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You don't have to explain anything to kids,they just get it!
My wife (chinese) talks to the kids (3.5 & 1.5) in Mandarin and I talk to them in Scottish ('Scottlish' according to our eldest). They jump between the two languages naturally and depending who they are talking to. They know to speak chinese when talking to my wifes family and to switch to scottlish when talking to my family or anyone out and about in scotland.
Over xmas last year my wife and the kids went to china for 6 weeks so she could catch up with family. Our eldest went with a basic knowledge of mandarin but came back fluent. When i met them at the airport she was apprehensive about talking 'scottlish' with me and it took her about a week to relearn or get confident again with the english she knew.
She knows that my mandaring is negligible and always translates for me :) "mummy told us that we should....."
Kids are fucking amazing, their brains are little sponges that soak up so, so much!
- How did you get on with their very earliest years? I feel like I'm confusing her when I state something in English, which she's learned in something in Italian.Nairn
- Just run with it. Dont try to differentiate between the languages. Talk tothe wee one in both languages and they just get it! theyll know that daddy...microkorg
- ..doesnt understand italian. and if they want water and are saying it in italian and you dont understand, they'll learn that and workaround and communicate..microkorg
- ..another way :)microkorg
- Our youngest comes out with chinese words i dont know and when he realises i dont know he'll try to make me understand. its amazing.microkorg
- That's exactly my worry, thanks
- Same experience here. Just go with it, kids figure it outGnash
- i know couples that live in a country but are both from different countries themselves. 4 yo kids can speak three languages fluent for their age...crazyoey_oey