We made it to the weekend, friends! And, it’s another “Family Friday” here on the blog.
If you’re a bilingual or multilingual family out there, I hope these family interviews are encouraging you in this crazy adventure of parenting in more than one language. I don’t know about you, but I learn best when I share ideas, talk through issues, and collaborate with others to solve a problem. That’s the impetus behind this Friday series. So, with that said, I’d like to introduce you all to a family of four living life in three languages in a country dear to my heart, Spain. Read on! Give a brief snapshot of your family’s language dynamics and your family’s language policy (what language(s) do you speak, who speaks what with whom?). At home we speak Spanish, Bulgarian and a little English. G1 speaks to G2 in Spanish and N. speaks to G2 in Bulgarian. But every time we watch TV or movies we do it in English. We want to teach G2 English or at least initiate her with the “fun” side of the language in order to make her love it [from] the very beginning. What prompted your decision to raise your children bi-/multi-lingually? As both of us have a different mother tongue we thought G2 should also learn the languages of her parents so that she will be able to communicate with both our families once she is grown-up or when she starts talking. What positive growth or results have you witnessed in your children/family because of their multilingualism? I think it is awesome how such a small human being can understand [both] Spanish [and] Bulgarian even when she is only 2 years old. What challenges have you faced or are you facing with language rearing and learning? How do you handle them? Even though they say mother’s tongue is the predominant language, in our case I think [it] is the other way around because G2 speaks in Bulgarian only with N. and her grandmother and grandfather, but the rest is [in] Spanish. Although she understands N. when she speaks to her G2 answers in Spanish instead of Bulgarian. It is a huge challenge to make Bulgarian as predominant as Spanish at home. I (N.) try when I ask G2 something and she answers me in Spanish make her answer me in Bulgarian by repeating a couple of times the task or the question. How do you involve your family, community, school and/or world at large in this bi-/multilingual adventure? I ask my family to speak to G2 in Bulgarian as there are only a few of us that she speaks Bulgarian with. We try to Skype with her Bulgarian grandparents as many times as we can so she can listen to other people apart from N. What advice or encouragement can you share with other families raising their children bi-/multi-lingually? Teach your child as many languages as you can because it opens their mind and many doors in the future. It’s a gift for the future.
Gracias and Blagodarya ti
to my dear friends for sharing their family’s multilingual story with us on the blog.
If you’re a bilingual (or multilingual) family and you’d like to share your story, please contact me!