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Transplanted Mamas, can we have a show of hands? - Page 3

post #41 of 112
Thread Starter 
Regarding citizenship, I cannot imagine giving up my Canadian citizenship. Taking on another citizenship, sure. But not if that means giving up Canadian. No way.
post #42 of 112
I cook a mix. When people in the states ask what I cook, I can`t say American food, but I don`t cook traditional J. food either.

we eat brown rice and miso soup for breakfast 3-4 times a week, once a week oatmeal and once a week pancakes, Sundays or Thursdays are sort of undecided.

My DH takes an Obento (box lunch) to work. It is pretty traditional, although I don`t put fried foods in it. Brown rice and a simmered veggie dish, a protein and usually a stir fry of some sort.

We go light on the carbs at many dinners. Tonight is soba, buckwheat noodles with teriyaki chicken burgers.

I try to eat local and with the seasons, which is why it is hard to say exactly what I eat.

Post the gulyas recipe please.
Kathryn
post #43 of 112
i'm australian, married to a japanese man, with a 2yr old daughter.
i've been transplanted here for 11 years but lately there is talk of moving to australia for good.....exciting and scary at the same time!

sometimes i feel stuck between the expats here short-term and the regular japanese. i don't really fit in with either. (that sounds worse than it really is!).

to get japanese citizenship, i'd have to give up australian citizenship, so i won't be doing it.
post #44 of 112
I'm American, DH is Czech and DS is both and we live in Prague. But I'm not a classic expat/transplant/wachamacallit because my parents are Czech and I grew up bilingual. When I originally moved to Prague, it was to study, then I met my DH, got a job, we had a baby.... it was a fluid transition and Prague has always been a second home to me.

When I first came here, I knew virtually no Americans. Now, I would say our friends are 50/50 expat/native. I definitely feel at home here, I don't miss the US in a deep homesick way that would make me want to drop everything to move there, plus since DH isn't American, we wouldn't be able to move back as a family, I would have to move first and he would have to apply from Prague. But we are thinking of moving to another country, somewhere within the EU.

We speak English at home alot (DH is actually an English teacher), and DS so far is stronger in English than in Czech (he's 3).
post #45 of 112
Hey, east carolina, where are you from in the US? I ask because my parents live in Greenville, NC (I grew up in little Washington and then Greenville), home of East Carolina University.
post #46 of 112
This is such a great discussion, I'm glad I found it.

I can't say I'm a transplant (or whatever you want to call it) but DH certainly is. We live in the US, and he is from Kenya. However, we socialize about 50/50 with Americans and Kenyans, and currently have some friends from Kenya living with us, so our house is very African right now. It's been interesting hearing the kids pick up Swahili phrases! Interestingly enough, it was me with my bad Swahili who spoke it the most with the kids prior to our friends visiting, but now they're picking it up from the other kids and overhearing all the adults.

But I wanted to comment on the identity part---yeah, sometimes it can feel like you're losing your idenity (even in your "home" culture, strange as that sounds.) Sometimes I just need to get in the car, turn on some country music, and grab some BoJangles and sweet tea for lunch.....or cook some meatloaf and squash for supper....or have coffee and Cheerios for breakfast. (I guess food is the big thing for me!)

Would we move back to Kenya if we could? IF the political situation was stable, and IF we knew we could have the lifestyle we wanted--YES, in a heartbeat. I would love for my kids to be raised in that culture and speak the many languages--or at least Swahili and Luo--that would be possible there. But until then, we call the States home and DH (and I) long for the African sky.
Oh, and no, I will not give up my American citizenship.
post #47 of 112
hi east carolina!!! Another US citizen married to a Czech - though I have no Czech roots whatsoever and painstakingly learned the language when i got here 15 years ago. I don't really identify with "expat" but I like the term "transplant", it describes how I feel, which is that one day i flew in here with the wind, got stuck in the ground, sprouted some babies -- and now you could dig me up and put me in some other soil and I'd be quite happy for the different angle of the sun, new birdcalls and different climate.

Oh - and i was just in Rome! I loved it!
post #48 of 112
Thread Starter 
For those of you who are English mother tongue but not living in an English-speaking country, are your kids bilingual? Do you speak to them exclusively in English? Do they speak to you in English or in the local language? Are you finding bilingualism to be an uphill battle?
post #49 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by RomanGoddess View Post
For those of you who are English mother tongue but not living in an English-speaking country, are your kids bilingual? Do you speak to them exclusively in English? Do they speak to you in English or in the local language? Are you finding bilingualism to be an uphill battle?
I'm American and live in Holland. DS (5) is bilingual, but his Dutch is stronger than his English. He forgets words more easily in English and often uses Dutch sentence structure. I speak to him exclusively in English, but DH uses exclusively Dutch (except at the supper table, when we have an all english rule). DS speaks to me in English, but he does forget sometimes and speak to me in Dutch, especially if he's around other kids or is tired.

I have found bilingualism to be more of a battle than I expected, but, for me, it is also tied up with issues of culture and identity, so it is more than just using Dutch sentence structure in English, you know?

DS' English was completely passive when he was two, which freaked me out, so we ramped up the English by instituting the English supper table rule and making an extra effort to get English-language books, DVDs, etc. We also had to make sure that my family didn't try to speak to DS in Dutch (not that they really speak it, but they thought it was cute to mix up Dutch words they were learning when talking to him, etc..).

I'm very happy we'll be living in the US for six months next year, though, and DS can go to an American school. I think his English needs a bit more help. BTW: he also speaks English with a slight Dutch accent!
post #50 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by RomanGoddess View Post
For those of you who are English mother tongue but not living in an English-speaking country, are your kids bilingual? Do you speak to them exclusively in English? Do they speak to you in English or in the local language? Are you finding bilingualism to be an uphill battle?
I'm from the US, dh is a German-speaking Swiss. I read up on bilingualism when ds was little and every.single.source seemed to say "one person, one language". However, our family here includes a couple of mixed-language families (one is English/French and the other is German/French) and in both cases they kept it ONE language at home, and the other language for education and out in the world. In both of those families, the kids are perfectly bilingual, but they FEEL and THINK first in their home language. This is soooooo what I wanted for ds, to feel and think in English but to be fluent in German as well. So we have always spoken English at home (my dh has no accent in English luckily). Now at 5, ds is bilingual...but much, much more an English speaker...and there is a bit of an accent when he speaks Swiss German, but it's slowly fading. Other friends we have who have done one person, one language here have the mother speaking English to the kids and the kids responding to the mother in German. For whatever reasons, i never wanted this to be us!

We are looking at a lifetime of international moves though, with periodic stays back in Switzerland....so for us, English is just much more practical. I have been extremely protective of it since the beginning, and although I have gotten the critical eye many times over the years, in the end he is bilingual and the English is stronger....just like we wanted. So we're happy with how it's been developing thus far!
post #51 of 112
Thread Starter 
Calynde, sounds like you are doing the right thing. I think that often, one parent one language results in the being only passively bilingual in the minority parent language, especially if the minority parent works full time, simply because the child does not get enough exposure in the language to speak it.

Question: you said that you speak English exclusively in the home. But do you also speak English to your son when you are out and about (assuming that no one else is in the conversation?). What about when he has friends over? Or in the playground?
post #52 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by RomanGoddess View Post

Question: you said that you speak English exclusively in the home. But do you also speak English to your son when you are out and about (assuming that no one else is in the conversation?). What about when he has friends over? Or in the playground?
We both (dh and I) only speak English to ds...whether in the home or out. When he's with us in any scenario, it's English...no matter who else is around. Having said that, we don't have anyone around that doesn't at least understand English. All the Swiss we know do, so that hasn't been a problem. But I would stick to English either way. At playgroup and on the playground, ds speaks a mix of Swiss German and English. Luckily, since he's still so young, other kids don't seem to care about or react to his *creole* one way or the other. Occasionally, ds asks his dad to *play* with him in Swiss German and they do...but when play mode is switched off and they become themselves again...they go right back into English. It's interesting!
post #53 of 112
I haven't dealt with this yet but I find this interesting. We have been planning on OPOL. I haven't really worried about our child not being exposed to Danish, since we live in Denmark and basically everyone will be using Danish except me. I'm not sure how DH speaking English would help with that, but maybe I am misunderstanding something.

I don't remember what site it was now, but I was just recently reading about how one language home and another for everything else was a successful way to raise bilingual kids. It basically said as long as you are consistent and the same situations (whether it's talking to a particular person or in a particular place or at a particular time) mean the same language, the kids can keep it straight.
post #54 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinx View Post
hi east carolina!!! Another US citizen married to a Czech - though I have no Czech roots whatsoever and painstakingly learned the language when i got here 15 years ago. I don't really identify with "expat" but I like the term "transplant", it describes how I feel, which is that one day i flew in here with the wind, got stuck in the ground, sprouted some babies -- and now you could dig me up and put me in some other soil and I'd be quite happy for the different angle of the sun, new birdcalls and different climate.

Oh - and i was just in Rome! I loved it!
Hey Sphinx! Nice to see you on here, maybe we'll run into each other again at Dhaba

Quote:
Originally Posted by sadiejane08 View Post
Hey, east carolina, where are you from in the US? I ask because my parents live in Greenville, NC (I grew up in little Washington and then Greenville), home of East Carolina University.
I just chose my username because my name is Caroline and I live in one of the former "eastern bloc" countries. I grew up around Washington, D.C. I didn't even know there was an East Caroline university
post #55 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by RomanGoddess View Post
For those of you who are English mother tongue but not living in an English-speaking country, are your kids bilingual? Do you speak to them exclusively in English? Do they speak to you in English or in the local language? Are you finding bilingualism to be an uphill battle?
DD1 who is now 5 years old is completely bilingual. I speak to her in English only and can't bring myself to speak to her in Italian...I even will "read" Italian books in English, making up the story in English. She responds in English as well, although it hasn't always been this way. She even will ask me how to say somewords in Italian. There was a time when I would have said it was an uphill battle, but I wouldn't say that's the case anymore. She almost always speak in Italian with DH who's Italian.

I would like to get an English playgroup going here in our town so she could have more interaction with other English speaking people, but i think it's just too hard to coordinate with the others.
post #56 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by RomanGoddess View Post
For those of you who are English mother tongue but not living in an English-speaking country, are your kids bilingual? Do you speak to them exclusively in English? Do they speak to you in English or in the local language? Are you finding bilingualism to be an uphill battle?
We live in France, dh is algerian and I'm scottish, we speak english at home and my dd is finding the whole bilingual thing SO hard at the moment, the school are putting her forward for obligatory testing which is p***ing me off because they really aren't taking the bilingual thing into account. Anyway to answer question, the kids are bilingual, yes exclusively in english, mix up of both languages, and yes a real uphill battle. So much so, we're really considering going back to scotland and not doing the whole bilingual thing at all - but then I guess that won't really help either.
post #57 of 112
Not sure if I have responded to this thread yet, but I am a transplanted mum. DH & I speak the same language, so that is definitely easier in some ways.....

I am now a citizen of my DP's country, so when we travel I guess that means we are all on the same footing now, no matter the country we are visiting.
post #58 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alcyone View Post
I haven't dealt with this yet but I find this interesting. We have been planning on OPOL. I haven't really worried about our child not being exposed to Danish, since we live in Denmark and basically everyone will be using Danish except me. I'm not sure how DH speaking English would help with that, but maybe I am misunderstanding something.

I don't remember what site it was now, but I was just recently reading about how one language home and another for everything else was a successful way to raise bilingual kids. It basically said as long as you are consistent and the same situations (whether it's talking to a particular person or in a particular place or at a particular time) mean the same language, the kids can keep it straight.
This is what we did - DD spent the first 6 mo of her life with me as her only English source, in Czechy. Then we moved to the States and spoke exclusively Czech at home. DD understood everything, but rarely actually spoke Czech back to us. We returned to Czechy when she was 4 and within 6 months she was fluently speaking Czech. Going to a Czech school for first grade solidified that, and now she goes to English school for 2nd grade and is catching up in English. (she's 8 now) I think spoken English is her mother tongue in terms of feeling, but she is actually probably more expressive and fluent in Czech at this time. That will ebb and flow with her development in general. However, I might have done it the other way around; read/write English first, then Czech, because English has been more difficult for her. 3 yo DS, who spent 5 months of his life (from about 8 months old) in the States, has absolutely equally fluent English and Czech.

I think, Alcyone, that your DPs influence in English could actually be very useful if not vitally important, because it lets the children know that he will understand them, so they don't stray off too much into Danish with him. You could institute a home-English rule and it will be much easier to maintain with daddy participating. My children do tend to play with their father in Czech, and sometimes they listen to Czech radio shows and old Czech movies from his childhood that he wants to share with them, but otherwise we have never had a television nor have we ever used any extra didactic materials of any kind, and we haven't even been totally careful about maintaining the rules, but both languages just came very naturally for both children.

ewe & lamb - how old is your dd? When my dd was 4 and we returned to Czechy, even though we knew she had absorbed the language while we were in the States, actually having to use it was very hard for her and she was quite often very frustrated. Partly i think it was a personality thing - she doesn't like making mistakes, and is pretty shy, so having to do something that was very challenging in front of others and risk being wrong or misunderstood scared her a lot.
post #59 of 112
I immigrated twice - once when I was 12 from Russia to Israel and second time when I was 28 from Israel to US. I am married to a Romanian immigrant.

What culture are we suppose to teach our kids? Russian? Israeli? Jewish? Romanian? Christian? American? How can they learn to speak any of the languages that each of us speaks, if between ourselves we speak English?

I pretty much gave up on passing my roots to my DD. I don't think it is realistically possible, given the circumstances.
post #60 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinx View Post
I think, Alcyone, that your DPs influence in English could actually be very useful if not vitally important, because it lets the children know that he will understand them, so they don't stray off too much into Danish with him.
I honestly don't know what you're saying at all. What does that mean, "stray off too much"? Why would they think he doesn't understand them? I'm sorry, but this is confusing to me.
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