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Hello all,

I’m new and was very excited to find this forum. I’ll be reading lots to learn from you all but in the meantime, we need some input to get started.

Our situation:

Both of us parents are native speakers of Vietnamese. That is the language we speak at home to each other and our almost 20-month-old.
We are currently living in the U.S. and speak English outside the home, but we speak Vietnamese to our Vietnamese friends and to our child also. (Our child doesn’t attend daycare.)
So far our child has had exposure to English through hearing us speaking to others outside the home, going to story time at the library, and through songs, nursery rhymes and books.
If we were staying in the U.S. permanently, the most obvious approach would seem to be Minority language (Vietnamese) at home, English outside the home. HOWEVER, we are moving to Zurich, Switzerland in 3 months. Over there, the main language is German. We don’t speak German and will be using English to communicate (we’re learning, but I think it’ll take a while before we can really communicate in German, but again we’re not expecting to continue using English in place of German during our whole stay in Switzerland). BUT we plan to send our child to a bilingual German/English OR German nursery school (now THAT is another decision to make!) 

After some reading, I’ve suggested to my husband that, at least for the months we’re still in the U.S., we speak Vietnamese at home and English outside the home. My husband thinks it’s a good idea but he is nervous about speaking English to my child since his spoken English is not very good (especially pronunciation). 

I keep wondering if we really need to up the English exposure at this point (in the way mentioned above) or just focus on Vietnamese now with the current exposure to English (through the means mentioned above), and she’ll learn German as her second language, and then English later at school at the third language. 

Just writing this all up makes me so confused. We just learned about our move to Zurich a few weeks ago, which prompted me to start thinking about the issue. 

I would much appreciate any input. And thanks a lot for reading! 


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OMG.. Zurich.. I grew up in Thalwil thats a town about 12km from Zurich… if you need to know something let me know…
Now I would just continue to talk your native language with your child/ren and have him listen to english tv, music and so on.. most people speak english in switzerland. And we actually speak swiss german which is a dialekt of german.. so you will most likely learn german… how long are you planing to stay… Good luck

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Thanks so much for replying!

What you suggested is actually what feels most natural to both my husband and me at this point. Perhaps we’d try speaking English when we are outside the home AND conversing with another English speaker, not when it’s just us. 

We’re staying in Zurich at least 1 year. It’s for my husband post-doctoral position. 


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Hello all,


I’m Portuguese and my wife is Venezuelan (Spanish speaker). We have a 10 month child and currently living in Portugal. I lived for 10 years in Venezuela were i met my wife. We always speak Spanish at home and now that we have a child I don’t know if I should:

1-    Speak Portuguese with him and ´Spanish with my wife or

2-    keep speaking Spanish only at home the 3 of us!?!


Advice will be appreciated.






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