A regular concern of non-native parents raising bilingual at the very beginning of their journey, is how to get the baby-related vocabulary in the minority language (ml).
If you share this concern, here are my 6 effective tips to help you out:
- Subscribing to a parenting newsletter in your ml – This is the first thing I did at the beginning of our journey. I subscribed to Babycentre’s newsletter and made regular visits to their website to read a couple of posts to gather parenting and baby-related vocabulary. This website is available in several languages, just scroll to the bottom of their homepage to choose from the language selection available. Ensure to subscribe to the newsletter so that the ml baby vocabulary comes to you more often than if it were left to you to go to it. 😉
- Google broader searches in the ml to find what you are looking for – for instance if you are looking for one baby item Google “items to have for baby’s arrival”, see if you can find it in a list of all the things needed, and pick up extra vocabulary you might not have yet.
- Visit online ml baby shops – Browse just as if you were about to purchase something from them, immersing yourself in the language as if it were your Majority Language (ML)! This has definitely been my favorite technique to pick up baby related vocabulary. To this day, I still use this technique to find any kind of vocabulary; e.g: to find “flower fluff” I browsed www.boots.co.uk (British pharmacy and beauty chain store).
- Join a maternity or parenting forum
- Listen to maternity or parenting podcasts.
- Join a Whatsapp language group – Some parents raising bilingual create Whatsapp groups around a set language combination (e.g: English/Spanish, French/English…). This is a very effective and quick way to pick up the specific vocabulary, idioms or loving words you are looking for.
Extra-tip: If you think you might forget a specific word you need on a daily basis in your routine, label it with a post-it note! For instance, if you fear to forget all the vocabulary related to nappy changing, put it on a post-it note just above the changing table so you may be able to look it up effortlessly when you most need it. Remember that to create ml exposure, you need to talk and describe everything you do to your little one. This is also a fantastic opportunity to repeat the same things over and over again so that baby picks it up but also so that you may too! 😉
Do you have any tips to share on how to pick-up baby-related vocabulary? Please share them in the Comment section so other bilingual parents may benefit from it!