12 Dec 2011

Guest Post: Unknown Mami

The Languages I have to Give languages

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I don’t remember learning to speak. I’d venture to say most people don’t. The first words I heard came to me via my family and I’m sure the first words I spoke were to my family.

Daughter to a Mexican family, I was born and raised in California. My family spoke Spanish so the words coming and going were in Spanish. I learned to speak Spanish before English. I don’t really remember learning to speak English either; it came after Spanish, but not much after and it was easy to absorb because my mind was a sponge and that’s what sponges do.

As I got older, my schooling was in English then I would come home to a world spoken in Spanish. Time passed and my world changed. The Spanish in my life shrank as English became more of my day to day language.

Now I am a mother of two girls married to a man that is not Latino and does not speak Spanish. Before we had children our home was filled with English sounds only.

The only access my daughters have to Spanish on a daily basis is me. It is up to me to teach them the language I first learned to speak and it is HARD. It’s hard when I’m the only one teaching.

Still, I will keep speaking to them in Spanish even though at times it is discouraging, even though my 3-year-old almost always answers me in English. Why? Because I want them to have all the gifts that knowing more than one language has given me. I want them to be able to think in more than one language, to understand in more than one language, to love in more than one language.

All languages are beautiful and I will gift my daughters with the languages I have to give.

___________________

Thank you Mami for this lovely post. I love Mami and I am sure you will too by clicking here

Unknown Mami

.*****

Question: Do you and your family speak any other language apart from English? 

P.S: to learn more about bringing up a multi-lingual baby read here.

9 comments:

  1. Very great post! I think knowing more than one language is always an asset. And knowing Spanish here in Miami is invaluable, in fact I'd dare say its critical.

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  2. This is a wonderful post...I love kids that speak different languages so I would hope to teach my child my native language and maybe another one like Spanish or French or both..after all kids pick up languages so easy!

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  3. I am trying to speak Ghanaian to Miss AOI as much as I can but it comes with a mix of Italian and English. I would love Miss AOI to learn French as well, but really I really hope she will grow to love languages.

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  4. I wish I grew up speaking more than English. It is such a great benefit as an adult!

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  5. we want our son to know at least three languages. I speak a little spanish and he's taking that now at this daycare. My husband speaks a little french and we'll introduce that later. I also know a wee bit of sign language. He uses some of that now. Trying to give him everything we've got!

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  6. Alas, I only speak English. All my life I've wanted to speak different languages. I've tried but I think for me it's too late. My youngest is taking Latin in high school. I think it will be a great gateway in learning other romance languages. At least I hope it is. Toi, continue to speak to your little one in all of your different languages. She will be so enriched in knowing multiple languages.

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  7. Knowing another language is definitely a great benefit. I speak French and only speak French to my little one. I hope that he will be fluent too.

    Great links by the way for the bilingual support.

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  8. Very good post. In my home we only speak english even though my husband is bilingual. He speaks Cantonese and English. I wanted to learn Cantonese before my daughter was born so that I can help teach her the language.

    Didn't happen that way, she mainly speaks english.

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