I am reading a beautifully written essay on the difficulties of relating childhood memories in English when you grew up speaking another language.  Some things just don’t translate.  In fact, one could argue that events experienced in one language can no more be translated into another than apple can be translated into banana.  Barney the Dinosaur notwithstanding, if you grew up speaking, breathing, existing in purple, how is one to render the experience int...more

Pick a Language, Any Language

Six of us were seated around the table, in the thick of a good German board game (about which, more in a coming blog post). We were playing and joking and speaking in casual, conversational English. Then it hit me that everyone but me spoke at least three languages. This was no foreign language teachers' convention. No. This was just a group of expat and local friends in Saudi Arabia. ...more

How I help my baby acquire a second language?

As someone who may possibly acclaim as bilingual, I never forget the frustration I grew up in learning a second language—English—in a non-native language environment.English is so different from Mandarin Chinese in many ways, such as grammar, intonation, pronunciation, and writing. Plus, traditional English teaching in China focused on knowledge giving rather than developing effective communication skills in using this language....more

Foreign Language in Your Face -- Rude or Reasonable?

Do you think it's rude when people converse in a foreign language right in front of you?  Because I'm bilingual, I know what it's like to be on both sides of this conversation....more
Is it discourteous to speak a different language when you know others don’t understand?  Is it ...more

bilingual kids

Since I'm native Norwegian, Leighton and I decided when I was pregnant that ...more

A Manner of Speaking (when they talk, I listen, amazed) Saying thank you is more than good manners. It is good spirituality. Alfred Painter ...more

carnival time: submissions welcome (raising children bilingually)

I will be hosting a carnival on raising children bilingually on my blog at on 31st August. If you wish to contribute a post on your experiences, tips or anything to do with raising children bilingually (any language combination is welcome), please send a link to your post to blog @ (leaving out the spaces) by 30th August. Thanks!  Cartside   ...more

Are you teaching your child Chinese?

Are there any families out there who speak Mandarin at home, or whose children are learning Chinese at school? I'm the mother of two young bilingual kids and I run a blog called Hao Mama about making Chinese a fun and organic part of their lives. I'd love to hear from other parents who are doing the same. ...more