It’s all about how you sound
I just read an article titled Polyglot babies ‘more tolerant’. It talks about how the more different accents that babies hear, the more likely they are to be more tolerant to people that sound that way. It seems pretty logical to me, the more kids are exposed to different people, the more accepting they will be.
Yesterday Daniel asked me what was the primary language spoken at home. Bea has 3 languages to pick from and I can speak two of those fluently, learning more and more of the third one with time. We actually use all 3 to communicate. While I hardly ever use French, I do understand some of the things she says and jokes about. Spanish being native to both of us is used mostly when talking about the past or family. We use English whenever it is a better language either because of technical terms or simply quicker.
I have to admit that Bea did wake up my Spanish language side. I had not used it for a while and was glad to hear that I had my “valluno”(area where we grew up) accent. It is kind of weird, but as I started to hear more colloquialisms from her, my brain seem to start remembering words faster. I bet I can probably interpret a little better that I am using both languages.
Growing up I heard mostly Spanish. The English that I did hear was music here and there. The kids from my family here will have the advantage to have grown up hearing both Spanish and English even though they mostly speak English. I believe we are entering the first generation where it is not a shameful thing to speak English in the US with an accent, or know two languages. I know many immigrant families stamped out the “old” language from their kids from my Italian and German descent friends that say they heard their grandparents would speak the language but not their parents.
I have friends from many backgrounds and love the fact that in my house you can hear all kinds of accents and languages depending on who is there. I need to concentrate on my next language soon. I also think I should continue learning ASL and actually become fluent at it. Linking language with tolerance is very cool, I only wish that more people will start seeing it that way.