Bilingual is Better

Bicultural Vida

Bilingual Musings: Literal Translations

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Raising a bilingual child can undoubtedly be a lot of work, but it can also be extremely amusing. Just check out the conversation I had with Vanessa yesterday: — “Bueno conocerte,” she said as she shook my hand playfully. — “¿Qué que?” I asked her as I shook her hand back. — “Bueno conocerte,” she repeated emphatically. — “¿Qué significa eso?” I quizzed her. — “Nice to meet you,” she responded confidently, surprised that I would ask such a thing.Read More ...

4 Fun Activities for Spanish Playgroups

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Joining a Spanish speaking playgroup is a great support for raising bilingual children.  Soon after my first son was born, I joined my Spanish speaking playgroup, and through our participation, I have really seen the value in the Spanish development of both my sons.  More than anything else, the group has also been a lot of fun for all of us. The educational benefits to joining a playgroup were obvious for me.  Having a group of friends that know SpanishRead More ...

Bicultural Means Two Cultures, Right?

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“You are obsessed,” my husband tells me a couple of nights ago as I’m frantically (and futilely) looking for a Spanish-speaking (or bilingual) clown on the internet for Vanessa’s 5th birthday party this summer. He think it’s crazy I’m doing this because, in his view, who cares what language the clown speaks? “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I respond. But then, I start to really think about it. Am I obsessed? Sure I am. I’ll be dammed ifRead More ...

Welcome Spanish and It Welcomes You

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Lately, I have taken frequent note of the hypocrisy surrounding Spanish speaking in America. While many monolingual (English-speaking) Americans feign support for Latino culture, they back up when it comes too close. The message I hear is: Go ahead and teach your kids Spanish, but speak English around me because I don’t want it to take over my world. This is why many parents enroll their children in Spanish classes or expose them to Spanish baby books but fall shortRead More ...

When Cultures Collide: Not-So-Happy Mother’s Day

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Dia de las Madres/Mother's Day

My husband and I met during the years I lived in Mexico City.  We got married and soon after moved to L.A. thanks to a job offer.  We had our first and only daughter almost four years ago in the U.S.  She has both a U.S. passport and a Dutch one because her paternal Opa (grandfather) is a Dutch citizen.  She doesn´t have or need a Mexican or Salvadoran passport to have those nationalities in her blood. We have beenRead More ...

Week of SpanglishBaby Moms: A Commitment to Spanish

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There are so many wonderful reasons why I love being a mom to a bilingual and bicultural child. And beyond the long-term benefits that it will have for my son as he navigates through life, I keep coming back to a nostalgic feeling of keeping a connection between my son and my home country of Venezuela. I was born in Caracas and we moved to the Unites States in 1980 when I was just 6-years-old. According to my mother, IRead More ...

Week of SpanglishBaby Moms: Celebrating Cultura on Mother’s Day

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As someone who was raised by a single mother, Mother’s Day has an extra special significance to me.  Not only because we celebrated it twice in my home. Dominican’s Mother’s Day is on the last Sunday of the month. To me Mother’s Day signifies something bigger — the daily struggles, endurance, determination and influence of a woman who came to this country for a better life. My mother promised to make certain my brother and I had a better life than the one she had growingRead More ...

Week of SpanglishBaby Moms: The Bilingual Mom Police

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As a first generation Latina it is of the utmost importance for me that my children learn to speak and write proper Spanish. Much more than that, I find myself lecturing my closest friends and family — also first generation — when I hear they don’t speak Spanish to their children. The answer I often get from these parents is that it is effortless to talk to them in English because they are learning the language in school and theyRead More ...

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