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When the child hears several languages

When the child hears several languages


When I spoke about language, some moms raised the issue of children having parents of different nationalities and so I have heard since several languages ​​are born. Apart from the situation of mixed marriages, we also meet the situation of children with Romanian parents but living in another country.

All these children have heard since they are at least two different languages. We try to approach this topic because many questions refer to speech delays or the way children learn multiple languages ​​at once.
The most important thing for a beginner is that one of the languages ​​becomes "mother tongue". It is the language in which the mother speaks to the child, most often the mother tongue of the mother. The language is important from the beginning, being associated with the mother's voice and her love.
That is the first language the child hears when he is born and, after recent studies, he is accustomed to it even before birth. Naturally she is the first to be understood and the first to be spoken because the little one hears it most often in the first period of life.
If the father speaks another language and the parents speak to each other in a language different from the mother's, then the child will be familiar with this language depending on how much he or she is with them or their father.
After one year, when contacts with other people multiply, when the child goes to the park and meets other children and other adults, he hears another language if they live in a foreign country. If she goes to kindergarten or kindergarten, she will soon be able to understand the language spoken in that place even if the mother continues to speak it in her language.
These children understand both languages ​​without difficulty, but some of them start speaking later and often a mixed language, which is difficult to understand. As we talked about speech delays, the child's ability and willingness to communicate is important.
Of course we meet children who at 3-4 years speak 2 or even 3 languages. We also meet children who understand 2-3 languages ​​but prefer to speak in one.
The test stone is to manage to understand and speak the language spoken by other children with whom they come into contact for children in a country other than the country of origin of the parents.
That is why they need to get in touch with those children as soon as possible and not just with the mother.
The good part is that little ones do not make a clear difference between languages ​​and do not consider a language more difficult or difficult to learn, pronounced than another. In addition, they have great flexibility and can make sounds that we pronounce with great difficulty.
In many countries there are orthophonists who deal with children of other nationalities helping them learn the language of the country in order to deal with kindergarten and school. Most families get to speak at home, among them in the language of the country of origin, their mother tongue and outside the home, at school, shopping, service, etc. in the language of the country.
The questions from the mothers were related, however, more to the mixed marriages and the children from them. The mother speaks one language, the father speaks another language. What language will the child speak? Depending on how much he hears the language spoken by his father or parents when they are together.
Each couple has a certain conception of this and it is probably formed before the birth of the child. Mixed couples have a common language even if they have different mother tongues. I am sure that among the mothers who come to this site we will find some who heard themselves when they were little more languages, either because they come from mixed marriages or they were born in areas where several nationalities live together. Their experiences will be of great help to us.
I am waiting for you on Monday, February 25th, to talk about all this and to find out together some of your experiences.
Anca Munteanu
Psychologist - Child psychology
Center of Action Psychology and Psychotherapy