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Tagalog vs. English

  1. #1
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    Tagalog vs. English

    Someone made a snarky little remark that the baby's first language was going to be Tagalog! They were joking, but it annoyed me, since I've made a huge effort and financial hit to take a half-year off of work, and I do almost all of the babycare myself, including those awful night feeds, even though we have a helper.

    Anyway... I was wondering if your helpers spoke to your babies in English, or their native tongue. My helper does alot of baby-talk / babbling, which I guess is OK now, but will have to stop -- mostly because it drives me crazy! But she also babbles to her in Tagalog.

    It's not a big deal. We're an English household and our child will naturally become a native English speaker with or without the helper. But still... should I ask her to stop speaking to the child in Tagalog all the time?

  2. #2
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
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    I wish I had your problem. I requested then begged and even threatened our helpers, wanting them to talk Tagalog to our ones early on but they just wouldn't. They would start and then 1 or 2 days later, they would go back to English.

    If I were you, I'd encourage it. Why stop it at all? Its a benefit and wont hurt your baby one bit.

  3. #3
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    personally, i really wish my helper had spoken to my kids in tagalog. they already have english from mummy and cantonese from daddy... so, tagalog would have been a 3rd language.

    i think languages will ONLY open doors, NEVER close them! so, the more languages they know, the better!
    thanka2 likes this.

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    Frenchy is offline Registered User
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    Our helper speaks in English with our kids, and Tagalog with her friends or on the phone. My son has managed to pick some words from her conversations. The other day he asked her "what's happening" and "how are you" in Tagalog, she was very surprised and I think it's great ! He's asking her sometimes how to say some things and I've encouraged her to tell him.

  5. #5
    bonita is offline Registered User
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    My cousin had an English tutor who told my aunt to make sure the helper doesn't speak English to my cousin because the helper's English will undo the tutor's work.

  6. #6
    charade is offline Registered User
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    Agree with those who say that the child picking up Tagalog or any other language is a pretty cool. When I was growing up my mum kept trying to get our helpers to speak their native language to us and they just wouldn't, so we ended up monolingual which is a bummer. In India, most of the help don't speak English so the kids end up picking up their language but as long as the parents speak English and they go to English-medium school, their English is fine and they land up with an extra language as a bonus.

    Another thing people are overly concerned about is the child picking up a Filipino accent. First, why is that a problem? Second, there are so many families with Filipino helpers who are the primary caregiver and I see very few non-Filipino kids with Filipino accents. There may be the odd word that get mispronounced but that can be easily corrected.

  7. #7
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    that's ridiculous. i tutored for years. yes, there were times that the child had learned incorrectly, but the vast majority of those problems were introduced from poor teachers at school, not from the helper at home.

  8. #8
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    Hi all -- Sorry if my comment wasn't clear.
    That snarky comment was not against Tagalog. The person who said it was making an implication that, since I was going back to work, I'd be a bad mother for leaving the child with a Filipina helper. But that's a whole other post!

    I have no problem with kids learning all sorts of languages -- our baby will probably speak English, Cantonese and French just from living in our household. And I'm not worried about a "Filipino accent". There's nothing wrong with different accents. And, anyway, kids usually pick up their parents' native accents anyway.

    I guess it was the Tagalog baby-babbling that seems to go on all day long. It annoys me personally, but the Baby doesn't care. I mean, she's just a baby!

    I was just curious what other helpers spoke to their charges here.

    I've also read that it's better for people to speak to children in their native tongues, instead of struggling to speak bad or accented second languages. That's because children need to learn basic verbal communication first, and the details of language later, doesn't matter if it's Swahili or Ancient Greek.

    I often hear local parents struggling to speak to their kids in broken, heavily accented English. I want to tell them just to speak in Cantonese -- why are we ashamed of our own language? Isn't communicating easily with your child more important than trying to teach them a "more marketable" language?

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