My plan is that I speak Dutch to our child when I'm alone with it. My partner can speak Spanish with it and when we're together we speak English. How did it work for you?

MmeLindor. Sat 11-Jun-11 23:05:19

DH is German and I am Scottish so we each spoke our own languages, when the DC were born we lived in Germany so they spoke mainly German. Our home language was and still is German.

We moved to Switzerland 2 years ago and the children went to the local school, where they learned French. Neither DH nor I speak very good French, so we hardly speak it at home.

The DC now speak mainly English, as most of their friends here are expat Brits and fluent French and German.

Yes, agree that you have to speak reasonable German for it to be worthwhile teaching it to your child. My German is very fluent, but the DC still sometimes correct me.

Sounds like you have a good plan. My advice is to stick with it, even when others tell you that is not a great idea. You get two types of comments - either "oh, that must be confusing for the child, I hope he/she can cope" or "oh, how fab, they are little sponges, at that age".

Neither is quite right, as it is not quite as easy. Particularly with a minority language, ie. Dutch in your case if you and your child are the only ones speaking it. It is a big commitment you are making, but it is such a great thing to do.

I do think that my DC learned French easier because they were already bilingual.

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