Monday 12 October 2009

Family Language Diagram

I recently discovered and subsequently devoured "Multi Tongue Kids". Their setup is very similar to ours, only with different languages. I very much liked the "Family Language Diagram" on the blog, so I did one for us as well.

I intend to update this regularly because part of the magic is that it changes all the time!

I will also try to make a couple of those depicting the past (when BK1 started to speak, before BK2 was around, after 4 weeks in Algiers, and so on). Should look good as a movie :-)

One thing to note in this first diagram is the absence of English. While we all speak English, we do not use it in house. My guess is that it'll creep into the picture now that BK1 is in school.

The other interesting aspect: Souad speaks two languages. I have  always thought of it as one ("that funny mix they speak in the Maghreb countries"), but BK1 is clearly not agreeing. Since we spent a lot of time in France this summer, she has become so much better and she now doesn't mix French and Arabic anymore.

[Update] Souad rightly points out that although Ines uses words from all three languages, she doesn't really "speak any of those languages" yet. So I changed the diagram.


  1. Your family amazes me! We are about to introduce a third language into the mix (Chinese). Neither me nor my husband speak it so it will be a family learning experience.

  2. Interesting! I would love to speak Chinese; mind you it would make more sense for me to master German first, as I would then be able to understand when the girls speak with their father.
    If you do not mind me asking, what are the reasons you would like to introduce chinese?

  3. Thank you for your post,
    My little girl is learning 3 languages and some times I feel worried but reading your post makes me feel more confident. My baby is learning Spanish at home and we live in Ottawa (french-English town), so she is learning french with her caregiver and English from the rest of the people.

  4. Sounds interesting Angelica, no clear majority language there... Is there a way to follow your multilingual adventures? I can't access your profile.

  5. Thanks for linking and lovely to discover your blog too! Kudos for the diagram, and indeed, keep updating it: you will see some amazing changes in the next few years!
    I would not worry about English since it will come with the schooling and eventually you will have social occasions where you'll be "obliged" to speak it with your children as well.... I'll link you too and look dforward to reading more about your multilingual adventure! Clo from Multi Tongue Kids


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