Anybody Have a Partner Who Doesn't Want to Speak Their Native Language to Your Kids - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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Multicultural Families > Anybody Have a Partner Who Doesn't Want to Speak Their Native Language to Your Kids
Alcyone's Avatar Alcyone 03:55 PM 06-10-2008
With Danish residency you will be required to take Danish language courses anyway, and they are paid for by the state. You might wait and see how the courses work for you before spending the money on a program like Rosetta Stone. RS is great, but it's expensive and you might not feel you need it.

nanay2bella's Avatar nanay2bella 04:17 PM 06-10-2008
I am a native speaker of Tagalog.And i swore from the moment of conception that my DD is gonna speak both and also teach my DH at the same time. But the busy life of a new parent and working mom just drains me out of the energy to switch nbetween two languages. IT bothers me. BUt i guess it is not to late to start again. DH been on my case. I better heed.
WC_hapamama's Avatar WC_hapamama 09:17 PM 06-10-2008
Originally Posted by Kitsune6 View Post
My DH says he feels weird speaking Japanese to the kids. He gets really frustrated when he tries to teach them words and they don't get it right away.
I think my maternal grandmother often got frustrated at our pronunciation of words. In Japanese, putting the stress on the wrong syllable changes in the meaning of the word. Not to mention that some of the Japanese sounds are hard for us native English speakers.

When my grandparents had my mom, they decided not to raise their children as bilingual. I think that decision might have had something to do with my grandfather's experience with the internment though. I've read and been told that it's a very common experience for my mother's generation. My mom and her sibs all went to a Japanese language school when they were older though.

My kids are learning some Japanese, mostly from my MIL... polite phrases and some baby talk words for those words MIL doesn't seem to want to utter in English (stuff like poop, pee, penis, etc). MIL is weird like that.
_betsy_'s Avatar _betsy_ 10:45 PM 06-10-2008
DH insists that two languages at home (Italian and English, mostly Italian) really messed him up. He insists that English was harder to learn because of Italian being spoken at home, but I'm pretty it was hard to learn because Italian was primarily spoken at home and the family learned nglish together, mostly through Sesame Street and other TV.

I wish he would speak some Italian to DD, but he won't. She'll hear it at the ILs, though, and she's there 3 days every week, o maybe she'll pick some of it up.
SamanthaJ's Avatar SamanthaJ 02:26 AM 06-11-2008
We have this problem, too.

DH is Chinese and speaks Mandarin, but refuses to use it with our son. He is almost four years old and knows very little Chinese. He actually knows more Spanish, which is my second language.
joanq's Avatar joanq 03:27 AM 06-16-2008
My husband is the same way. I am gradually learning Spanish, but I think he should be speaking it with our son all the time. He just doesn't, not even when I remind him.

We are sending him to an expensive Montessori school so he will learn Spanish, when his dad could do it for free....sigh.
Bella Luna's Avatar Bella Luna 01:08 AM 08-05-2008
I really wish we had stuck with the OPOL as we had planned. DH felt that our daughter lost interest in learning German when she realized that he was the only one around who was able to understand her (he was a SAHD when she was little and I worked in an office all day). My ILs don't speak English either, and both sets of parents get on our case about it. I hope he will keep it up with the new little one, and that the older kids will thus become more interested. Since he is the native speaker, I feel that he has to want to teach them for it to work well. I am a pretty good conversationalist, but I can't teach them German grammar!
ledzepplon's Avatar ledzepplon 01:25 AM 08-05-2008
My dh's first language is French, and my kids have learned more French from Raffi songs than from their dad! I think it's hard because I don't speak French, and we're usually all together, so it's just awkward for him to try to speak to them in a language I don't understand. Although I've told him many times that I'd love to learn, too.
KnitterMama's Avatar KnitterMama 11:11 AM 08-29-2008
We have precisely the same problem. It seems I am more interested in preserving what of DH's culture I can, and DH isn't interested at all. He's pretty much never spoken Turkish to DS, despite my strong encouragement to do so. From the little he has communicated on the topic, it's mostly a problem of my not speaking Turkish. He has little opportunity to engage DS with the language, because he's the only person who speaks it. I really wish he would make more of an effort, but I can understand where that sentiment comes from. I've realized that if I want my DH to teach my son Turkish, I'm going to have to learn it as well, and engage my husband and my son in practicing.

I really haven't been able to learn much yet. I have a couple books, but I'm really not that type of learner. I'm hoping to be able to pick-up Rosetta Stone soon ... it's been a little out of my price range.
sandsprite's Avatar sandsprite 08:01 AM 08-31-2008
we try our best to speak Punjabi at home. and My husband and I speak punjabi together and to our youngest (non talking) child but even when we speak punjabi to my oldest (4 year old) he answers back in english we switch to english...almost unconciously. I think since he started school he speaks english instead of punjabi.

But we are planning a trip to india soon so best to get our oldest back into the habit. knowing 2 languages gave me a huge advantage, when we took french in high school is was way easier for me to learn, and when I went to portuagal I was amazed at how fast I picked it up compared to my friends, I think it is because when you already know 2 languages is way easier to pick up a third or forth language.
dex_millie's Avatar dex_millie 11:11 PM 08-31-2008
It is good that he is at least going to a class, hopefully dad will realize the importance soon.

I am half french and my grandmother(married a english guy, not my father bio-dad) didn't teach my dad the language, hence we didn't get thought. Results when we meet our french side(well my father fater side) of the family only one of them knew english and we had a sit down dinner with a heap of translations inbetween. We haven't seen them again, how would we communicate. I actually don't care for learning it now and am trying to learn spanish (even went Puerto Rico) and will get my son involve in spanish also. I guess we will do french as the next language.
sandsprite's Avatar sandsprite 11:32 PM 08-31-2008
If you know spanish, french is not that hard to pick up. one of the romance languages... and vica versa.

We learned french in school and I found it very helpful when were were in Spain/Portugal... it was much easier to pick up those languages when you have a little french exposure.
LauraN's Avatar LauraN 12:02 AM 09-01-2008
I am so relieved to read about all these experiences. In our case, both DH and I speak second languages, but only speak English to our kids (me=Spanish, him=Arabic).

It's not on purpose--we both want our kids to speak all three languages. But it's really, really hard to speak to our kids in a language the other doesn't speak. It's much more natural to speak to them in the one language we have in common.

We've gotten a lot of flack from both our families for not working harder to teach the kids languages. And we both know they're right. It's just hard.

So our solution was to move to Miami . DH's family lives here, so the kids hear Arabic daily now. And it's Miami, so they hear Spanish all around them.

The move turned out to be the right thing for us. The kids have become a lot more interested in learning both Spanish and Arabic, and have recently begun trying to speak Arabic to their grandparents. :
mags's Avatar mags 12:31 AM 09-01-2008
Could it be that some of you who are hesitant to speak (or your partner who is hesitant to speak) are self conscious? My DH speaks korean, but pretty much only exclusively with family member and only when necessary when going to the korean store or restaurant. He is very self conscious about his korean. He immigrated to the US from south korea when he was 7 yrs old and feels that his korean is at the skill of, "baby" korean. I have encouraged him to speak to our kids in korean and he seems to forget to do it. Usually, he will just teach them what x is called in korean. So, they are picking up some vocab, but don't hear conversational korean.

As for me, my parents spoke both taiwanese and mandarin at home. I learned mandarin, was sent to school not knowing any english at home. My parents freaked out and wanted us to only speak english at home (while they spoke mandarin to us). Then around jr high aged, my parents suddenly decided they wanted us to speak back to them in mandarin, but by then, we weren't used to it and just couldn't get into that mode. So, while I understand mandarin and taiwanese, I speak HORRIBLE mandarin and taiwanese (and they even sent me to chinese school on sundays, which was a torture and a waste of time). I regret that my parents did not have my siblings and I speak mandarin at home.

So, my question to all of you who want your spouse to speak another language with your child. Do you expect your child to speak back to your spouse in that language? If you don't make them do that, they will end up like me, and understand the language, but their speaking skills will not be very good.
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