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I am an English women expecting our first child with my husband who is Greek. We live in Sweden. I speak English, some French and some Greek, and my husband speaks English, Greek, and French fluently. Together we speak English.  I am worried that neither me nor my husband can speak any Swedish (although we are learning I believe it will take many years for us to become good at speaking Swedish). We intend to stay in Sweden so Swedish would be very important for all of us.

We are planning that I will speak English to our child and my husband will speak Greek. I am anxious about how my child will intergrate into the society when neither of us speak the countries language very well. Can a child learn another language when the parents are not good at it?

We have also been talking about sending our child to a French school in Sweden because part of my family is French. I don’t know whether it’s a good idea as I am afraid of giving our child too many languages to learn-English, Greek, Swedish and French.  

Can anyone offer advice?
Del LaGrace Volcano

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Hello Everyone.
I am a (nearly) monolingual English speaker living in Sweden. I have  only basic Swedish skills and speak English almost exclusively with my partner who was raised bilingual with a German father and Swedish mother. She is fluent in German, Swedish and English. I am trying to learn Swedish like another poster in this forum and worried that it may never happen. It’s simply too easy to speak English in Sweden!

Our child is now 8 weeks old and we are doing the One Person, One language method…that is, I speak English and my partner speaks German. My worry is that the child won’t be speaking Swedish until it starts to go to day care which probably won’t be until he is 2 years old.
It would be helpful to hear from other parents raising tri-lingual children in Sweden. Thanks! Del

Trevor Arter

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I am English and live in Denmark with my girlfriend who is Latvian. She speaks exclusivley Latvian with our daughter who is 2½, while I speak mainy English but also some Danish when with other Danish speakers (including her 2 elder brothers from a previous relationship, who are with us almost half the time)


Our daughter has been going to Danish day care since approximately 9 months, and she appears to understand all 3 languages, but has decided herself to speak Danish, including at home. She is behind the others in her day care group in her language development, but we ae sticking with it and expecting her to catch up.


It is important for us that she speaks the local language but also that she can communicate with both sets of Grandparents.


I am not very consistant since I speak both English and Danish with her, and also some Latvian phrases I’ve picked up. I’m not too worried if her English speaking doesn’t come immediately since she will get plently of exposure to English.




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