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Movies: in what language?
Thread poster: María Alejandra Funes

María Alejandra Funes
Local time: 00:40
English to Spanish
+ ...
Dec 1, 2004


I am sorry if this issue has already been discussed (if so, please just give me the thread's link).

I am a Spanish native speaker and my husband is an Arabic (Lebanese) native speaker. We live in Montreal, Canada (both French and English are spoken in the street). Our son is 1 year old. I speak only Spanish to him and my husband does it in Arabic. We have just started to show him some Baby Einstein's DVDs... and here comes our "dilemma" There is the possibility to choose from English, French or Spanish. What language should we choose? Should we choose Spanish because it's one of the languages he is familiar with? Or should we choose English or French since they are the languages he is not listening to very often? Do you have any suggestion?

Any comment will be appreciated!


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yolanda Speece  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:40
English to Spanish
+ ...
Either English or French Dec 1, 2004

I think that is a personal decision you and your husband need to discuss.

Personally, and this is just me, I think it should be a language he does not hear from you or him so that he has yet another language he will become familiar with. Maybe if you had a friend, who the baby likes and interacts with, and have that person speak to the child only in that third language you choose...that may help. Good luck with this and congratulations!


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Berni Armstrong  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:40
+ ...
Reinforce the weakest link... Dec 1, 2004

Hi there,

in your case, if you intend to live in Montreal for the forseeable future, then I think babs will get lots of opportunity to use the two street languages. You will find that once he is out on those mean streets that your home languages might appear threatened. I would take all the reinforcement help you can from watching videos in Spanish or Arab while he's little. In this case Chiquito Einstein!

Gotta stop, thunderstorm just broke out and the electricity wobbled! Bye 4 now and good luck!

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María Alejandra Funes
Local time: 00:40
English to Spanish
+ ...
Thanks! Dec 6, 2004

Thank you very much, Yolanda and Berni, for your kind answers! This is not easy... In this specific case, we have decided to choose the soundtrack in Spanish

Thanks a lot!


[Edited at 2004-12-07 00:00]

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Kimberli Mäkäräinen
Local time: 06:40
Swedish to English
+ ...
We let our kids choose May 5, 2005

At home our kids get to hear English and Finnish from us,
around town they also hear Swedish. My brother lives in Japan
with his wife and I speak some Japanese, so we also have
monolingual DVDs in Japanese.

But for the most part, we let the kids watch movies in whatever
language they want to. My spouse thought this reached
a sort of surreal peak of weirdness when our middle son was
watching Monsters, Inc. dubbed in Icelandic with Portuguese
subtitles (or the other way around, it's been a while).
Same thing with music CDs, right now they like to listen
to the Swedish version of a kids' band called Sås och Kop
(Sotta ja Pytty in Finnish). Pretty funny to hear them singing
along to Swedish, even though neither of us speak it at home

In addition, their daycare center has a number of bilingual
and a couple multilingual kids and it appears that they
teach each other words from other languages. I've noticed
that my middle son (the same one from above) can easily
pick up chunks of languages that he doesn't really speak.
This drove people insane recently when we were in Latvia
when we were on the tram. People were talking in Latvian
and Russian around him and he kept parroting back chunks
of what they were saying. Needless to say, they weren't amused.
Hopefully they weren't saying anything bad or horridly private

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Local time: 05:40
Croatian to German
+ ...
Either English or German Oct 16, 2005

I usually watch American and British movies in English. German and Austrian ones in German of course. I just can't get used to the synchronized ones they show in German and Austrian movie theaters. My parents would prefer German though.


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Local time: 05:40
Polish to English
My advice. May 10, 2007


just to throw my 5-cents' worth of opinion, I definitely think it'd be good to draw out all the languages your child will be exposed to. Obviously, if there's no stress on practicing the languages, one of them will come to dominate the others, but still I think knowing 5 languages, even if unpracticed, is a good start.

Best regards.

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