Bilingual kids

For all parenting topics or issues related to breastfeeding, babywearing, gentle and respectful support, babysleep, childcare, etc.
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Beiträge: 9
Registriert: 04.03.2011, 10:27
Wohnort: nähe köln

Re: Bilingual kids

Beitrag von missyursula »

hi everybody!

another german american here! am an army brat so i was born in germany but spent my childhood in the states. we moved to germany with my mom when i was 15...have only been back to the states on vacation to visit famil. so my dominant language right now is definitely german. i worked in an english speaking hospital in the uae for 2 years which did wonders for my vocabulary! :) things get kinda rusty after a while...

anyway, our little one isn't even 3 months yet but i'm thinking about the whole bilingual thing will definitely be tough because my partner is german and that's what we talk all day. like one of you said, even though i speak english fluently, babytalk is still more natural in german...

i think it'll be really tough teaching her both languages here in germany (my nephew doesn't speak/understand a word of english!)...which is why i am soooo hoping to move somewhere else again! :D and just to make matters even more complicated- my partner is also fluent in french....sigh....
tochter 11.1.11 :-)

German Kiwi
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Beiträge: 17
Registriert: 29.03.2011, 16:42

Re: Bilingual kids

Beitrag von German Kiwi »

Hi there!

I am TRYING to raise my daughter bilingual.
My husband speaks English and I speak German, but not having much contact to other Germans I really struggle to say more than a couple of sentences in German on a day to day basis. I constantly fall back into German. I have lived in New Zealand for 5 years now and my German has become very rusty...
I really hope that I can force myself to speak more German to my daughter, especially because she has just turned 1 year old and is starting to imitate some words.

gut eingelebt
Beiträge: 36
Registriert: 01.04.2011, 16:32
Wohnort: Sauðárkrókur/ Ísland

Re: Bilingual kids

Beitrag von malakira »

does anybody have experience with using 3 languages?
I am German, my husband is Icelander and we do often use English for communication as well. We both speak all 3 languages so there is no real need it is just a "left-over" from the beginning of the relationship, when my Icelandic was non existent and his German rather rusty. Now we are expecting our first child and living on Iceland, its strongest language will probably be Icelandic, but I would like to use German, my mother-tongue when talking to the baby. But as I said we do speak quite a lot English at home.
I studied languages and also language acquisition but I would really like to get some real life input.


gut eingelebt
Beiträge: 31
Registriert: 11.04.2011, 22:28

Re: Bilingual kids

Beitrag von moosmutzel »

I was at first very worried that I wouldn't be able to speak German with the little guy (I can't even speak German with the cats). I am in the States for 7 years and even so I study German since we moved away from the college town I barely have contact to my German speaking friends (except on Facebook). And I never had any experience with children/ babies in Germany. But it came very naturally after a few weeks to speak German with him. I still struggle to speak German with him when non-German speakers are around - this is more a politeness thing, with friends we always switch to English when somebody who doesn't speak German comes around. There are certain things I just always say in English in the middle of a German sentence like: "Wollen wir nursies/ boobies haben?", but I think that's ok and no harm will be done.
I struggle more with everyday baby items, like when I talk to my mom. I am missing some German vocabulary for lots of things baby related .

For the Three languages question. I don't have any experience with it myself, but I've seen it done before. We had friends in the States where the mom spoke German with the girl (mom was raised bilingual in German and Farsi), Dad spoke Farsi most of the time and at Day care/ school she spoke English. When I last saw her she was about 7 and spoke all three languages fluently. The parents spoke mostly Farsi at home, but mom was fluent in all three and dad spoke ok English and some German (and also some Kurdish Dialekt and what not). I think for something like that consistency is the key. One parent only one language, the other parent the second language and outside the house for example the third.

ist nicht mehr wegzudenken
Beiträge: 1358
Registriert: 13.07.2008, 15:17
Wohnort: Oberösterreich

Re: Bilingual kids

Beitrag von Semiralinda »

May I join in :) ?
We are a trilingual family, my husband is from Puerto Rico and he himself has been raised biligual (English and Spanish), I am from Austria and we currently live in Austria.
My husband has always been using Spanish with the kids, while me and my husband started out in English (since I didn´t speak a single word of Spanish :oops: ). Our family-language is Spanish, so we don´t really follow the OPOL concept. When we are all together as a family (e.g. at dinner time) Spanish is used by everyone. I mainly speak German to the kids. We really did not "teach" them English, but since they have also been hearing it a lot from us, they sort of picked up many things :) .....

Our oldest son (13) is quite fluent in Spanish, while our oldest daughter (11) has picked English as her favourite :)....apart from German of course.
Liebe Grüße,
Arabella und die fantastischen Fünf (03/98, 03/00, 06/03, 12/07, 05/10)
und Sternenkind Angelito * 12.02.13 / 15. SSW

Not all those who wander are lost. - J.R.R. Tolkien