, sorry so much work! I cannot imagine what it must be like to move a whole company.
How do y'all manage to do that on a daily basis?
My thoughts exactly. I wouldn't be able to manage it, either!
Maybe you should resort to speaking more English around her (with a really thick Boston accent )!
… or with a really thick German accent? It always sounds more imposing.
Raising bilingual children is interesting, because there is no "right" way or "wrong" way (how can there be?). Plus, the sum of 2 parents speaking 2 different languages raising 2 children in the same household does not always equal 2 completely bilingual children, does it?
When I was pregnant with my first, my sister gave me a book about raising bilingual children, written by a linguist. Her advice was that each parent should only speak to their children in their own native tongue, which is epecially important for discipline when they get older (you wouldn't want your teen laughing in your face as you try to reprimand them in a language that is not yours, using incorrect grammar/accent/expressions, etc). In addition, I feel it is very important for them to able to communicate with both sets of grandparents.
So, I started out speaking to first son in English only. I was also lucky enough to lower my work load and stay at home with him, so he did not even hear Spanish until Papá came home at 9pm. Between us, DH and I always speak Spanish, because that is the language we met in. But, my eldest spoke English first (there is a reason it is called the "mother tongue"), although when he did start speaking Spanish there was a noticeable deficit. But, as a toddler, he had little neighborhood friends who he would play with in Spanish, so he made progress before preschool (age 3). Then 2nd son came.
My youngest was a non-stop babbler. A cheerful, smiley, roly-poly baby who just loved to chatter. And he was a "mixer", meaning that he would mix English and Spanish in the same sentence, use English sentence structures with Spanish words, etc, etc. Basically, any word that crossed his mind was spat out, which made for some really hysterical speech patterns, and I always tried to write them down.
After the 2nd son, I noticed the difference language learning methods of each child:
Child 1 would stop, think, form the sentence, and then say it. He never mixed, he never said the wrong word, and he identified each person with one language. Of course, when he started school, by the time he formulated an answer in his head and raised his hand to answer the teacher, someone had already beat him to it. He was labelled the "quiet" one, but I know that he was the "cautious" one.
Child 2 didn't have a care in the world. Comprehension be damned! His favorite thing was playing ball, but, of course, when he met a new child or an adult, he did not know what language they spoke. So, he invented a new word, "ball-bola", so that EVERYONE he met could understand he wanted to play ball. By preschool, he had compartmentalized his brain, speaking English at home and Spanish at school.
My animals are in the same boat. Papá speaks to them in Spanish, I speak to them in English. Trufa the lab has a very limited vocabulary in each language, but our little mutt Cookie is smart as a tack and has a much larger vocabulary in both languages. Kai... well, he came from a German breeder and is now living in a bilingual home. We'll see how he does, but for now he's not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree.
Sorry, probably TMI.