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We have 2 kids who will turn 2 and 4 this month. I’ve been speaking German with them since the youngest was born, though we’re not OPOL (I know there are a lot of strong believers in OPOL, but it just didn’t work for us). I do speak *mostly* German with them, but the rest of their exposure (family, community, etc.) is English.

My almost 4 year old transitioned fairly easily, though he’s still clearly stronger in English. His default is to speak to me in English, but he’s normally happy to speak German so long as he’s reminded. It’s just difficult for me to remind him, because I answer him (in German) before I’ve even processed that he just spoke English.  Whoops.

My almost 2 year old is not talking terribly much. Says somewhere between 70-100 words, but no real sentences yet. What I find strange is that, currently, about two-thirds of her vocabulary is German, with only one-third English, and yet she seems to use her English vocabulary far more frequently than her German. Does this make sense? She doesn’t seem to have any comprehension issues and easily follows instructions and interacts with both languages. She does mix a ton (“Hoch… Down…. Up…. Runter…”,  “Auge, nase, mouth, ear, kopf”, etc…) and she has yet to say almost anything (other than up and down and words that sound the same like ball and bear) in *both* languages.

I know that current research shows there isn’t normally a language delay for bilingual kiddos, but I’m having a hard time sorting out what is “normal” and what is related to bilingualism and what might just be “second child” issues, since her older brother was a HUGE talker already at this age (so that’s what seems “normal” to me!).

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