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Bilingual mamas or anyone with an opinion

Posted by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 12:29 PM
  • 22 Replies

My aunt grew up in china and came to the US for college.  She met my uncle and  they got married and now have a son.  They are big on education and both have masters degrees.  She refuses to teach her son chinese.  I don't understand this.  All of her family still lives there and she has to translate for her son and husband.  She is a sahm and members of her church have offered to pay her to teach their kids as well but she won't do it.  It really bothers me that her son can't communicate with his grandparents and cousins.  Can anyone explain to me why she doesn't want to teach him?  Is anyone teaching their child another language?  If you were bilingual would you?

I understand this her child and she can do what she wants.  I just don't get it and thought maybe someone could help me understand.

CafeMom Tickers
by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 12:29 PM
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Replies (1-10):
justinejoy
by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 12:32 PM

I know a few people like that, who have come from other countries but refuse to speak their first language.  ??  I don't get it either. 

I personally wish I knew a different language to teach my kids!!  I took three years of spanish in HS and can barely make out what people are saying to me!! LOL   I  think knowing more than one language opens up soo many doors for you - especially this day in age, you can make more money being bilingual. 

Justine butterfly on head  

MommyRivera
by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 12:34 PM

My husband is Mexican. He does not speak Spanish. His parents know Spanish but really only speak it when they are around their parents. I know sign language and have been teaching it to my boys, they know a lot of sign language and hardly any Spanish. If they want to learn (Spanish) they will have to learn in school or ask their great-grandparents, because we really aren't that great with it ourselves!

dreamerinluv
by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 12:36 PM

The only reason I can think of is that she might feel ashamed of her origin....Im mexican but english was my first language (raised in Calif. since age 1)...but my parents always spoke spanish to us and would get mad whenever we spoke english around our grand-parents or other relatives....and now I do the same...my kids speak english at home...but around their granparents they speak spanish !

~~ If I had Skittles in my mouth.......would you come and taste the rainbow ?~~

Peanutx3
by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 12:37 PM

I can't offer any advice.  But my DH's grandfather did that.  He was born in Holland but he never taught any of his kids the language.  It is really sad that DH's dad never had the oportunity to learn the language.

Kingstons_Mom
by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 12:39 PM

My mother is full Filipina and is bilingual (she speaks Tagalog and English), and I know she is reluctant to speak Tagalog around people who primarily speak English. Why? She has experienced extreme prejudice from random people in public, muttering things under their breath like, "Go back to your own country", or "Learn to speak English, geez." Not everyone feels that way, but those few instances make her very uneasy when speaking her native language.

That may not be your aunt's reason, but maybe the story about my mom can give you some insight as to why your aunt is reluctant to use her native tongue here in the U.S.

If I were completely bilingual (I know bits and pieces of several languages but not enough to consider me fluent), I would definitely teach my son! We teach Kingston sign language, and he's very receptive to it. He signs back now and it's great.


Ivayla
by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 12:39 PM

I am bilingual. I tried teaching my son my native language but it's very hard for him to learn 2 languages at once so I started to talk to him in English and he started talking more. He is only 2 BTW. But I plan to teach him my language too, probably when he is 3-4. As far as the Chinese lady I have no idea why she wouldn't teach him Chinese, seams odd to me.



MinniesMami
by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 12:40 PM

Everybody is different.

I have an aunt who barely speaks English, she married an American guy who doesn't speak Spanish and she refuses to teach their son Spanish.

I have asked her many times but she just says she doesn't want to confuse him with the 2 languages (which is a bunch of crap) but anyway, ultimately it's her decision, nothing we can do about it.

Oh, I forgot to mention, both me and my ex speak Spanish fluently (as well as English) but my daughter has picked up on English better than Spanish (mind you we live in Puerto Rico where everyone speaks Spanish) and she has learned a couple of Spanish words but not many.


sticking out tongue
.::. My Wolf can kick your Vampire's Ass .::.

jusjream
by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 12:42 PM

maybe she had to deal with negative comments relating to her accent and is afraid if her children are taught they will develop the same issues speaking either chinese or english. you could always ask. i would want my child to learn if they could. but people have their reasons.

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savedbygrace316
by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 1:05 PM

Well she told my grandma "it's too hard"  their son learned how to count to 10 in 2 other languages and was so excited and wanted to learn more.  I think she is just weird.  He also plays the piano very well but she only lets him play the classics.  He would like to play jazz just for fun but she refuses to let him.  My uncle doesn't care but he can only take so much before he gives into her.  Their little boy is so smart but I'm worried at some point he will shut down because of her pushiness.  All he is allowed to do is study (because that's how she grew up).  That's why I don't understand it.

Quoting jusjream:

maybe she had to deal with negative comments relating to her accent and is afraid if her children are taught they will develop the same issues speaking either chinese or english. you could always ask. i would want my child to learn if they could. but people have their reasons.


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brandyblx
by Platinum Member on Jun. 9, 2009 at 1:20 PM

 I grew up in South America.Cochabamba,Bolivia....to be exact. I married a Bolivian and we speak both english and spanish in our house. My oldest (13 in a week!!!) speaks fluently in both.My 8 yr. old talks english,understands everything that is said in spanish but he doesn't want to talk it(yet). My 5 yr. old is also fluent in both, and this year in kindergarten drove his teacher crazy saying stuff in spanish to her :}

As for her not  wanting to teach him,maybe it's because she's had to hear a lot of negative comments about her language? I know I have     ;{  One "lady" (term used loosely) went so far as to tell her child not to play with the "mexican half-breeds"(talking about my boys )

 

 

 

 

Life isn't like a box of chocolates . . . it's more like a jar of jalapenos.. What you do today, might burn your ass tomorrow
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