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My husband and I are expecting our first child this month. We would like to raise a bilingual child, but are not sure how best to approach this.

Okay, some background information. My husband speaks Dutch (native) and English. I speak English (native), Cantonese, and Dutch. We usually speak English to each other at home, but speak Dutch to the family and others in the community. And I speak Cantonese to my parents, who call once a week and visit us about once a year.

We would like to raise our baby to speak both Dutch and English. Our plan is to continue to speak English to each other and Dutch to friends/family. But when we speak directly to the baby, I will speak English and my husband will speak Dutch. I wonder if our baby will be confused, when we speak one language to her and another language(s) to others (and each other). Has anyone tried this and does it work? 



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I live in Scotland and have a 3 years old daughter. There are 3 languages in our house Polish – my language, Bulgarian – Dad’s language, and English as me and my husband communicate in majority language. And please believe my our daughter has never been confused. It is  important from the very start to raise the language awareness in your child. Our daughter is able now to choose in which language she wants to read or watch TV or a film. She would say ‘ in Polish’ or ‘as in nursery’ or ‘as Dad talks’. Imagine that she says Good Night in Polish to me and in Bulgarian to her Dad without any prompting. Myself I am an English Teacher and I tried to read as much as I can before she was born which was very useful. Raising a multilingual child is really lots of fun for parents and the most important thing is to have a great deal of faith in your child as sometimes they know better then us. Hope that’s helpful
All the Best


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