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hi there. i’m looking for some insightful & encouraging words from others who are raising their children multilingually. i’ve a 15 month old girl who’s learning french, spanish, & english. her language input is divided almost equally between french & spanish & we speak english when interacting with the world at large. i’m a non-native french speaker & am wondering how other speakers handle situations when they do not know a word/phrase in their non-native tongue. i know about using the dictionary (& believe me, it’s a frequently used resource!) & i preview books so i can better read them in french. it’s just that previewing & referencing a dictionary aren’t always feasible or quick enough for the situation, so i tend to momentarily revert to either spanish &/or english. however, i’m not sure if this causes confusion or whatnot. any advice? thanks in advance!

Hatice Ciyanci

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Hi Angelina;

I sometimes have the same tantrum like yours.

My son is 22 months old and I have been talking to him in English for a year.

There is only one thing essential as far as I know that you never mix two languages in one sentence. Not only language directed to the child, but also the language we talk to each other. There are some people using two languages back to back in its own structure, but this is something different.

What I do is to describe that word with other words or make some gesture to make him understand, just after the strike I run to the dictionary. This is all I can say relating to my situation.

Good luck
Hatice Ciyanci

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