Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Speaking in three languages

Asalamu alaikum,

Now for something a bit lighter. ;-)

Saad primarily speaks English. He knows a bit of Urdu, but since we have been here in Pakistan and most of the in-laws are in UAE, Tariq has mostly just slipped into using English with him.

There are some Urdu words that he uses instead of English regularly though, like "pani"(water), "khana"(food/eat/meal), and "hawa"(wind). Simple stuff mostly. We have started to try to teach him more Urdu and have gone back to the "Mommy speaks English, Daddy speaks Urdu" method.

He is also learning a tiny bit of Arabic. He knows "Bismillah"(in the name of Allah[swt]), and he uses it regularly. MashAllah, he will now tell Tariq and I to say it before our meals if we don't say it out loud. He also knows "Alhamdulillah"(all praise to Allah[swt)], and the first kalima, and is learning Surah AL-Kawthar.

MashAllah, he sometimes says two little phrases that make me so happy. "Bismillah Eat Khana", when we start to eat and "Alhamdulillah Light Agae", when the lights come on after load shedding. Phrases in three languages!


Rene´s Bare Essentials said...

salaam alaikum,

my husband and I have also fallen into the pattern of only speaking to our daughter (10 1/2 months) in English. We live in Spain (Im american, hes moroccan) so in a few years she will have to speak spanish. For now I try to talk to her in english, my husband arabic and when shes 2 or 3 years old we will introduce a 3rd language. I think concentrating on 2 languages is easier than 3. I think its a great idea if you continue to speak to your child in english and your husband in urdu. Its hard at times because its easy for both parents to speak the most common language (english) but after talking to a speech therapist I was advised that its better to have each parent speak a different language (for bi-lingual parents) from an early age. Best of luck!

Um Zakarya said...

Assalamu Aleykum,

I agree with Rene, your husband should definitely speak to your son in urdu and you should speak to him in English.

My son's father never spoke to him in Arabic, and I now realise what a huge mistake it was.

Thinking said...

hmm....same with my nephews....my elder brother in law is Punjabi so he always try to teach my nephews punjabi...my sister always insist on Urdu...and as they are living in UK...they kind of use mixed three languages when they talk to us...lol...children have intresting way to construct the sentences..and they do it so skillfully...we all laugh afterwards...

Nice post...

Aishah said...


Rene, that is kind of the way I want to go with Saad, I speak English, Tariq speaks Urdu, and when he gets a bit bigger I am going to try to find classes or a sister to tutor him in Arabic. My FIL and BIL both speak Arabic(from being in UAE for so long), but as we intend to head back to the US, there is no way for them to really teach him.

Um Zakarya,
This is exactly why we are trying to get back to Tariq speaking primarily Urdu, I have seen families that live in the states and it is so sad when the children speak little to no Urdu. How can they communicate with grandparents and other relative that don't speak English?

MashAllah that you nephews are tri-lingual! It is always a good skill to be able to speak so many languages. Little kids are so cute when speaking a mix of languages!