Language

The latest Q asked to me now a days is ‘So what all does R speak?” to which I answer..actually nothing..just a lot of noises apart from ‘Amma’ and ‘Appa’ (The Taaa has disappeared :() and then the next question is ‘Which language does she understand?’ Now that is a very very tricky Q and I really dont have an answer for that…
The problem is that we speak to her in multiple languages and I am not sure which one she understands….Though we are basically Iyers by caste, I cant really speak good Tamil or Malayalam..Born in Cal and brought up in Gujarat, I am not very familiar with Tamil and hence I speak fluent Gujarati…Since our neighbours were Maharashtrians…I can understand and speak broken Marathi…Hindi and English by default..and Since my mom is from Cal…I can understand Bengali as well…I usually converse with my bro in Hindi or Guju..while my hubby who is from Cal..usually speaks to his sister in Bengali..my in-laws speak to each other in more of Malayalam since they are from there while my parents converse either in English or Tamil..in this entire confusion…I really dont know what to speak to R…Since she was in Guj when she was born..the first 5 months she heard only Gujju becoz of the maids in my house..then after coming here my MIL would speak to her mostly in Tamil and me in Gujju…hubby would swing between different languages…Once I put her to daycare..they mentioned that she didnt understand too much Hindi or English and told me to speak to her in either of the languages or perhaps Gujju since we live in a Gujju area…So now, I speak to her in English, Hindi and Gujju while Hubby wants her to learn the mother tongue and speaks to her in Tamil and English…when my mom was here for a week..she also spoke to her in Tamil and English while now the day care guys speak to her in Hindi, English or Marathi and Gujarati…Infact, there is a helper there whom R loves..and she speaks to her in Kannada…So, now I dont know which language R speaks..she has her own baby language of course…which is a mix of high consonants and low consonants and screams and shouts….She does respond to all languages. though I make it a point to translate everything into English when I ask her to get something or do something….so I am hoping that she is not too confused about what to speak…is that why she hasnt spoken yet…????

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About R's Mom

Not-so-new-mom
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6 Responses to Language

  1. AverageJane says:

    I have seen this topic come up in a mommy mailing list that I'm part of. The suggested method is for each family member to stick to their preferred language. For example: if you prefer Gujurati then speak to her only in Gujurati. If your husband prefers Bengali then he should speak to her only in Bengali and the school should speak to her only in Hindi (or English?). I believe that is one of the ways of rearing a multilingual kid and the kid will soon figure out the language boundaries. The other way is to chuck all languages and for all people in the household to stick to one universal language. Let me see if I can find any links from that discussion in my mailing list. I'll come back and paste them here if I do.

  2. R's Mom says:

    @AJ: Thanks a ton..lemme try following that now πŸ™‚

  3. Which language do you and hubby converse in? I have read that babies/kids can actually identity the different languages based on the tone and sounds used for each one. My 3 yr old niece speaks in Hindi, Konkani and English, so I think these kids are very good at grasping languages. R will be a linguist too πŸ™‚

  4. R's Mom says:

    @PRiyanka: We usually converse in Hindi and English…Actually only when you asked I realised that..can you beat that :):) I hope R becomes a linguist…Linguist chodo…kuch bole toh !!!!

  5. Seena says:

    Oh we are going through same situation, I speak Malayalam, my husband speaks Telugu and between us we use Hindi and English and we are in US, she goes to a day care and their they speak Spanish and English. When my in laws were here she was speaking alot of words and then to literally no words..I didn't really bother for few months..from last couple of weeks we talk to her only in English and she really speak anything and everything we ask her and she speaks clearly..I am so thrilled and excited…

  6. R's Mom says:

    @Seena: So basically your daughter speaks all the indian languages hehehhee πŸ™‚ great to know she understands all ya..it will really be good for her in the long run

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