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Poll: How many languages would you want your children to learn?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 00:19
SITE STAFF
Aug 5, 2012

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How many languages would you want your children to learn?".

This poll was originally submitted by samah A. fattah. View the poll results »



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Natalia Pedrosa  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:19
Member (2012)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Three is quite fair Aug 5, 2012

Hi there,

I live in a place where there are two official languages, plus English that makes three if I'm not wrong.

Cheers to all!


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:19
Hebrew to English
Ideally Aug 5, 2012

I'd like my child to speak Hebrew and English, although I'd want their dominant language and cultural references to be English.

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:19
Member (2006)
German to English
Other Aug 5, 2012

What I would want them to learn and how it turns out....

They can already speak 3 languages from birth (English, Hungarian, German), and if they want to learn more when they go to school then we will support them where we can.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:19
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Past experience Aug 5, 2012

My son's already an adult bilingual speaker of French and English, but I wish he'd learnt a "foreign" language, too. He did some German at school but it was the age-old problem: "the teacher is SO boring!".

It's a shame kids lose language so fast: he was nattering away in Dutch at the age of 10 when we lived in Den Haag, but by 12, in France, he didn't have a word apart from the names of favourite foods etc.

I'm sure he'll bring up any kids to be bilingual - that will be important to him. I just hope they get one or two other languages. We (his parents) live in Spain now, so maybe that will give my son and his French partner an incentive to learn Spanish, and encourage any kids to learn it.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:19
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Many... Aug 5, 2012

As many as possible and are feasible/accepted. It seems to be so much easier for a child to learn a foreign language, so why not take "advantage" of this "plus"?

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Oksana Weiss  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:19
Member (2011)
English to Russian
+ ...
Foreign or native? Aug 5, 2012

Two you mean foreign, four if you mean native. Nowadays, alas, children tend not to speak/write their own language properly:(

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:19
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Aug 5, 2012

In principle, I think people should know at least one foreign language. In the end it's up to them but as far as I'm concerned, the more the merrier!

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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 17:19
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
At least one Aug 5, 2012

His/her native language really well and then another one if he or she really wants too.
I already have two children, my eldest is bilingual and an engineer and my daugher is less blingual and in her 5th year of Med School. Each are doing fine and are straight as bats.

However...
I'm really confused. Since there is an option for "4 or more" I'm really confused about the "Other - N/A" option. Does this mean "None" or no language?

Ouch! It seems I am in a minority since no-one has answered "1" so far (122 votes). Gasp!

Added the last line

[Edited at 2012-08-05 09:05 GMT]


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 08:19
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
As many as possible Aug 5, 2012

My children are all grown-up now, but except for one (also a translator), the other two had no interest whatsoever for foreign languages (maybe a form of rebellion against their mother and her lifestyle? But curiously enough they are both freelancers...)

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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:19
Hebrew to English
I'd be wary Aug 5, 2012

...of trying to impose too much on my child. I think raising a child bilingual is nothing unusual, but I take exception to those linguists who raise their children as some kind of linguistic experiment, trying to cram as many languages into their kids as humanly possible just because they can.

As Julian points out, and as I have said before in the forums, when it comes to languages I prefer quality over quantity. I'm also wary of the assumption that just because we are language-mad, it doesn't mean our kids will be. They won't necessarily thank us for imposing our linguistic inclinations on them (some will, some won't).


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:19
Member (2006)
German to English
Bingo Aug 5, 2012

Ty Kendall wrote:

...of trying to impose too much on my child. I think raising a child bilingual is nothing unusual, but I take exception to those linguists who raise their children as some kind of linguistic experiment, trying to cram as many languages into their kids as humanly possible just because they can.

As Julian points out, and as I have said before in the forums, when it comes to languages I prefer quality over quantity. I'm also wary of the assumption that just because we are language-mad, it doesn't mean our kids will be. They won't necessarily thank us for imposing our linguistic inclinations on them (some will, some won't).


And that is why we are sticking to the three languages first as I "only" speak English with my children, my wife, Hungarian and the German environment "forces" them to learn German which they are both mastering wonderfully.

I am pretty impressed how well they cope and switch between the languages. And as mentioned, if they want to learn anything else in school for boredom, then why not, but I also tend to agree that forcing generally opposes in the opposite.


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Melanie Nassar  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:19
German to English
+ ...
As many as possible Aug 5, 2012

My children are already grown up, but they all speak the 3 languages of our family: English mother tongue, Arabic father tongue, and German (from their country of birth and what my husband and I use together). Two of them found it useful to learn some Spanish while living in the US and another even invented his own language with rudimentary grammar rules at a very geeky age 13.

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samah A. fattah  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 10:19
Member (2009)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Thank you Aug 5, 2012

Thank you for reply
I think as much as my child can learn


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
Two Aug 5, 2012

This question sounds like it is directed to people who are just contemplating having children. In my own case I have one, who is an adult and speaks English and Spanish, which are two. If she is to learn any more, then it will be up to her.

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