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Encourage my daughter to speak in Hindi...
Thread poster: TMOM
TMOM
English
Feb 24, 2006

I am a mother of a 3 year old and we live in the US. My husband and I speak to each other in Hindi but chose to speak to my daughter in English. What a regret!! We assumed that she will pick words from us and since she spends a lot of time in daycare we wanted her to be in comfortable understanding the English language.
However, since our recent trip to India (and ofcourse, she didnt understand any of the kids there) we have started speaking only Hindi. She understands but responds inEnglish.
How do we encourage her to use Hindi while speakign at home..


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Berni Armstrong  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:50
Member
English
+ ...
Keep at it! Feb 24, 2006

Yes, it is a pity that you didn't use mL@h (Minority Language at home) methods, but no use crying over spilt milk, as they say.

Keep at it, that's the main thing. Remind her of her trip to India and what fun she could have had if she could have understood the kids, relatives, etc. Expose her to Children's "Bollywood", if such films exist. Make her see that Hinid is a fun language.

Above all, don't despair. Your daughter is still young enough for her to pick up fluent Hindi without prejudicing the English she will need in the local community.


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TMOM
English
TOPIC STARTER
Crying over Split Milk.... Feb 24, 2006

Yes, we are regretting the non-usage of language but since she is so comfortable speakign english with y husband and me, I sense her level of frustration when we speak to her in Hindi. Also I need to help her continously to form sentences in Hindi but she doesnt remember the next time... What do I do to make the transition on the use of home language natural?


Berni Armstrong wrote:

Yes, it is a pity that you didn't use mL@h (Minority Language at home) methods, but no use crying over spilt milk, as they say.

Keep at it, that's the main thing. Remind her of her trip to India and what fun she could have had if she could have understood the kids, relatives, etc. Expose her to Children's "Bollywood", if such films exist. Make her see that Hinid is a fun language.

Above all, don't despair. Your daughter is still young enough for her to pick up fluent Hindi without prejudicing the English she will need in the local community.


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Abdellatif Bouhid  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:50
English to French
+ ...
Keep at it Feb 24, 2006

Don't give up! You are against some powerful competition (TV, etc...). Try to structure it (15 to 30 minutes a day, with TV off and total concentration on her). Father and mother must be part of it and stand their ground (the kid will exploit any weakness and try to do something else). Be prepared for tears and tantrums and even blackmail. If you can find an eldelry lady who speaks Hindi, pay her for a few hours a week with the child speaking only Hindi. When she is grown, she will love you for these efforts more than anything else.

Good luck.


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TMOM
English
TOPIC STARTER
Crying over Split Milk.... Feb 24, 2006

Thank you for the encouragement.

I have started introducing a lot of rhymes and poetry and she repeats them without a falter but she has problem remembering the words to converse in Hindi. She is turning 3 years old in May and she has started just now forming sentences and speaking quite well in English and she wants to stick to it.

Personally I know upto 6 languages. I thought languages come with ease when you are exposed but didnt realise that continuous exposure is the key!

How do I encourage her to respond back to me in Hindi since we (my husband and I ) have just passed the first hurdle...understanding Hindi as per a 3 year old!


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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 13:50
Spanish to English
+ ...
Been there Feb 24, 2006

I was in the position of your daughter, and I was glad that my parents didn't insist on me answering them in their language. It would have introduced a conflict into the parent-child relationship... at this young age there are enough other motives for conflict as you "civilize" here and teach her the behavior society expects of her. The important thing is to keep speaking Hindi at home, to her and to each other, and don't get impatient if she answers you in English. Just keep up your end of the conversation in Hindi without making a fuss over the fact that the conversation is bilingual, and without giving in to the temptation to answer English with English. Not everyone agrees, but I feel that when parents pay strong attention to the form in which the child talks to them, it is too easy to build a habit of not paying enough attention to the content or message of her speech.

It will help if you can obtain books and children's movies in Hindi; that will help remind her that Hindi isn't just something that adults impose on a child, it's also a language that children can have fun in, talking to each other and experiencing entertaining stories.


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Mary Lalevee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:50
French to English
Keep speaking Hindi Feb 24, 2006

I agree that you should just keep on speaking Hindi to her, let her reply however she wants. My kids grew up mainly in France and my husband and I spoke English together and to the kids, but they went to a French school, all their friends were French.. so they answered us in French.

Now we have moved to the UK and they speak English perfectly - it took a while as obviously English used in schools is much more complicated than the language you speak at home.

Yes, constant exposure is the key. Grandparents and other people who only speak Hindi can also help.


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TMOM
English
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you... Feb 24, 2006

Thank for the advice. I will keep at it since I have for the past 4 weeks. I am amazed with the great improvement but as children need as much encouragement as parents at time.

It is quite frustrating for both of us to change the language of conversation. And since I dont get any response back...I dont know how well I am doing.

The only resource that has helped me a lot is poetry and music. She wants to repeat. I have got all the kids books we used at 18 months to build the english vocubalry and redoing everthing in hindi. Anyother tips will help.

Somebody mentioned that if I dont force her to use the language of hearing, she will never speak it. Is there any way to make the language of conversation at home in Hindi? Or is it too late...

Thanks for all the encouragement.


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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 01:20
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
No they don't forget it... Feb 25, 2006

TMOM wrote:
Also I need to help her continously to form sentences in Hindi but she doesnt remember the next time...


No they don't forget. Language words, sentence structures and other linguistic meta data are stored subconsciously in the brain. Researches have shown that human children have an innate ability to pick up the relevant information inherent in even intermittently and erroneously spoken language sentences and use them to learn to speak the correct version of the language.

So don't give up now. Expose her to as much Hindi at home as she can comfortably take. But don't stress her. Let her memories about Hindi be pleasant and relaxing.

One bedtime story at night in Hindi, picture books, audio cassettes, Hindi TV channels, films, radio (Voice Of America, BBC, and I think the Canadian Radio broadcast in Hindi). There could be some children's programmes broadcast by them.

Next time you visit India buy lots of children's books, magazines, audio/video cassettes, multi-media CDs, games for her. Or order them by mail. Harry Potter books, for example, are available in Hindi, although she is as yet too small for them, but she will grow up and need them. R.K. Narayanan's Swamy and Friends is available in Hindi. It is brought out by National Book Trust (NBT). NBT publishes thousands of books in various Indian languages for children. Search their catalogue online at:

http://www.nbtindia.org.in/

Incidently the POGO interwork in India is currently broadcasting Swami and Friends in Hindi and my daughter who is about the same age as yours watches it without fail.

Here are some of the prominent children's magazines in Hindi. Subscribe to them and read out stories to your daughter aloud:

Champak
E-5, Jhandewala Estate
Rani Jhansi Road
Sarita Bhavan
New Delhi

Bal Hans
Rajasthan Patrika
Kesargad
Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Bal Bharati
Publications Division
Government of India
New Delhi

Nandan
Hindustan Times Building
Kasturba Gandhi Marg
New Delhi

Pathak Manch Bulletin
National Book Trust
A-5, Green Park
New Delhi

Here are a few websites in Hindi for children:

www.bablu.com
www.pitara.com

If you do an internet search you will get many more.

Network with other Hindi speakers in the neighbourhood, especially families with children of her age.

If possible visit India regularly to renew here living contact with Hindi.

If you have any problem in acquiring Hindi material, Don't hesitate to write to me. I can easily arrange to send them to you by post.


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PRAKAASH  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 01:20
Member (2007)
English to Hindi
+ ...
It's normal problem with NRIs children I feel Feb 25, 2006

Dear Friend,
The same cases I've seen in many places. Balaji has given you deepest possible thoughts.
Also, if you know any Hindi speaking community, I suggest you to take your kid there in her leisure time. Go and visit to your Hindi-speaking friends and relatives. Provide her Hindi cartoons and comics, that will encourage her to adopt Hindi at ease.
You can arrange some children oriented Bollywood movies say Mr. India etc. or the translated versions of Tom and Jerry, Mickey and Donald Show etc.
Hope it helps!
PRAKAASH


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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 13:50
Spanish to English
+ ...
Pleasant memories Feb 25, 2006

Balasubramaniam wrote:
But don't stress her. Let her memories about Hindi be pleasant and relaxing.


This is worth repeating. I was trying to express this idea in my post but you have said it better. These memories must be pleasant and loving because they are the memories, TMOM, that your daughter will always carry of her parents. The communication between you and her is what bears the relationship, and you want that relationship to be built on a loving foundation.

I do believe, though, that the way to make the experience non-stressful should not involve reverting to English if and when she keeps talking in English. That would undermine her Hindi learning. Instead, as I alluded to above, I suggest that you keep your side of the conversation in Hindi, but without pressuring her and insisting that she answer in Hindi.


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Mary Lalevee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:50
French to English
Keep speaking Hindi Feb 26, 2006

I agree that no matter how she answers you, you should just continue speaking in Hindi.

People used to look strangely at me sometimes when I was out and about with my two kids in France - they would be talking away in French and I would answer in English, no problem, they understood and answered me in French.

I think the relation with kids is SO important, more than whatever language they are speaking.

They grow up SO FAST - mine are now 17 and 19... seems like their childhood has flown by.


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Elisabetta M.  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:50
English to French
+ ...
quick and miscellaneous tips Feb 26, 2006

In a few words: I grew up in France speaking italian at home with my (both italian parents) and french at school. My husband is French and our 3 boys speak both languages. I try to stick speaking only italian to my children when alone with them. I don't force them to answer in Italian but sometimes I just don't understand when they reply in french!
From my own bilingual children experience I think it is important to be proud being able to speak two languages as a kid while most don't and growing older being proud of your culture is also important. So keep reading stories, poetry, sing, talk about your country, your childhood. Get as much material you can, go there for holydays as much as you can, invite your family to visit. Last summer after 3 weeks in Italy my children who usually speak french together only spoke italian because they had made lots of friends on the beach. I don't know if you plan to have other children but may be if you have another baby and speak hindi to the newborn all the time it will help your daughter to consider hind as the family language. By the way I started infant school at 3 without speaking a word of french but have no memory of having had trouble in learning! Good luck. Elisabetta


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Sandrinha  Identity Verified

Local time: 19:50
French to Portuguese
+ ...
Keep on speaking hindi Feb 26, 2006

Hy Tmom,

I was very touch by your answer and also so concerned. First of all, I'm sorry for my english. I want to contribute to the conservation because what happening to your daughter is what happening to me years ago. My parents are portugueses and I grew up in France. They always speak with me and my sister in portuguese, just because it was the most natural thing to do for them, but I went to a french school, with french friends, watching french tv, reading french books.... and portuguese language was for me an «emotional link» with my family, with the country, with my roots... I never forget it. I also used to answer in french but that doesn't means I don't speak and I don't understand. What I can say regarding my experience, is that the link with the culture must be strong and alive. For example my parents etablish some rules:
- speak in portuguese and never preasure me to answer in portuguese too
- always be in touch with portuguese friends with child of the same age
- always spend 1 month by year in Portugal
- make part of the portuguese community (catholic institution)

But I encourage you to buy some books, dvd's, video's.... all you can buy to make her want to speak and be interest by the language and culture.

The most interesting in my story is now I'm leaving in Portugal, with a portuguese man who don't speak french and I seriously think of encouraging my feature child to speak french too.

Good luck


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jaswinder singh  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 01:20
English to Panjabi
+ ...
keep on speaking in your mother tongue Feb 28, 2006

It should always be the rule, that at home one should speak his/her mother tongue-in your case- Hindi.

You have to keep on answering back in Hindi and try to get answer in Hindi. Don't force her, but whenever your daughter give you the answer in hindi, do appreciate her. Because Kids-even elders as well, always like appreciation.

You can reward her as well, when she move a little more than usual-like buy her sweet, icecream etc. If she speaks Hindi for better part of day, you can take her for an outing.... Nothing works better than the motivation.

Rhymes are a better option. Try to play with the words of rhymes. Three of you can play a word game- with day-to-day words. There are more options.... It is upto you to be innovative.



[Edited at 2006-02-28 18:42]


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