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Duncan
Reply with quote  #1 
I have a desire to raise my child bilingual but I am not.  Growing up as a child in Thailand Greece and Italy my parents told me I spoke all three languages fluently.  Since moving back to the states in the 3rd grade I learned a bit of spanish( we moved to Miami) but have never seemed to master it as a true bilingual person.  Is it easier to learn the languages I spoke as a child or is it something that you lose because you stop using it?  They say once you learn how to ride a bike you alway know.  What about languages? Do the connections in the brain that are made stay there or are they lost?

Regards

Duncan

Melbourne Florida
momtomany
Reply with quote  #2 
It is easier if you heard the language(s) as a child.  I heard a lot of Dutch as a child (I don't think I ever spoke it), but I've been studying it and sometimes I'll come across a word.... I don't know why I would ever have learned it.... but my brain feels like "aha.. that's it.. why does that sound so right.. I think I've heard that before!"  The different word order of sentences isn't an obstacle either.... it sounds sensible to my ears just as English does.  And I think the most important advantage of hearing that language as a baby.... when I say anything in Dutch, other Dutch people say I said that well... they rarely rarely correct my pronunciation because it sounds Dutch.  When I try to say something in German to my husband, I have to try and try again and again and he still says it doesn't sound quite right... but I don't hear why!  He says I sound like a Dutch person trying to speak German.  You have a huge huge advantage because you heard (and even spoke!) those languages in your first few years.

I highly highly recommend the book "How to Learn Any Language" by Barry Farber if you are interested in 're'-learning your childhood languages (or any foreign language).  He is a polyglot (25? languages?!) with a very practicle, efficient, and effective method.  If you aren't interested in learning another language, you will be after you read the book.  There's a website with the same title too.... how-to-learn-any-language.com
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