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Poll: Your child(ren) is/are...
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 07:13
SITE STAFF
Aug 16, 2010

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Your child(ren) is/are...".

This poll was originally submitted by Monika Jakacka. View the poll results »



 

Interlangue (X)
Angola
Local time: 16:13
English to French
+ ...
Other Aug 16, 2010

I lost trackicon_smile.gif
Fluent in 2, I know for sure but he was fluent in 3 others once upon a time - don't know if he has time to keep them up.


 

Rolf Kern  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 16:13
English to German
+ ...
Monolingual... Aug 16, 2010

... but speaking up to five languges.

[Bearbeitet am 2010-08-16 08:35 GMT]


 

Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 16:13
Member (2008)
English to Italian
other Aug 16, 2010

one is monolingual, but he understands a bit of English, the other is bilingual.
My mistake, I did not speak English too much with the first.


 

Callum Walker  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:13
Member (2010)
Russian to English
+ ...
...not yet speaking! Aug 16, 2010

They (twin boys) are only four and a half months old!

But I aim to teach them French (and possibly Russian) - obviously not to a fluent level (since I am not a native speaker), but I certainly want them to have a good knowledge of French (and Russian if I can find time).


 

Valeria Lagos Gordon Downie
Spain
Local time: 16:13
Member (2006)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Trilingual Aug 16, 2010

I was surprised to see how few translators' children are trilingual according to this poll (and even more to see how many translators do not have children). No offense meant to anyone, of course.
My children are trilingual only because we live in Catalonia and Catalan is the language their are schooled in. They would otherwise be just bilingual.


 

Claire Deschamps-Prüller  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:13
German to French
+ ...
actually bilingual Aug 16, 2010

We are a binational family (French-German).
We used to live in Germany, their German was very strong.
... but we live now in a country which language (Norwegian) we all are no native speaker of... the kids learn Norwegian at school but they go to the French school and logically their French language skills improved a lot. After a year in Norway their level is quite impressive though (especially compared to ours!).

As they are both still very young (4 and 6), it changes continually, depending where they spend their holidays!icon_wink.gif
2 weeks in France and they are fluent, just after that 2 weeks in Germany and they amazed me!


 

Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:13
English
+ ...
There are two interesting forum threads on the topic of bilingual children. Aug 16, 2010

http://www.proz.com/forum/multilingual_families/32675-bilingual_baby_what_are_the_rules.html

http://www.proz.com/forum/multilingual_families/34421-rules_of_trying_to_raise_a_child_trilingual.html


 

Karin Usher
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:13
Member (2006)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Bilingual Aug 16, 2010

I have two children, 11 year old boy and 8 year old girl.

They used to speak both, English and Portuguese a lot when they were little. Since starting school they speak less Portuguese at home (we live in England). However, we went to Brazil for 3 weeks this year and I was amazed at how they managed to speak to everyone there!

I think what they learnt when they were younger, plus the little bit I manage to speak to them at home nowadays, will stick in their minds forevericon_smile.gif

At least I hope so...


 

Michaël Temmerman  Identity Verified
Costa Rica
Local time: 08:13
English to Dutch
+ ...
don't have children Aug 16, 2010

I don't have children.
I'm also amazed how easily people consider themselves (or their children) bilingual or even trilingual. That means that you can express yourself in those languages like any other native speaker would. It's a very rare gift and only very few have it.

People can be fluent in other languages, but that doesn't mean they are bilingual, let alone trilingual.
I truly believe that parents should only speak their mother tongue to their children. So many people don't even know their mother tongue anymore, even when raised in a monolingual setting...


 

Interlangue (X)
Angola
Local time: 16:13
English to French
+ ...
Definition Aug 16, 2010

Michaël Temmerman wrote:

I'm also amazed how easily people consider themselves (or their children) bilingual or even trilingual. That means that you can express yourself in those languages like any other native speaker would. It's a very rare gift and only very few have it.

People can be fluent in other languages, but that doesn't mean they are bilingual, let alone trilingual.


Longman Dictionary of English language and culture gives the following definition for bilingual: adj. "1. containing or expressed in two languages 2. able to speak two languages equally well"
noun "a person who is able to speak two languages equally well - compare monolingual"
No mention of natives or mother tongues here.

"any other native" as you say does not mean much: lots of natives do not use/speak their mother tongue properly!


 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:13
Member (2006)
German to English
Trilingual Aug 16, 2010

I concentrate on English, my wife on Hungarian and German comes from the kindergarten.
When we have conversations, it is amazing, but an answer is given in our respective languages.


 

Natalia Pedrosa (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:13
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yeap Interlangue Aug 16, 2010

Longman Dictionary of English language and culture gives the following definition for bilingual: adj. "1. containing or expressed in two languages 2. able to speak two languages equally well"
noun "a person who is able to speak two languages equally well - compare monolingual"
No mention of natives or mother tongues here.

"any other native" as you say does not mean much: lots of natives do not use/speak their mother tongue properly! [/quote]

Comp

My son and I live in Catalonia and I can assure you he speaks both Catalan and Spanish fluently such as his mother tongues. I hope with time I can teach him some English too, although by now it's a bit rusted and I should visit England a bit more often.

Cheers!

Natalia


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 16:13
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
My son is bilingual and I am functionally bilingual Aug 16, 2010

Michaël Temmerman wrote:

I don't have children.
I'm also amazed how easily people consider themselves (or their children) bilingual or even trilingual. That means that you can express yourself in those languages like any other native speaker would. It's a very rare gift and only very few have it.

People can be fluent in other languages, but that doesn't mean they are bilingual, let alone trilingual.


Given that this is a site for professional linguists, you would expect it to concentrate those who actually are more or less bilingual or trilingual. It also depends on your definition of bilingual, but if you take it to mean someone who has learnt two languages from childhood and is equally happy with either of them, then my son is bilingual, and I guess a lot of this site's users are in fact bilingual or trilingual. That does not mean it was easy, of course. icon_smile.gif

I count myself as bilingual in practice, although purists would maintain that Danish is not 'hot wired' in my brain like the languages I learnt in childhood. I can pass for a Dane and compete with educated Danes, but the professionals can always find small points to correct.


I truly believe that parents should only speak their mother tongue to their children. So many people don't even know their mother tongue anymore, even when raised in a monolingual setting...


When you actually have children, no matter how hard you try, it is impossible to live by the theories all the time.

I started learning Danish about a year before my son was born, and was living in Denmark with practically no other English speakers around me, so it would have been very unnatural to insist on speaking English.

We did read to our son in both languages as soon as he was old enough to appreciate it. While he started speaking Danish gradually from about the age of one, he suddenly spoke English fluently on a visit to my family when he was three, and it dawned on him that some people really did not understand Danish.

There was always English in the background - on TV, in school, and when travelling. At university he had to read a lot of the study material in English or German because it was not available in Danish. So he had no problems in studying for the final year of his MSc in the UK, and following it up with a PhD. His MSc thesis was written in Danish and his PhD thesis in English.

He now lives and works in the UK. Neither of us has lost our 'first' language, or has any problem with switching between the two.

My husband (native Danish) does not consider himself biligual, although he speaks excellent English. However, he can read and conduct a business conversation in five or six European languages.

You can never make rules that fit all individuals!


 

Ikram Mahyuddin  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 21:13
English to Indonesian
+ ...
don't have any childrem Aug 16, 2010

I am one of those more than 50% who don't have any children.

 
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