Anonymous

Bilingual parents

Which language did you start teaching your baby first? I’m bilingual my husband speaks only English.. I try to talk to our baby in my native language majority of the time but end up speaking English a lot of well especially when DH is around. I want to start teaching her words, letters, numbers, etc (with flash cards) but not sure which to start with or do both but I don’t want to overwhelm her. How does it work out when one parent is bilingual or if both parents are but speak one language that’s different? (Ex: both speak English but one speaks Spanish and the other speaks French)

  • Elena
    Feb 26

    Bilingual mommy here too I teach my son my native language because he can't avoid but to learn English in day care-preschool ect. I asked a my pediatrician and she said it's not a problem they just talk a bit later that's all

  • Jess
    Feb 26

    We are a bilingual house. My hubby speaks Italian and English. I speak English and know a little Italian. He speaks Italian to her and I speak English to her. Working out great. Pediatrician says keep going that way. We also video call his parents everyday to try to immerse her in as much as we can.

  • Raji
    Feb 26

    We are a trilingual household. Between my husband and I we speak English. My native language is Punjabi and his is Mandarin. My daughter is 14 months and a talker. She spent lots of time with my parents who only speak my native language and she understands and speaks many words. Usually I speak to her in Punjabi and English and working on husband speaking to her more in mandarin. She seems to be doing fine in all three so far.

  • Marika
    Feb 26

    Hi similar situation as yours. I speak German as my mother tounge and my husband only speaks and understands English. From day 1 I only speak German to my son despite the people around me not understanding what I am saying. My son is 3 1/2 right now and understands anything I tell him. He speaks mixed German and English with me with a lot of English but I recently asking him to use more German with me and he does. Kids are amazing and having this natural ability to pick up language. Just expose them and they will learn :)

  • Michaela
    Feb 27

    My husband speaks Arabic and English while I only speak English. I initially felt a lot of guilt for not being able to help my son with learning his second language but now I feel that it won’t be a major hiccup as he spends a lot of time with his Arabic speaking side of the family and I also play a lot of Arabic music and have Arabic books for him. I also use some Arabic words that I have picked up. Just simple things like up, walk, come, go, food terms, etc., so maybe your husband could start doing that!

  • Casanova
    Feb 28

    It’s great for them to learn other languages. Start off with the native ones and they will learn English on school that’s what my parents did and what I did with my son and he speaks both languages now

  • Anonymous
    Feb 28

    Michaela, did you ever feel left out though when your son and husband would talk? Mine is worried he won’t be able to communicate with LO

  • Michaela
    Feb 28

    He’s only 9 months now so I’m not sure how left out I will feel when my son actually speaks back but I can say since he was born I have already picked up so much Arabic that I generally know the topic of conversation and so I don’t feel too badly left out. I imagine that as he gets older I will learn even more. Also to me, the benefits of my son knowing two languages outweighs that emotion. Because there are a lot of benefits in it