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I’m Greek married with a Belgian and we live in Belgium. We have a son of 13 months old. For the moment I speak to him Greek and my husband speaks to him Dutch but my husband and I speak to each other in English. My husband worries that in this way, we’ll confuse our son and for daily tasks (like having a lunch together) it’ll be really difficult (as we’ll speak to each other in English and to our son our native language). Should we change the language that we communicate to each other? (I can speak Dutch but with mistakes and my husband has a poor knowledge in Greek). I also wonder if it’s ok for my son to hear me speaking Dutch (with my family in law) and English or it’ll be confusing for him.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge.


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Hi Vasiliki,
Since you and your husband need to communicate to eachother in English, I would suggest you make that your family language at home. Activitites together, like lunch f.ex., will be too complicated and confusing if you switch between three languages. Your husband alone with your son – and I guess everyone around you – will take care of Dutch, so you’ll have to make a huge effort to teach him Greek, when you are alone with him. You might need help through books, DVDs, any Greek families around you?, family visiting etc. It will not be easy, but it can be done 🙂 I taught my children Danish while communicating with my husband in English and speaking Spanish outside the home. You son might answer you back in Dutch/English sometimes, but my advise is to ignore that and continue in Greek. He’ll know very well that you understand him, so don’t pretend that you don’t. Your job is to make sure he learns the Greek language but he might (most likely will) have it as the lowest priority language – and that’s ok, as long as he can use it when needed.

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