Bilingual is Better

Bicultural Vida

What Exactly Does it Mean to be Fluent in a Language?

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My varied experiences with the Spanish language have taught me that there is one thing bilinguals will always have a surplus of: questions. Fluency is a relative concept; everyone has a different definition of what it means to be fluent in a language, and my most pressing question seems to be Am I really fluent? At my son’s age (3), the questions are more basic, like Why do we say “his” and “her” en inglés, but only “su” en español?Read More ...

Bilingual Toys: Are The Accents Authentic?

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I have this extreme obsession with language. It can lead me to analyze almost every utterance that is produced although lately I have been scrutinizing the trilingual toys I have for my baby. I have been staring, analyzing, and pressing the button over and over to listen to the French, Spanish, and English words spoken. I can’t help it! They can sound so silly! For instance, the one in the car says “mo-rah-doh (purple in Spanish),” like the Anglo kidsRead More ...

A Mother by Any Other Name

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When I was 22 and just out of college, I joined the Peace Corps and was shipped off to West Africa.  After a few months of training, a Peace Corps driver dropped me and my few possessions off in a remote village of 900 people, which was to be my home for the next two years.  Fortunately, I was able to talk to the handful of people of my village who spoke French, which was the official language.  Everyone elseRead More ...

Mothering: A Draft In Progress

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Last week, I found myself passionately reading sonnets by Pablo Neruda to my 2-year-old. Yes, I know that sounds obnoxious, but the book is all pink, and she pulled it off the shelf…then I found the poem in it we read at our wedding…then I told her how romantic it was that Neruda wrote a hundred love sonnets for his wife…And somewhere between eyerolls, my husband suggested I should write love sonnets for the girls. Now, that sounds easier thanRead More ...

How Conducting Business en Español Can Help Your Bilingual Child

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Given that workplace compensation for bilingualism is becoming more and more scarce in the U.S., I am grateful that I can reap the benefits of my Spanish skills as a self-employed tutor. While I do not get paid more per hour for being bilingual, I often book Spanish-speaking clients, whose business I would otherwise lose due to an inability to communicate. In Orlando (where I live) and all over Florida, there is a particularly great need for ways to bridgeRead More ...

What Two Recent Studies Reveal About Latina Moms: We Love Our Culture

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In the past couple of weeks there have been two studies released related to Latina mamás which have been of particular interest to us here at SpanglishBaby for the insights they’ve revealed related to how ingrained our culture is in our daily lives regardless of our acculturation level. Just this past Monday, BabyCenter released The Hispanic Moms Acculturation Study, which is part of their larger 21st Century Mom Insight Series. The study interviewed 2,479 Hispanic moms — from recent immigrants toRead More ...

How Much Does It “Cost” To Become Multilingual?

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Who gets to be trilingual? The situation always seems to present itself as such: one parent speaks one minority language and the other parent another minority language and they live somewhere, where the majority language is spoken. What about those parents who are monolingual? What about parents who are both what they call heritage speakers of a minority language, like myself? What about parents who would LOVE for their children to speak more than one language, but can’t afford toRead More ...

The Body Language of Bilinguals

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When thinking about Spanglish, I usually think about the words we use day-to-day.  Phrases like “Want your agua?” pass through my lips all the time. I keep trying to remind myself to speak en Espanol, not in English, but lots of the time what comes out is our familiar old friend, Spanglish.  Something I’ve only recently started to think about is the body language that accompanies my Spanish-speaking Latinidad and my English speaking American identity.  They are very different, andRead More ...

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