Tuesday, February 28, 2006


What language you introduce to your child when they born? Did you all decided b4 they born or after or like you fell what you want (use what language) to talk to them?

For us we decided after the baby was born. Firstly I (mommy) will use English to talk to my son, 1+2dad used Cantonese, my mother in law (MIL) will use Mandarin and my father in law (FIL) will use his ‘kampung’ language.

Later my MIL said that ‘kampung’ language very less used so asked my FIL to stop talk with my son with his ‘kampung’ language then talk to him with Mandarin. About 1+2dad, finally he talks to my son in English. Why?? Cause when my son know to talk he will answer 1+2dad in English so 1+2dad lazy to explain what he said and slowly he talk to him in English.

My son start talking are very slow (about 2 years plus), maybe we introduced him 2 languages in the same time so he need sometime to differentiate both language. I think maybe because most of the time I stay with him so he can talk well in English. But in Mandarin he will mix with English, he tries his best to speak Mandarin with my IL (in law).

Sometime ago I saw an article about when and how many language to introduce to the kids. It said better when they are about 0 to 3 years old and 2 languages in the same time. They can pick up very fast and they will use their brain to think the logic way when they grow.

This few days, my son tried to say Cantonese. Those children like to talk English, when they talk Cantonese are very funny. He understand what we chat but he cant answer in Cantonese. I heard he said Cantonese, so I play play with him and chat with him in Cantonese. He keep say the same word like ‘ni zhou meh yeh?’ (what are you doing?), later he laugh and laugh then dunwan talk to me again in Cantonese.

How about you all?


wHOisBaBy said...

Will use English and Cantonese, may be infused a little Penang Hokkien if possible. Hubby and I speak Canto at home and with my IL. We only speak English with friends and others who don't know Canto. As for Hokkien, I only use it with my Aunt back in KL but my Hubby can catch a few words here and there because he heard my frequent conversation with my Aunt over the phone. But I think is good for a child to learn more than 1 language.

Egghead said...

hehe... we use rojak language when talking to our son... just use the words which he is familiar with :)

maria @ twinsmom said...

me? you know lor, I speak mandarin, they asnwer me english, what to do? my whole in-law speak english, and the girls don't spend a lot of time with my parent, and now my parent speak broken english with them, jar-dou.

Msau said...

Recently I'm thinking of this topic oso ler..coz I found tat I might confuse SQ to learn particulars language ler..I'm really a super chapbalang mama..:P

Tracy said...

I used to speak English and Cantonese (Pappy will use his 'broken' English) with Destinee when she was a baby. When she was under the care of the babysitter for almost a year, her conversations were all in Cantonese.

When my maid came back, we started speaking English, Cantonese, Malay with her. And now, she wants to learn Mandarin *slap head* cos we have Mandarin speaking neigbours. My gal will oso use her Cantonese + Malay when she's with my maid.

I'm sure we need not worry about what languages we use, kids are very smart and know how to differentiate the languages as they grow older.

Lazymama said...

We speak rojak too to my girl, Cantonese + English. She is able to speak Cantonese and some English now.

Later will try to speak Mandarin to her, hopes she won't confuse.

mumsgather said...

My kiddoes speak/understand only English. Hubby is Hokkien who doesn't speak it and his canto is not that good either. I am Hokkien but hubby and I converse in English only so how? No in-laws and my dad speaks to them in English as well. So kesian my kids, no one to teach/speak to them in dialects.

Ipoh Mali said...

One can throw some of those books away. out of habit, I use english with the kids. The missus use mandarin. ut the kids understand and speaks Hakka and cantonese. they pick up hakka from conversations between wife and MIL. Cantonese from a particular channel from the pay TV. Most kids pick up languages very fast. it is a matter of whether they want to use it but believe me, they understand what u say. Maybe should start to converse with the wife in Indian lingo.

Zara's Mama said...

I wanted to talk to her in both Mandarin and English.. but ended up.. only spoke in English.. I'm still trying though.. Hopefully she'll pick up some Mandarin.

mom2ashley said...

hubs and i speak to ashley in english cause i am basically a "banana"...my mil tries to speak to ashley in cantonese

1+2mom said...

whoisbaby, great can learn 1 more language that i hope my kids also can (hokkian very useful nowaday).

egghead, we malaysian all rojak language :)

maria, y your parents speak english with your gals?? Ask them speak Mandarin so later when they see your parents will automatic say Mandarin with them.

msau, haha i think me too but i tried myself dun mix with other language in a sentences.

shiaulin said...

need not worry too much lar, I spoke with Xuan in both English and Mandarin, he can understand both (but better understanding in mandarin in some situation). Xuan can tell me this,

Banana = 香蕉
Cloud = 云
raining = 下雨
snowing = 下雪
sun = 太阳

and many more, so, what are u worry about so much?

Princess Yoyo & family said...

Ya,this is what i've been thinking since i got pregnant.At home, i use English & Mandarin to my girl,that also mean i speak a sentence twice in different language (call me crazy if u like!) Hubby uses Jpanese wth her, and when in PG last month was all Hokkien with my family, i think she is confused a bit, but what can we do?!! Perhaps she might start late in speaking, however she needs the 3 languages in our case. Hope our kids can get by with it ^^

1+2mom said...

tracy, good she can learn so many language. Difference ppl say difference language easy for her to differentiate.

jefferene, slow slow she will catch up :)

MG, nowaday kids very smart, they will learn at school later or when they meet some other friends who speak other language.

ipoh mali, thankz for drop by. hehe..same here but dunno how to talk Indian wor :)

zaramama, your zara so clever maybe 1 day she'll speak Mandarin with you.

mom2ashley, nvm ashley still young she can learn soon or later :)

shiaulin, i'm not worried just wonder what language you all used at home? I know they will pick up very fast, so we didnt talk with my children in Cantonese.

princess yoyo and family, wah!!so weird to talk twice with the kids :) but yoyo can learn so many language in same time not bad what.

Alicia said...

hmm i think parents should communicate with their children in mother tongue..

i know quite alot of kids in kl who doesn't even know how to speak in their mother tongue at all :/

Tracy said...

1+2 mom, have to borrow ur space since u started the subject.

Actually, how many of us do speak in our mother tongue nowadays?

Come to think of it. My father's a Hakka, my stepfather's a Hokkien, my mom's a Cantonese. I was under the care of my grandma and she spoke Cantonese with me. My PILs are Hokkiens but they speak Cantonese with my hubby. So, both of us (I'm a banana in Mandarin and hubby's no good in English) communicate in a mixture of Cantonese, English and Mandarin, so how do we speak ur mother tongue with our girl? Hee, hee, confused?

Then our girl will put the blame on us and we should put the blame on our parents and so on ....???*roll eyes and wondering*

Alicia, no offence, okay? Just curious only.

Angeline said...

Just drop by ur blog.
My son Ken talk more than 2 language actually.My husband & father don't know how to speak madarin..My MIL & FIL speak Tehchiew...So,we speak english after he's born.Now he in the nursery speak madarin.Beside that,nursery they have maid speak Malay.Then he is now 2 yrs old.Speak alot like "Rojak".Luckily he understand what we are saiying.Actually I don't mind he speak what kind of language as long as he know how to express what he want & make people understand.I myself know other lannguage like "Japanese".I also like him to learn also but may be later.
Don't forcing lol...See whether he got the mind of multilanguage or not.I also wish he are multilanguager...Haaa.haaa..

Alicia said...

well it's ok if kids doesn't know how to speak hokkien or hakka.. but i think parents shud at least educate children to talk in canto or mandarin?

most frens i made in kl.. only know how to communicate in bahasa and english.. and it's kinda wierd..

1+2mom said...

tracy, i think i open another post to comment about this :)

angeline, wow so good you know 1 more language other then english,bahasa, manderin and cantonese :) You can teach your son by your own, my children watch Astro NHK (japanese) since they few month old but dunno they know that they said or not..haha.

alicia, yea i agree with you but maybe they stay in KL usually talk more in Cantonese so seldom used back their mother tongue. Mostly my friend stay in KL speak Cantonese wor :)

Alicia said...

frens i made from college.. altho they're chinese.. dey can't speak in any chinese languages at all ~.~

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