Finding resources to support your child’s language development is something most parents of future bilinguals find themselves doing on a regular basis. It is also the question which is most frequently asked in parents’ forums. Therefore I have decided to start a resource collection for multilingual families, and today’s post is the first installment, listing links to pages with free on-line books in several languages as well as a page where you can create a story in your own language.
Children’s Library is run by the non-profit organisation International Children’s Digital Library Foundation. Their mission it is to “support the world’s children in becoming effective members of the global community – who exhibit tolerance and respect for diverse cultures, languages and ideas — by making the best in children’s literature available online free of charge.” You can look for books by language and narrow the search down by age, fact or fiction, length of book, characters, even by the colour of the book cover! You will find both old classics and newer books on this site. What I especially like is their wide selection of languages – today’s count is 59, ranging from Afrikaans to Yiddish. All the books are shown in the chosen language.
Children’s Books Online
Children’s Books Online by the Rosetta Project has an impressive collection of children’s illustrated books with translations into 46 different languages (from Amharic to Vietnamese). They have been collecting translations since 1996 and are continuously adding more books. Most books are classic and in English, with the translations provided in a pop-up window. Some books also have a free audio version and multimedia files (downloadable for a fee). The Rosetta project is all the time looking for more volunteer translators should you be interested in taking part in this project!
Children’s Books Forever
Children’s Books Forever has a smaller selection of colourfully illustrated children’s books in ten different languages (currently Afrikaans, Danish, English, Finnish, German, Indonesian, Japanese, Norwegian, Spanish and Swedish) which have been made available free by the author Hans Wilhelm. You can even download them and read them off-line.
A lovely site to fit any language, as there are only illustrations! You can select from hundreds of different characters and create your very own storybook – as a surprise for your little one or why not do it together with your slightly older child. The site is free to use, though you do have to create an account. Children over 13 can create their own account and get imaginative!
Today’s links are for pages with books in many different languages, but I will also put together language specific lists later on. Please, tell me about your favourite resources and I will add them to the collection!