Does your family have a Union Language? Equalizing differences

If you would like to see more posts about how we Worldschool, click HERE! I came up with “Union Language” as I brainstormed ideas for this post. Googled it and found a definition on but nowhere else. If the term applies to Literature it can apply to language learning right?   I like it so I´m going with it!  I am new at assessing my family´s multilingualism, we just take it as something natural. Being part of Multicultural Kids Blogs, I have learned how special it really is.   OUR FAMILY We don´t have many different languages in our family, or even “exotic” languages, but what we do have is a mix of dialects of the same language in both Spanish and English. These are what I am calling our Union Language. MOM I am Peruvian and grew up speaking Peruvian Spanish with its own set of slang words and exclamation phrases, when I lived in Miami my Spanish changed and turned into American Spanish, with some English words mixed in. There was plenty of Spanglish going on in my teens. I attended a public High School but did not take Spanish courses, so didn´t learn the proper Spanish grammar and syntax rules. Back in Peru, I joined the Juniors in an American High School, I was placed in a “Spanish for Beginners” class, speaking American English in school, Spanglish with my friends and Spanish at home. My English was very American until I went to live with a British family and started using British terms and tonalities. Needless to say my English also changed and now no one can pinpoint where I am from when I speak English OR Spanish. This video is exactly how people talk to me when they hear I´m from Peru. DAD My husband grew up in Argentina, speaking Argentine Spanish, which is quite different to Peruvian Spanish especially the use of verb tenses and “vos” instead of “yo”. He then traveled to Holland where he learned a very posh British English with a Dutch tonality. That English is gone now, after three years in Asia it has toned down and become a very neutral English. He uses American and British words and sometimes a Dutch word here an there. His Spanish has also become more neutral, but put him in a room with Argentines and he switches right back to Porteño. This video is by a really funny You Tuber called Dustin Luke. He speaks Porteño like a local and then switches to English in a blink of an eye. Gotta love being multilingual! I wonder what this guy´s “union language” is. TEEN KIDDO My oldest daughter, now 16, spent her first four years in Cusco, Peru. Her dad and I spoke to her in English, our friends talked to her in English, in all the dialects and tonalities you can imagine; American, British, Australian, Scottish, Irish, you name it. At school and with her friends and nanny she talked in Spanish, it was a mountain Peruvian Spanish; which is different to its Coastal equivalent. When she was five, our life changed and English disappeared from her life, she switched to Coastal Peruvian Spanish. Before leaving for Asia it was necessary to get that English memory back so she attended intensive English courses, it didn´t take long to get her to remember all of it. She now speaks a very neutral English and can switch from American, to British and even to Australian quite easily. Her Spanish is very Limeño because that’s what her friends at school speak. I´m sure it will keep on changing just like mine has.   BIG KIDDO and SMALL KIDDO My oldest toddler left Peru when he was 1 1/2 and speaks his own version of Spanish, which is a mix of mine and hid dad´s; which are already mixes themselves. He is learning English as we travel, unfortunately a lot of Pidgin English since that´s how a lot of locals speak. His little sister has never been to Peru; she was born in Bangkok. She also speaks Spanish at home. I was trying to teach them English but wasn´t getting very far, so we decided to send them to an English Speaking Montessori Preschool so they could immerse in English. Small Kiddo comes back singing songs in English and has started answering me in English, saying “yes” instead of “Si” I can´t wait to see what kind of English they end up speaking. HOW ABOUT YOU? Does your family have their own Union Language? I had never realized how even in the same language a family can be multilingual and multicultural. I liked discovering this as I wrote this piece for the A-Z of Global Citizens.   I think its great to let each child develop their own version of the family language, and give it their own personality. Its their way to contribute to the multilingual family organism. I think its also important to teach them that their way of speaking is special. Thank you for reading, if you´d like to read more from the “A-Z of Raising Global Citizens” Series, scroll down for more!

In these Series 24 bloggers of Multicultural Kid Blogs Community got together to share ideas and tips on Raising Global Citizens. Follow us from June 1st to June 26th as we share a letter of the alphabet and an idea associated with it over at Raising Global Citizen Series page!
Creative World of Varya = Bilingual Avenue = The European Mama = Melibelle in = Smart Tinker = Good To Be Mom = Marie’s Pastiche = Third Culture Mama = Tiny Tapping Toes = All Done Monkey = Russian Step By Step = Multilingual Parenting = In The Playroom = Rue Du Belvedere = Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes = La Cité des Vents = Faith Seeker Kids = World Languages = The Piri-Piri Lexicon = Healthy Child, Global Mind = Mama Smiles = The Art Curator for Kids = Words n Needles = Multicultural Kitchen = Crazy Little Family Adventures