Speaking another language is one thing..

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-16-2001
Speaking another language is one thing..
75
Wed, 12-30-2009 - 9:02pm

Being bilingual or more is one thing, but what about the cultural aspect to it? What are you teaching your children about your/your spouse's culture so that they will feel that it is also part of who they are and what they have? Are there games and toys? Through food? Family traditions? Holidays? What about music, dances, books and poetry?








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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-13-2008
Fri, 01-01-2010 - 3:01pm
I truly don't believe you can be bilingual without knowing culture. So DD has books in Spanish, but she also has books in English about other cultures. We have artwork from Spanish-speaking countries around the house, we have CDs, movies, toys, and I love to try new recipes. In fact, every so often I let my students make food for class. If I like their recipes, I make them hand them over so I can try them at home! I can't think of any traditions per se, but I'm sure that we got a few here and there. What about you?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2007
Sat, 01-02-2010 - 9:33am

Great question Poppy!


For us since we are living in DH’s country of origin DS is getting plenty of his cultural tradition, holidays, music, dances, books, etc….

 
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-16-2001
Mon, 01-04-2010 - 9:06am

No, one can't be truly bilingual without knowing the culture. I do know quite a few people here who speak pretty good English but who just don't have enough cultural information to be able to understand everything that is being discussed when speaking to native speakers from the US, UK or Australia. They could probably translate a technical document, but forget about literature, works of fiction, movies, etc.

Right now I'm giving myself refresher courses on my own culture, and since my work involves food, I'm starting with food and cooking. The great news is that there might be some work coming along pertaining to relocation courses for new expats, and they need me to give a talk about the country and its culture, so that will be interesting for me. One of these days it would be nice to go away for about 3 months and learn Javanese and the culture. I know bits and pieces, but it would be good to learn more.








iVillage Member
Registered: 11-16-2001
Mon, 01-04-2010 - 9:21am

My nephew also picks up slang and words he shouldn't be using from movies and TV, but also at school since it's a bilingual school. Sometimes he comes home and he asks me how bad a word is (insert lots of "hee hee hee hee" in the conversation), so we talk about that ~ whether it's slang, whether it's a four-letter word (though he points out that he has hears my brother and I swear in English, we rarely do in any language. We're extremely polite it's boring LOL), whether it's something that has a double meaning, whether it's a word that he could use in front on his grandmother, etc.

He learned the hard way about Rest In Peace. It's not something that we say here since we're not Christian, so he's not been exposed to that, so one day he told his grandmother, "All I would like for you is to rest in peace". Zoom into the shocked look on his grandma's face, then we all burst into laughter as we explained to him in what context it is used.

Sometimes, though, I feel that he needs to learn more about the Indonesian culture!!! The every day stuff he knows - food, pop music, etc, but he lacks knowledge in literature, traditional music, folklore, etc.








iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2007
Tue, 01-05-2010 - 6:57am

That’s funny about the ‘rest in peace’ comment your nephew used on his grandmother.

 
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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-29-2003
Tue, 01-05-2010 - 3:47pm

The kids learn a lot about the Mexican culture since we live in a predominantly Mexican neighborhood (plus Chicago has a high percentage of Mexicans). We also live in the same building as my ILs so they learn a lot from them. It is more difficult to teach them about my Swedish side since there aren't as many Swedes in Chicago. There is a Swedish museum that I try to take them to at least once a year. I did take them to the Santa Lucia festival a couple of times. DD enjoyed it but I don't think DS would be as excited about a bunch of girls with candles on their head singing.

One thing that has been difficult to teach them is how to be polite in another culture. Mexicans are much more formal and polite than Americans are. Not saying American's are rude, but hopefully you know what I mean ;). Younger people generally use the formal version of you (usted) when talking to someone who is older than them or someone you don't really know. Plus it is considered polite to shake someone's hand and/or give them a kiss on the cheek when meeting someone (whether you know them or not). At parties you go around and shake each person's hand or give them a kiss on the cheek. DD is pretty good at doing this but DS is sometimes too shy to shake a stranger's hand.

Sarah...mommy to Janessa and Julian


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Bilingual Families

Sarah...mommy to Janessa and Julian


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2007
Wed, 01-06-2010 - 4:49am

"Not saying American's are rude, but hopefully you know what I mean ;)”

 
Avatar for prinsessa
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-29-2003
Wed, 01-06-2010 - 11:03am
I'm not used to kissing strangers either. Thankfully you normally don't really kiss the person, just kind of kiss the air close to their face ;)

Sarah...mommy to Janessa and Julian


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Bilingual Families

Sarah...mommy to Janessa and Julian


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2007
Thu, 01-07-2010 - 3:42am

Which, might I say, doesn’t always work if both parties wear glasses/sunglasses.

 
Avatar for prinsessa
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-29-2003
Fri, 01-08-2010 - 1:03pm
LOL That must be kind of embarrassing!

Sarah...mommy to Janessa and Julian


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Bilingual Families

Sarah...mommy to Janessa and Julian


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