Children and language: the importance of translation and learning languages

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LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:54
Russian to English
+ ...
It is not as simple as that. Nov 27, 2016

there are advantages of bilingualism, especially if it is something natural, or something the child shows a deep interest I, in learning another language, but there are also dangers of early childhood bilingualism. it may be recommended to read some studies on bilingualism and child development before trying to teach a two year old three different languages, especially those that no one speaks at home.

[Edited at 2016-11-28 12:03 GMT]


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:54
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Stop Nov 27, 2016

LilianNekipelov wrote:

there are advantages of bilingualism, especially if it is something natural, or something the child shows a deep interest I, in learning another language, but there are also dangers of early childhood bilingualism. it may be recommended to read some studies on bilingualism and child development before trying to tech a two year old three different languages, especially those that no on speaks at home.


Try to stop them!


 

Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 13:54
German to English
+ ...
the article itself iseems cobbled together Nov 27, 2016

It proposes the question of the role of translation in language learning of children -- which would be an odd role -- and never really answers it. Nowadays a lot of entities write "blogs" merely for the sake of having a "presence". As long as you have written down some words that are vaguely related to your field, you'll be read and therefore your name will be known. I would rather read about children learning languages written by someone who has some expertise in childhood learning, pedagogy or similar.
What role does translation have in children learning a second language. I would wager that by and large it doesn't.


 

Merab Dekano  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...
It is not as simple as that. Nov 27, 2016

LilianNekipelov wrote:

there are advantages of bilingualism, especially if it is something natural, or something the child shows a deep interest I, in learning another language, but there are also dangers of early childhood bilingualism. it may be recommended to read some studies on bilingualism and child development before trying to tech a two year old three different languages, especially those that no on speaks at home.


My kid goes to a bilingual school (French-English). None of us speak either French or English at home (we speak Spanish). He's perfectly comfortable with all three languages (Spanish, English and French). I am yet to see any danger in this.


 

Annamaria Amik  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:54
Romanian to English
+ ...
I can confirm that Nov 28, 2016

Tom in London wrote:
Try to stop them!


Exactly. How can you stop them from picking up words?
I have yet to see a child damaged by bilingualism in the long term (there are exceptions, of course). Even though initially they confuse the words and even structures, later on, if they continue to hear both languages used correctly, they will speak them correctly.

We live in a bilingual environment and there's no way I can stop my kids from picking up words and trying to express themselves in the secondary language. Interestingly, in some cases my 5yr old daughter uses the structure of an expression in her native language and replaces the words with those she knows in the foreign language. So she really does translate instinctively.

Living in a bilingual town, I can confirm that kids who grow up learning multiple languages simultaneously acquire better writing skills. Every single bilingual person I know here who grew up learning a second language from early childhood - and there are many of them - has better linguistic skills than their peers from the ethnic majority who only learned a foreign language later in school or as adults. I noticed that the latter ones, even though they now speak a foreign language, almost always misspell names and words of foreign origin.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 20:54
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
This article merely promotes translating children's books from Western languages Nov 28, 2016

The article's title is a little off, though. The purpose of the article is to promote the idea that children's books written in Western languages should be translated, for only then can children who speak other languages truly benefit.

 

LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:54
Russian to English
+ ...
Not stopping the children Nov 28, 2016

Stopping some parents, perhaps, or at least making them realize what impact bilingualism or multilingualism may have on child development, especially if the languages are artificially imposed. Not everyone lives in New York or London where multiple languages are spoken. Many parents are just trying to teach the children some language they find useful for one reason or another

I am not sure if multilingual people have better writing skills--some may, others may not. Were all the most prolific writers multilingual--I doubt it. As to spelling and bilingualism, well spelling has not that much to do with early childhood language acquisition. These are all myths, basically.

As to translation, meaning that done for yourself--there may be something mysterious about it. The other day I listened to some lecture about American writers conducted in Russian, a very interesting lecture transmitted via TV. Later on, I caught myself thinking about it but I thought exclusively in English, even the quotes quoted in Russian were strangely enough in English, in my thoughts--perhaps the way I remembered them or they got translated somehow, automatically, sort of.

Do all children pick up words from other languages, other then their main languages, or just those with some extra interest in languages, like not all the children would dance whenever they hear music or try singing. Is it the words from any language heard that they try to imitate, or just those they naturally like. Just something to think about.

In the old times, even still like thirty, forty years ago. If you wanted to read a book or books written by a particular author, you learned the language. A wonderful motivation to learn languages. No need to translate everything. Some things may be non-translatable.

[Edited at 2016-11-28 12:39 GMT]


 

Gabriele Demuth  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:54
Member (2014)
English to German
Bilingualism vs translated children's fiction? Nov 28, 2016

I am not sure what bilingualism has to do with the translation of children's fiction?

I do try to read works from German authors to my children, however, a good number of books are translated, so what?

There is no mention of negative effects of bilingualism in the article, and according to what I have read over the years, all recent research rejects any negative effects, of which parents in cultures with a monolingual tradition have been warned of in the past.

I was not aware that children are born monolingual - mine were born without a language, I thought...icon_smile.gif


 

LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:54
Russian to English
+ ...
That certain things are not explicitely expressed Nov 28, 2016

in a particular article does not mean that they cannot be discussed in a forum, or in a thread related to early childhood language acquisition.

Whether children are born without language--well perhaps without a particular language. They are born with language capabilities, or perhaps more.

[Edited at 2016-11-28 12:47 GMT]


 

Hege Jakobsen Lepri  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:54
Member (2002)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
It is not as simple as that. Feb 23, 2017

LilianNekipelov wrote:

but there are also dangers of early childhood bilingualism.

[Edited at 2016-11-28 12:03 GMT]
I am reasonably well read-up on the subject, having done a 2-year master thesis that partly covered bilingual children in schools (as well as bringing up two trilingual daughters who are now adults). And the only studies pointing to the disadvantages of early multi-language exposure are very old as far as I know.


 


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