Growing up tri- or multilingual

Living in a country far from your home country or the place where you grew up is sometimes great fun, opens your horizon, lets you think differently and helps your mind to see outside your little box. I think when a child is growing up multicultural and multilingual it is definitely a benefit for his future.

Here in Paradise it’s like this: During the day, when Hubs is at work, I am talking to ‘Timan’ in my mother  tongue Swiss-German (a language that is only spoken but normally not used in writing. All the written text is in High-German, which is using quite different words and sentence-structure). English I’m using with Hubs. But English is not the primary language for both of us. Hubs’ mother tongue is Creole. He is using English with ‘Timan’ and I am joining them whenever we are all together as a family.  Because everybody in Paradise realizes I’m a foreigner after a couple of words, people are switching to english with me and ‘Timan’.

The only time I can practise my Creole, is while watching the local TV, listening to the radio or hear people talking. And by communicating with small kids in the neighborhood. In one year time, ‘Timan’ is going to pre-school, and everybody is going to talk Creole. I just hope, he is going to catch up quickly and I will be able to practise my own Creole with him.

I would like to give him a head start with Creole as well, but whenever I am trying to, I just know I am twisting the sentences and end up talking rather French than Creole.

But maybe I should not be worried at all, after all he’s not even 2 1/2-years old and kids are like sponges in this age. He’s very good in Swiss and catching up with English at a very fast rate.

So I lean back, have another cup of coffee,  and see what is going to happen.

I’m  just wondering, which one of the languages is going to end up being  ‘Timan’s mother tongue: Swiss, English or Creole?


Posted on January 30, 2011, in 'Timan', Bilingual, Language Development, Mother Tongue, Preschool, Toddler and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. We have read this report with interest and find it excellent. We look forward to something new.

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