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Our boy is 2 years old.

We speak Russian and Spanish at home. My husband and I speak English between us but we live in France.

Sometimes we feel stressed that our french friends and at the music school, our boy seems to do not understand too much.

Should we worry?

Any good/bad experiences with this scenario?

Thanks a lot!

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Well, I’ve got the same problem and I am also worried. I’ve got 2 kids and I speak to them in Portuguese, their father in Spanish and we live in the French basque country. My boy is 3 years old and he goes to a basque/ french scholl. What’s your oppinio about it??


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My girls are 3 and they speak English, French and Italian with smatterings of Swedish and Luxembourgish. I am more careful than ever to separate the languages (OPOL) and they must reply in the language that they are addressed in. Except Swedish and Luxo, they can say what they want as they are not a priority and will pick them up when necessary. They took a test by a language specialist 6 months ago and were ahead, but now I noticed that some monolingual 3 year olds seem to have more complete sentences. Only normal, I figure. I see that the multilingual kids at their school blossom fully in each language around 4-5 or 6 years old.


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My husband & I have 8 children, of whom we raise to all learn multiple languages. 

My husband is French, Italian & Czech, while I am American & Mexican. I can speak French, Spanish, & English, while he can speak French, Italian, English, Czech, German, & Portuguese. We raise our children to speak French, Italian, English, & Spanish. We are very careful when we speak to our children (ages 4-13) and they know to respond in the language of which they are spoken to. Our children attend the Lycee Francais school in NY, and therefore, can speak French fluently, and extremely well. My husband & I have always spoken to them in Spanish & English, so they can speak those fluently as well. Italian is something that our children are familiar with, but not completely fluent with. Our eldest children, the twins, are currently learning German. 

My recommendation to you is to get a language specialist to help your son with speaking French. He is only 2, so as long as you help him with learning another language, he should be fine. Most children have it easier to them as they reach elementary school. Spanish is similar to French, so that should come a little easier to him than Russian. Because you are in France, the speakers are native & talk with a faster tongue, so that may be why your son is not completely comprehending.

Best of luck!

Kenny K.

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This thread is the first we read in our efforts to try and establish our family language system, while we are waiting for our first baby to be born
I speak Hebrew and English, while my Italian wife speaks Italian, English, Portuguese, Spanish and German. We live in Australia.
Our concern is with me speaking Hebrew, her speaking Italian and us communicating between ourselves in English. 

The 2 concerns have been:
1. What will be the effect of this lingual-mix on the child’s language developement in early years (we understand that towards age 5 it will balance out). Perhaps the trilingual parents here can comment?
2. The concern over both of us following OPOL in languages that the other cannot understand..  Has anyone here been in the same situation?

Thank you.


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