• Farah Madadha

Moment of Realisation

I have never, ever, not in Ayla's 3 years, 5 months, and 18 days of age; communicated with her in Arabic. WHY? Because at some point, it's been said that children with parents of different mother-tongue  (or is it parents from different background/nationality/ethnicity/history/ etc.), should strictly speak to the child in their mother tongue.

I am at wonder as to how I rationalized/neutralized that advice! I think Ayla was barely a few months old when that conversation/conclusion happened. It was something like "we want Ayla to be exposed to both languages "equally", so Rob & I speak to her in English, & my parents in Arabic". It sounds stupid, I know; allow me to explain: As I recall, Mrs. Vicki de Klerk, said that each parent should strictly speak to the child in their own (the parents') mother-tongue, and not even let another word from the other language slip. This way, the child would acquire both languages in the same literacy proficiency. I can't agree or disagree with that theory.  I wish I had spoken Arabic to Ayla, I would've known by now. English is so cold. I want to tell her how much I love her, beyond "I love you". I can't tell whether I should or shouldn't blame myself. October 2015 would've been my 4th year anniversary with Rob. Living under one roof, and over my parents'. Now you get the 50/50 rationale? I thought that we should speak to her in English, as the rest of her surrounding spoke to her in Arabic...

That moment (of realisation) dawned on me when I tucked her in bed and hugged her so tights and said: !انتي عمري، انتي حياتي، انتي كل شي

and she stared back at me bewildered... 

Source: Islamic Arts Magazine. My Translation: Oh Lord, please grant me further knowledge

I need & will start talking to Ayla in Arabic. 

Are you bilingual and believe you can contribute with an advice? Drop me a line!

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