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Being from different states and different cultural backgrounds we speak a common language at home HINDI. But because am married this way I somehow could not make up my mind to let go of anything that I am accustomed, be it food or language or dressing and luckily my husband also supports me in everything I do.
when my son was born it was a natural concern from both families what language we will teach him. Staying away from our families somehow we both had a huge responsibility to stand up to all the demands our family had but more than anything we both husband and wife had decided long back, when we have kids, we will give them the taste of both our culture and language was a must.
When he was 6 months and it was always me and my son at home I started speaking to him everything I felt. Rather I made him a medium for pouring out all my feelings and in a way I took advantage of his silence. In spite of all this the first word my son uttered was "BABU", he calls his dad BABU and I must say I was a little bit disappointed he didn’t say mamma! I always spoke to him in full sentences and not a single day I used baby talks with him and somehow I feel, that helped him to pick all the words clearly from the day one.
Over a period of time when he started with words, I always taught him everything in KANNADA and HINDI at the same time and even made sure he watched all the available rhymes on YouTube of both languages. Simultaneously my husband spoke to him in ODIYA as he is from ODISHA and my son picked up all 3 languages at once. It is an amazing thing to see my son speaking to me in KANNADA and he will turn towards his dad and speak ODIYA and if he has to converse with both of us together he will use HINDI.
When we spoke to our doctor about this, after our families started complaining, this way he will not speak a single language and will get confused because of all the 3 different words, his doctor suggested we continue speaking and her reasoning for that was children have the ability to learn 16 languages until they attain 5 years of age and there will be no confusion if we both spoke our respective languages and moreover it promotes analytical thought and reduce emotional reaction. Logically the child will not even know there are 3 different languages. All he will see is my mother says BAA and my father says AASO and its normal for him.
Staying in West Bengal our neighbors and his teachers at school speak BENGALI and my son would confuse it with ODIYA and would always reply back in ODIYA as both the languages are quite similar. ENGLISH is an essential part of everyone's life and now we have started conversing in ENGLISH with him and he is enjoying mixing up all the languages he knows to give a reply to whatever we say.
At 3 years I must say my sons small brain has an amazing memory to store a lot of things and today we are proud of him for having complete command over HINDI, KANNADA, ODIYA and a little bit of BENGALI and ENGLISH too and both our families are pleased and everyone else who meet him is surprised how he manages to simultaneously speak all at once