Me and my husband have different mother languages. We are having a baby. Which language should we speak to baby, mine or my husband? We are living in my husband country not my country.

  • 1
    Welcome to the site! We do have a few questions here about raising bilingual children - a quick search of questions tagged "bilingual" might give you a few ideas: parenting.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/bilingual
    – Stephie
    Commented Nov 15, 2015 at 22:23
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    It would help if you could state what you want to achieve.
    – user7953
    Commented Nov 16, 2015 at 6:04

4 Answers 4


The simplest answer is whatever works for you!

It's a great opportunity to teach your child both languages and for them to be exposed to both your culture and your husband's culture. Many bilingual families have different methods which work for them. Sometimes the mother speaks one language to the child and the father speaks the other. Or both parents speak both languages.

Especially since you are living in your husband's country, this is a great opportunity to teach your child your language, so that they will be able to communicate with your parents and learn more of your culture. They will probably be receiving a lot of exposure to your husband's language just in the community.

My husband and I are in this situation. We are a bilingual household and we speak both languages to eachother as we feel. This will probably continue after we have children. English (my mother tongue) is not spoken a significant amount where we live, so it will be a priority for me to expose our children to English since they'll be getting plenty of exposure to my husband's language outside the home.


Be natural and use both languages. I would emphasise the language of the culture, just for assimilation, but Children are sponges. They can easily learn both languages. And learning both languages early may make it much easier for the child to pick up additional languages in the future.


As other people have said, it's hard to say without knowing your goals.

You will probably want to speak to you child in your best language, even if it isn't the community language and even if it doesn't have the prestige of some other language. (You didn't say which, so I'm definitely not making a judgement on what is a more prestigious language) If you are a balanced bilingual, i.e. equally competent in both languages, it doesn't matter, except that children don't learn the language they don't hear. Lots of research demonstrates that bilingualism provides a host of benefits from economic advantages to resilience against dementia in old age.

If you do decide to raise your child bilingually, one-parent-one-language is a common successful strategy.


This other question is quite interesting: How to Handle Multi-Language Situation

My family is in a similar situation:

  • different mother tongue between my wife and I
  • we live in my spouse country

Something that seemed important to me is to talk to my kids in my native language, to express all the love I have for them (and also to make them pick up my language).

But my wife uses a mix of her native language (mandarin), her native dialect, English, and my own mother tongue. And this has worked great so far with our 2 kids.

Kids are very smart and can adapt to any language you throw at them, but it is better to stay consistent to avoid confusing them too much.

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