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Old 05-25-2008, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Manitoba
793 posts, read 1,492,524 times
Reputation: 231

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Both my girlfriend and I are Bilingual. We both know English and another language, because from our different backgrounds and where we were born. Some of my family and some of her family know some English, and others struggle with it. So I thought it be nice to have our future kids to learn all 3 languages from an early start. I heard kids can learn very quickly.

But I don't know how to precede. I am just concern if we do it the wrong way they might get all confused and even be behind when it is time for them to start school.

Is there anyone here who has gone through this before or anyone for that matter, who can inlight me?
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Old 05-25-2008, 01:55 PM
 
4,891 posts, read 12,132,928 times
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i have some experience with this. i myself learned a different language before english. my son is now also learning a different language besides english. in his situation he is learning both at the same time. he understands everything we say to him, but is just slightly behind in speaking. he does say some words--he just turned 2. we were told he should say 25 words, but they are giving him 6 months extra because he is "bi lingual".

i actually knew someone who spoke to her daughter in 3 languages. she would say each thing in each language for her. i didnt see them for long after that so i am not sure how it worked out.

i think in your situation the best thing to do would be for you to speak only your language to your child. for your wife/girlfriend to speak only her language to the child. as the child gets older, english will be learned from other children, school and TV. dont worry about english., the child will learn it. you just concentrate on the other languages--and dont let ANYONE!!!! deter you from your mission.

everyone will have an opinion, and doctors, neighbors etc will say it's too hard. its not. kids brains are like sponges. my son understands everything--people are amazed by how much he knows without even speaking.
good luck to you
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Old 05-25-2008, 02:16 PM
 
Location: UK
2,579 posts, read 1,539,482 times
Reputation: 1662
I couldn´t agree more with Findinghope!!!

We are a trilingual family and the children understand, speak and read all three languages.
We did exactly what it was suggeted to you. I only speak Italian to them and my husband, who is perfectly bilingual (Spanish and English) speaks only Spanish to them. They picked up the English from school and friends and they still go to an English school even though we now live in Spain.
At home if the children are present I only speak Italian and my husband only speaks Spanish (it helps that we both understand each other language).

We also made an efford to buy videos/DVD in both Italian and Spanish to rienforce what they learned at home. Inevitably though their strongest language is the one of the Country they are living in.

As far as beeing slow in learning to speak that was not our experience but it may happen, do not worry, the brain is an amazing thing and if that happens, the children will catch up once they sort out the languages in their head.
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Old 05-25-2008, 02:28 PM
 
4,891 posts, read 12,132,928 times
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my little one just refuses to say the words. he makes the sounds of what the object is, or what to do with it. he makes a kind of code with his hands. i tell him the word--he laughs and shakes his head no when i ask him to say it.
so when i say he is delayed in speaking, its because he is being a brat about it---he knows exactly what is going on.
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Old 05-25-2008, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Manitoba
793 posts, read 1,492,524 times
Reputation: 231
will it confuse them if my gf and I speak English to each other and a different language to the kids? She doesn't know my native language and I don't know hers.
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Old 05-25-2008, 02:44 PM
 
4,891 posts, read 12,132,928 times
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no it wont be confusing, because the child will just "get it". kids understand what goes on around them because that is their world. other kids may come into your house and not realize what is going on, but your child will....
start from day 1. they handed my son to me in the hospital, and i just started to speak in our language--not enlglish. of course no one in the room realized what was going on, but they dont need to. he and i were "conversing".

i just tested my son and asked him to point to a bunnch of things i was saying. he got every one right in both languages--butlaughed when i asked him to say it--he will get it eventually. i am very patient and he MUST learn--lol. i am adament about it. it helped me so much in school, even though i went to school here in america.
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Old 05-25-2008, 03:44 PM
 
Location: UK
2,579 posts, read 1,539,482 times
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My husband who grow up bilingual took a while before starting to speak and when he started some of the first words were a mixture of both languages ("shoepatos", for example, the combination of shoes and zapatos).

He then went quiet for a few months and when he started to speak again everything was clear in his mind and never made a mistake again.

Now he speaks fluently two more languages
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Old 05-25-2008, 05:56 PM
 
Location: South FL
9,444 posts, read 10,161,843 times
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Children are like sponges. They soak all the information in, absorb it and the sort it out.
We are bilingual family. We speak to our son freely without thinking, I speak Russian and English and Joel only speaks English to him. Nanny speaks Russian. Max speaks both languages freely.
All you have to do is to talk to them in all 3 languages, expose them to it and they WILL LEARN.
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Old 05-25-2008, 09:51 PM
 
Location: In a delirium
2,588 posts, read 3,703,185 times
Reputation: 1318
A good friend of mine grew up speaking English, Spanish, Italian and Hebrew. That was the make-up of his family and he did just fine. His kids are now growing up with multiple languages and so far have been doing just fine. I've said nothing new, just adding more anecdotal evidence. Your kids are lucky to have this opportunity.
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Old 05-26-2008, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Loudoun County, VA
1,148 posts, read 2,368,364 times
Reputation: 396
Our 23-month-old has been learning three languages since last fall. My native tongue, DH's (english) and baby-sitter's (spanish). No problems so far, I've heard it's good to stick with your language, like one person, one language.
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