Multi-lingual kids

Brianna was playing with a little friend today. Yelling and being loud – of course.

Me – in Dutch: “Brianna, stop yelling! I know you guys are playing but don’t be so loud.”

Brianna: “OK papi”

Brianna’s little friend – in Spanish: “What did your dad say?”

Brianna – in Spanish: “Oh, nothing.”

Our Brianna speaks almost exclusively Spanish but she understands Spanish, Dutch and English. Some words she’ll speak in Dutch, a few in English because English is so easy and universally present. Patricia and I still speak English together more than we do Spanish. Patricia says I can go out and practice my Spanish any time I want but she doesn’t get to speak English much outside the house and she wants to keep up her English skills, which makes sense.

Some people say having a multi-lingual child will benefit her down the line, others say it will confuse her at this early stage. I don’t think it will affect her much one way or the other. Many kids here in Peru are multi-lingual Quechua – Spanish but for some reason nobody talks much about that. But when a child is multi-lingual with one of those so called “first world” languages it’s a big deal? What’s up with that anyway?

multi lingual kids

Our beautiful girls

2 thoughts on “Multi-lingual kids

  1. Yeah, you’re right, Quechua doesn’t seem to “count”. Where I live in Germany, people think that being bilingual in German/English would be excellent, but being bilingual in German/Turkish is a “problem” because the German might not be perfect and that would affect the kid at school. But there is research that bilingual people have lower rates of dementia, I believe. Whatever, I think it’s pretty cool. I seem to have spent half my life trying to learn languages. I don’t think I’ll ever get over my jealousy of people who just grow up with two or more mother tongues!

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