20 July 2009

Raising A Bilingual Baby

The trick to raising a bilingual baby is consistency. Or so I have been told. While I try very hard to be, consistent I am not. Partly because speaking with Lola in Dutch means excluding Ryan, or Carla, or whoever is with us at the time. And partly because it feels as if I am constantly correcting her when I repeat Lola's every English word in Dutch.

I really do try, though. I have a CD with Dutch nursery rhymes in the car that we play on the way to Carla's house. But there are a few songs that have both a Dutch and an English version. I'll be singing along in Dutch while Lola pipes in from the backseat in English. I read her Dutch stories and when we are alone I usually speak Dutch. I know she understands me. And there are a few words she always says in Dutch. Auto instead of car, Papa rather than Daddy, Nijntje instead of Miffy, to name a few.

The other day, however, she told me in a very stern voice that it was NOT an auto, it was a CAR. And then she gave me one of her looks. The 'Djeez Mom, don't you know this?' look.

Yes dear, I do. It's not easy as it seems, being bilingual.

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