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Q&A: How many languages can a small child learn at the same time?

Q&A: How many languages can a small child learn at the same time?

  Question Hello, I am a native Hindi-speaker and so is my husband. We live in USA and are fluent in English, too. Our nanny is Romanian but speaks (non-native) Spanish. Our 7-month-old daughter spends majority of time with the nanny and my parents, who speak Hindi with her. I am trying to also teach […]

International Mother Language Day 2015 - #IMLD campaign

International Mother Language Day 2015 – #IMLD campaign

The International Mother Language Day is observed every year on the 21st of February. UNESCO officially proclaimed the day in 1999 with the aim to promote “linguistic diversity and multilingual education” and to develop the “awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions all over the world” thereby inspiring “international solidarity based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue”. Language […]

Many languages, one identity

Many languages, one identity

In a recent radio program on multilingualism the bilingual poet and Professor Gustavo Perez Firmat stated that he feels very differently about his two languages, with English being a happier language than Spanish. He also answered ‘Yes’ to the question whether he felt like a different person when speaking each language. I find this very […]

7 things that happen to parents raising a bilingual child

7 things that happen to parents raising a bilingual child

No two multilingual families are the same and children learn their languages differently, but some things that parents of bilingual children experience seem to be universal. As a parent bringing up your child to speak more than one language, you… 1. Become more aware of your native language Because you know that your child will […]

Bilingual! Bicultural? Do you know where I am coming from?

Bilingual! Bicultural? Do you know where I am coming from?

“Where are you from?” that was one of the questions from last week’s post – a question to be mindful of when speaking to a bilingual or bicultural child. Many adult bilinguals have however said to me that they don’t mind being asked where they come from – and I do agree with them. I […]

Mother tongue - how do you define yours?

Mother tongue – how do you define yours?

Happy International Mother Language Day! There could not be a more appropriate day than today to reflect on the term ‘mother tongue’ – but what does it really mean, especially if you speak more than one language? How should the term be defined in general and what specific meaning does it have to me? Warning: […]

I wish I wasn’t bilingual! - nah, not really

I wish I wasn’t bilingual! – nah, not really

To me there is no doubt that being bilingual can only be beneficial for you. Some people have challenged my view and asked me to write about situations that would have been easier had I been monolingual. Right. Hmm. OK, for the sake of balance it is only fair to take on this challenge and […]

Things we take for granted

Things we take for granted

While picking some juicy blackberries in the back garden for my breakfast cereal, I noticed how well the pears are coming on this year and will soon also be ready for my morning muesli. Except for cutting the brambles back once in a while, it hasn’t required much effort from me to get these delicacies. […]

How languages help you in your career – examples from my life

How languages help you in your career – examples from my life

Being able to speak more than one language is definitely beneficial to your career, I know this from my own experience. Sometimes this manifests itself in ways that you could not have imagined. Finding a job in today’s competitive world is a challenge and will certainly be even more so in the future. Any advantage […]