Featured Linguist!

Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

Donate Now | Visit the Fund Drive Homepage

Amount Raised:


Still Needed:


Can anyone overtake Syntax in the Subfield Challenge ?

Grad School Challenge Leader: University of Washington

Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

Ask-A-Linguist Message Details

Subject: How can I teach my language to my 7 year old step daughter?
Question: Hello,

I have a girlfriend since 2.5 years and she has a daughter. They are
russian, but we live in a french speaking country, so the kid speaks
both. At first I started speaking french to her(which I don't really know
well). As time passed I learned french a bit better. But now we
became more like a family, and I want to start speaking my own
language (turkish) to her, so that she learns it.

I had few tries, but she mostly rejected, and complained (because she
knows I speak french). How should I approach to this subject? Are
there any studies on this, that I can read about? Is 7 too late?

Should I just be insistent on speaking Turkish?

Reply: I agree with the others. Your relationship with the child matters more than whether she speaks Turkish or not. She has to want to know Turkish.

Don't insist. Focus on a good relationship and doing things together. If she hears you speaking Turkish to other people, that's good. Music is good. If she has Turkish-origin friends of her own age that's good.

Let her pick up some basic formulae of greetings and 'what is your name'. Don't push her.

At 7 she can learn formally, but she has to want to learn.


Reply From: Anthea Fraser Gupta      click here to access email
Date: 22-Sep-2012
Other Replies:
  1. Re: How can I teach my language to my 7 year old step daughter?    Geoffrey Richard Sampson     (17-Sep-2012)
  2. Re: How can I teach my language to my 7 year old step daughter?    Madalena Cruz-Ferreira     (17-Sep-2012)

Back to Most Recent Questions