12 Jul 2010

#7 - I Comment Therefore I Am: Trilingua Challenge

I Comment Therefore I Am is hosted by Unknown Mami and consists putting together a list of comments you left on different blogs and then publish it as a post on your own blog.

Few days ago Unknown Mami wrote about how hard she was finding it teaching her little girl Spanish in a household where English is the first language. Unknown Mami speaks Spanish but her English is stronger than Spanish, but she is determined to teacher Unknown Baby Spanish because that will have another advantage in her adult life: to know more languages is worthwhile.

Her post made me think about my situation, therefore I wrote:

Wow, I have a big task when I am Mama then. Because I have been brought up speaking three different languages.

In an ideal world I would like to teach my little ones how to speak Ghanaian and Italian. I was raised in a household in which I spoke Ghanaian with my mother, Italian with my brother. When I was with my friends I spoke in Italian and the same at school.

Then I met my Hubby who is English.

Now, my dream is teach Ghanaian to my children in this way they can speak with my family in Ghana. Also I want them to learn Italian so they can find it easy to travel to Italy. English will be must due to their father, English relatives and school.

But how do I combine the three at home. I can speak Ghanaian but can't write it. Italian is my first language because I can write, read and speak it.

This is going to be a big challenge.
Unknown Mami

Does anyone of you speak three languages? How do you teach your children a different language?


  1. Hello! I've joined in with this game this week. It's a lot of fun turning your comments into a post, isn't it?

    Your kids are going to be so privileged to have a triple heritage. What a worldview they will have!

  2. My husband and I speak some Irish (although he spoke it more than I did growing up) and I really want our kids to speak it too. I've studied French and German and a bit of Japanese too, but I don't know if I'll be able to pass all those on!

  3. I learned Spanish in college. I could decently speak or write it, but could read it really well. My dialect from back home is an English dialect, but there are cultural things that I plan to pass on to my kids. I am going to teach my children sign language and spanish as best I can and then enroll them into a program that will take up where I don't have the skill.

  4. Even if it doesn't completely work it worth a try. I wish I knew some Italian because my father side of the family traces itself back there but a number generations removed from the homeland.
    I know that when I'm fortunate enough to visit a non-English country I able to pick up a few words. The visits to those place would help.

  5. I'm jealous that you speak so many languages and I think it would be a blessing for your children to be able to speak them all too.

  6. That is a challenge indeed! I am American and live with my Italian husband in Italy. I spoke English only to my boys until they started grade school and then it all got very complicated. Also because my husband doesn't take the bilingual thing seriously and laughs when I speak English at home now. Argh!

  7. As far as I'm concerned, the more languages the better and the younger they start learning, the easier they'll adapt. My hubby speaks French (his ex is French) and so does my step-son.

    I speak and understand school French, but our kids don't yet. Neither of us speak our native Nigerian languages which I consider a loss as we can't pass them on to our kids.

  8. Stopping by from SITS...

    How wonderful! I don't speak any other language fluently but my kids have learned a bit of Spanish in school. (I actually learned Italian and French in school.)

    I remember reading once that children under 3 or 4 don't differentiate between languages... they just consider it "language". I guess the key is to speak all the languages to your little one.

  9. I speak Spanish - that is indeed my first language and my daughter spoke it fluently but now she's starting to forget it because of course my husband doesn't speak Spanish.
    She understands it but when it's your first language, I guess you never really forget it! So it's great to build the foundation for them even if they aren't completely fluent, they will remember and know!


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