How young should you start learning languages?
Doctors tell us that our children can absorb so much information at such a young age. In their first 10 years they will be able to remember quite a lot. So, when should children learn a language? Most of us would say when they start school and it becomes part of the curriculum.
In Wales, learning Welsh happens from a young age. As soon as you start school, you’ll slowly be introduced to Welsh classes. These days, you might find some primary schools offering German, French or Spanish for example – but these wouldn’t be too in depth. You would be learning numbers, weather, feelings and the alphabet for example.
If you speak another language in the house, then you might have your child learn this earlier in life. If for example, the mother is French and the father is English, no doubt that the mother would try and introduce their child to French earlier than schools would introduce the language to the child.
Recently we heard that 2-year-old Princess Charlotte is already speaking Spanish! She has only just begun Nursery School, but sources say she speaks Spanish with her Spanish nanny. Obviously, we don’t know how much Spanish she can speak, but being introduced to another language at a young age, we’re sure she will pick it up quickly. Sources already state she can happily chat away in Spanish.
Starting to feel inferior yet?
There are rumours that Prince George is also learning languages at a young age as well. The Duchess confirmed that her children are both ‘linguistically curious’. Studies show that childhood is the perfect time to learn a language. If you go into Toys R Us for example, look at some of the learning toys – many have another language on it. I’ve seen talking clocks offering 3 languages to the infant, or interactive animal toys with multiple languages spoken. Now, I don’t remember these as a child, but these days you can easily find a toy that’ll be multi-lingual.
Benefits of being bilingual
It is wildly thought that being bilingual can give you better job prospects. Here at Lingua Translations we completely agree with this. It’s great to be a lawyer, but imagine being a lawyer that also speaks German? Think of the career possibilities if you can add a language onto your passion! Many articles these days are also showing bilingualism can help protect you against dementia as it gives you a cognitive boost.
We think that getting children interested in languages early in their life is a fantastic idea! Who knows, maybe in 10 years it’ll be normal for infants to know more than 1 language, but for now it’s pretty special!