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I have been asked by the school which is my daughter’s strongest language? Their advise was  that a child should be proficient in one language and know it very well before learning another one, they explained that otherwise the child will end up not knowing well any language…

 My daughter is 5 and will go to school in September 2010. She speaks Romanian, English and German (  we are Romanians, she was born in New Zealand and came to Austria when she was 3) . At 3 she would talk mostly in English although her language was less developed than other children’s at her age, and  she could say  simple sentences in Romanian too . Now, at 5, she has learnt German at kindergarten.
Honestly I could not say which is her strongest or preferred language, she speaks German with her friends, English and Romanian at home,mixing it a lot.

One of my friend’s son,with a similar situation, was rejected from a viennese bilingual school because ” he is language confused “..

I would like to hear opinions on this as I am a little worried ..


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Hi Adina,

I don’t think you have reason to be worried – your daughter seems to be doing just fine handling her three languages. And over time she’ll do even better. It’s not her that’s causing you the worries, right? It’s the school and other parents experiences. Don’t worry about that – if you and your daughter are both fine with her level of communication, that’s more important. Maybe you should just tell the school that her prefered language is German (I assume it’s a German language shool?), since that’s the language she’ll be speaking there anyway.

Don’t let other people’s experinces put you off what you are doing. You’ll find loads of people who, for various reasons, will disagree with raising your daughter trilingual (believe me, I know – I battled with my entire English family-in-law who thought it a waste to teach my sons Danish (my language) and Spanish (we live in Spain) Now that my boys are fully trilingual at 10 and 12 y.o. everyone is very proud 🙂 If your daughters school is concerned about her language-skills once she’s actually started there, then take it up with them then. Their advise to only teach a child one language at the time is obviously based on “normal” one-language children. All of us in here on this forum have experiences succesfully raising children multi-lingual, so of course it can be done 🙂 Im sure your daughter will be just fine and fully trilingual eventually! 🙂

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they might like to hear that her strongest language in German 🙂

And her German is, I supossed quite good. Does she mixes German in  Romanien ang English? Or just R and E?
I am a bit surprised that Romanien is her weakest language when you are both Romaniens… I personally think it can bring certain level of cunfussion when one person speaks more languages to a child, specially if it’s not even: this language only in certain situation, the other all other times.

At the age of 5 I’d say they shouldn’t miw it too much (except a help of some word time to time). But not half sentance this language a the other half a different language.

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