Q&A: Introducing a language at a later stage

by | Jun 9, 2014 | Coaches, Q&A Being the parent in a multilingual family | 0 comments


In our family it’s a bit crowded, I’m Romanian, my husband is Chinese-Dutch – born and raised in the Netherlands. We met in London, so we spoke English. We then moved to The Hague and now we have to daughters: one just turned 2, and the other is 3 months. My husband speaks Dutch but also English with the children. I speak English too because I thought my own language is not going to have a place. They hear Dutch and Chinese now and then (grandparents are not around too much) and at this point I’m trying to find information about how I can improve this situation. I have the feeling that I am not doing a good job, a bit disappointed – I would like to speak my own language. I’m not sure if I can still introduce Romanian, it may be too late?


Don’t get down on yourself, you’re doing the best you can! What you need is a plan and it’s never too late! Yes, you can still introduce Romanian but you will have to do so gradually. Make sure it’s fun and playful for your daughters’ sakes! Maybe an idea would be to start reading lots of picture books with them in Romanian. Do you have any? Or just get some picture books in English and with a black marker write in the words for yourself. Start building your collection of children’s books, music, games, etc. Teach them games and songs you learned as a child and when you play with your girls, play with them in Romanian. Little by little it will become more natural for you and your daughters will begin to learn. They are still very young and will learn quickly.
Please let us know how it goes!
Maria Babin

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