How to raise Bilingual Kids in France

Raising English-speaking children in France

I asked some of my English-speaking friends to share their techniques about various aspects of living in France and asked them for their advice on how to bring up bilingual children. Here’s what they shared with me.

Bringing children up to be fluent in French and a second language – which for most of my friends is English is one of the most overwhelming challenges for newcomers living in France with their children.

Coming up with a system can be tough and equally difficult for both partners to agree on how to go about tackling the situation. For some parents, especially when the parents have both nationalities, it can cause a fair bit of pressure. Above all, it might be even more challenging when the parents have different nationalities, with neither of them being French, meaning they have to master three languages at the same time.

One thing several of our friends agreed on was the fact that having their kids being brought up in France in a French school provides a good entry not only to the French language but to life in France in general.

“Let them attend a French school. Of course, it is particularly tough in the beginning, but they will learn to speak French way faster and they will also learn about the French customs and ways of life”.

Another friend raising her bilingual children mentioned: “If your kids go to a French school and speak in English at your house, they will become truly bilingual. However, when my children started to want to speak French at your house – that was a challenge for a time.” Michèle Bolton had an French father and British mother, also recommends sending children to French schools. “Register your children in French schools for them to receive a better education. If they are young enough, they will easily become bilingual, opening their social life to a brand new world.

Speak English in your house

Speaking in English in their home was equally as important.

“Carry on speaking English to them at your home so they remain truly bilingual. As a matter of fact, forgetting the English language can be very easy when you speak a foreign language around the clock” said Rebecca Smith.

Caroline Brockin: “As they learned everything in French and we would only speak English at your house, our kids would translate everything from French into English. I would have never thought that they might lose their own language.”

Debbie Lee, who is a linguist and has bilingual children also advised speaking to children in your mother tongue at your house, advising to do so while the child is still very young. “My suggestion is that a parent should speak to children using their own native tongue, unless the parents are totally bilingual”.

Others mentioned they just mix it up, trying not to stress out the child.  

Laura Best, who is Irish and lives in France with her French husband and their children said: “What worked for us was not putting our children under pressure. We speak in French and respond in English, or vice versa. As you can see, it is a mixture of language at your house. As a result, the oldest is now completely bilingual and I have no doubts that the youngest will be also”, adding that their family had still a close relationship with their Irish family.

Belinda Francesco shared the same: “Never stop trying, and don’t punish your children if they won’t talk English, just take a deep breath and just keep going.”

Some friends suggested children’s television programmes in English or French.

In conclusion, the overwhelming message from the parents was the importance of being patient. “Don’t get set back on the fact that your kid replies in French, hold on and continue speaking in English. For instance, they might have a larger vocabulary in the more dominant language, i.e French when they attend school, but that’s acceptable as they might comprehend more than they say,” said Belinda.

Translate English to French?

how to speak to french people

Browsing the web in French

The world wide web is a place that most people browse in English. We’re looking for information we’d like quickly and easily as possible but as website designers or professionals, we do not give a second thought to pages in other languages.

Yet, would you believe it? There are many people who don’t speak any English at all. Best of all, they are browsing the web as well, and they are keen on getting content too. Web designers are getting used to this idea. They are currently beginning to provide translations of their sites in different languages. English into French is among the first language, for those searching for website translation. In this article, we’re going to look at the reasons.

French language in the world

Russian is the 4th most commonly desired language on the web after English, Spanish and then French. At any rate, if you are going to select a single language, then French is amongst the ones you want. Despite the fact that France are exposed to English within the EU, most individuals in French possess very little experience of the English language.

English language in France

In France, a lot of people neither speak nor understand English still due to some of the failures of the educational system, and it is very probable that an Internet user looking for French content speaks French only.

However, translating a web site from English into French is not too challenging. As a matter of fact, a variety of tools on-line exist that may provide you with machine translation. Such translations are sufficient to communicate specifics more often than not, but it is clear that they are carried out by a server and not by a human translator.

Acquiring a foreign language isn’t simply a case of applying the correct term – it’s a combination of context, grammar and terminology. Similarly, automated translation, at the moment, that is until AI becomes better at translating, can only exchange properly an English word for its French counterpart.

Regardless, to a person whose French is their mother tongue, the outcome will look inadequate and laughable. In many situations, such unskilful translation will be enough to convey the information you are promoting. However, when you’re translating a web site into another language, it is crucial to think about how professional you want the outcome to be. You also have to consider whether merely exchanging terms between one language to the other will enable you to attain the outcome you want.