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I just found this forum I wish I had found it before my dayghter was born though. I have a 4 month old daughter. We live in Turkey. I can speak 3 languages English,Turkish and Karachay. Husband can speak 2 turkish and karachay.

I speak English with my daughter but I speak Turkish and Karachay when there are people who don’t speak English. Could this be detrimental to her language development?

My first language was Karachay, my parents only spoke Karachay to me but spoke Turkish when it was necessary. I spoke both fluently without a problem and acquired English at school when we moved to USA. I’m hoping this will be the case for my daughter too. Has anyone been in a similar situation?

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Do you mean that you would speak Turkish and Karachay with your child when there are people around who don’t understand English? Because you live in Turkey, this could be a problem if the community exposure to English is not large enough. If you frequently speak Turkish or Karachay with your child and the child interacts with other children and adults mainly in these two languages and use these in school, then the child could start refusing to speak English with you because they do not feel like this is a language that is necessary for them to know. This depends on how much other exposure to English your child has, the views about this language in your community and the personality of the child. Personally, I speak my native language with my children consistently, even when around people who do not understand it. If it is necessary for the other people around me to also understand what I am saying, I then repeat the same thing in another languge. Sometimes I repeat it anyway just so that the other people don’t feel left out. I recently ended up in a situation where I had to repeat everything three times in three different languages in order to make sure that everybody understood what I was saying. It was in a setting where most people were bilingual though, so nobody thought that was weird or unusual.

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