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Karmen van Rensburg
Reply with quote  #1 

I am an Afrikaans speaking South African living in the Netherlands.
My husband is Dutch.

Our home language is our own unofficial mix of Dutch and Afrikaans. They are very similar. (Afrikaans is also called kitchen dutch...)

I would like our daughter (EDD 14 Feb 09) do be fluent in English.
Her father will be speaking Dutch to her. He's a writer, at least he can speak pure dutch well...
I don’t want her to end up mixing Afrikaans and Dutch, like her mother (it happens very easily. Though if I put my mind to it I can probably reconvert to pure Afrikaans.)
But in Holland Afrikaans is seen as an "awkward little language" - it would be more of a burden than an advantage to our daughter during her first school years, while we live in Amsterdam.

I can speak English well, my husband reasonably well.
I now have to decide between speaking Afrikaans (my native language) or English to her.

We will probably be going back to SA one day, and the level of English she'll learn here at a Dutch school is not sufficient.

The choice seems simple: Dutch from father, English from me.

I have two concerns though:
Firstly, I will then probably have to start speaking English to my husband and parents too, when our daughter’s around. This will be very awkward, especially for my husband of 10 years.

Also, Afrikaans is my emotive / hearts’ language. I hope I can "be an instinctive mother" in my secondary language. I have followed the forum of not speaking your native language to your child, and there were some valid points made about this creating an emotive barrier...

Karmen van Rensburg
Afrikaans native language, English second, Dutch: read & understand perfectly,  speaking is harder

Husband: Dutch native language, Afrikaans and English secondary

Amsterdam, Netherlands

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