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Dear All, i am new to the forum. I am Lebanese, married to Polish and living since a year in Poland. We are expecting our first child next March, and our plan is to use OPOL: mom Polish (naturally) and dad Lebanese (naturally too).
For those of you who knows arabic, the classical arabic is becoming like latin langugage, rarely spoken but read (mostly in news, and found in books, but not as dialect). We use in Lebanon the lebanese dialect,and my plan is to use this dialect with the child.

The dilemma is that from one hand i want to use this dialect as it comes natural from me, but on the other hand this dialect has little to do with the written language and grammar. (not likke french or english where what you say is same of what you write/read, so you learn all at same time). I beleive those who are arabic can understand me more…

I have an alternative to speak to child french (i am trilingual with french second and english 3rd), but it won t be natural, though the spoken language is far closer to the written language than the arabic is.

I am bit worried about using with her the Lebanese, but knowing that will take her nowhere when it comes to using it for writing/reading. Will it be better to use French for instance, as it is same writtten/spoken/read ?

Any advice? similar experience?


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Dear Mar,

I understand your dilemma. The Arabic language is a dead language when it comes to being a spoken language of any people. It is still used in the media though and literature as the primary mean of communicating ideas. Teaching a child your mother language is a challenge in any country. But think of it this way. The Greeks teach their kids Greek, the Italians teach them Italian and the Russians teach them Russian. I don’t think that any of these people expect their children to read/write or publish a book in this language. It is a step towards belonging to a certain community, in this case, the Lebanese community, whether abroad or in Lebanon. It is that they have the means to teach these languages and when it comes to our Lebanese language, the resources are very slim.

I encourage you to teach your children the spoken Lebanese language. They will learn the Polish language being in Poland, and probably the English language since it is quickly becoming the international language.

A couple of websites that helped me with the Lebanese language are:

very useful information and the people in charge are very friendly and helpful.

Hope I answered your question.



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