Learning a second language can help you gain learning tool, get better jobs or just understand the world from a different perspective.
There is no downside to being bilingual.
But Redditor babybumps_ encountered an issue with her partner. So she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment on a hypothetical question.
“WIBTA (Would I Be The A**hole) for insisting we raise our children fluent in a language my partner doesn’t speak?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“Before I start, I know Reddit has a tendency to call the incorrect party not only an a**hole, but also an abusive psycho. I would like to iterate that neither my partner or I have any hard feelings towards each other, this is just something we’re both very passionate about.”
“My partner (18M) and I (17F) have twins (<1F).”
“I speak both English and another language, my boyfriend speaks only English, and we have very different opinions on how to raise the twins. He believes they shouldn’t grow up able to talk with each other behind his back, which I completely understand.”
“In addition, though he hasn’t said it, I get the feeling he might be a bit concerned that the girls will love me more and speak to me in the other language in his presence, leaving him out of the loop.”
“I completely get where he’s coming from, but I’m of the opinion that the more languages our kids speak the better and that they need to be exposed to my language.”
OP thinks being bilingual can benefit them.
“We’ve had several arguments about this and it’s caused a certain amount of strain on our relationship.”
“He argues that since every close family member is fluent in English they have no need to know a second language, which I vehemently disagree with.”
“It may be worth adding that one of the girls is displaying signs of hearing loss. They don’t believe she’ll be totally deaf and we are still waiting for tests, however we have already started learning BSL as a family, so the girls will essentially grow up trilingual.”
“I’m honestly at a loss.”
“Do I insist on raising them bilingual or concede to only speaking English?”
“WIBTA for insisting on raising them bilingual against my husband’s wishes?”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.
“NTA. They’re twins. Odds are they’ll come up with their own way of communicating behind both your backs, especially if he makes a big deal out of hating the idea.”
“And given that the research is very clear that kids benefit from learning multiple languages at a young age, if he’s this concerned about not being able to understand them when they drop into one he theoretically can learn, he knows how to fix that.” ~ mm172
“The other way he can prevent that is pulling his finger out and learning the language himself.” ~ Cookyy2k
“Yes! My nieces are bilingual. They speak Greek and English as their dad is Greek and their mother is American.”
“As their aunt and uncle, we have taken classes from my BIL to learn to speak with his family in their native language. I think it’s wonderful, honestly. NTA encourage your husband to learn with your kids! My kids are Learning now!” ~ Typical-Garlic-7308
“I’m mid 30s native English speaker that like many native English speakers has never really felt the need to learn anything else. My fiancée is Swedish (and is better at English than me).”
“I’m trying to learn but it’s an uphill battle as someone who’s never been amazing at languages in the first place (give me a programming language or mathematical formula though and I’ll sort that no problem).” ~ Cookyy2k
“This was my thought. Like, he’s your partner, getting to know your other language should be an absolutely ideal way to better love you. And again, he’d be learning with the kids, so win-win.”
“I’m second generation; everyone on my dad’s side of the family is fluent in German. I’m the only one who isn’t fluent, and it often makes me sad that he didn’t ever have the time to teach me. Language is beautiful, and beyond that, knowing any language in addition to English is really a fantastic way to set your children up well for later in life.” ~ shaerhen
“As a parent of two with a husband that speaks multiple languages, we agreed that he’d speak to them in his native language, and I’d speak to them in English. You’d be surprised how quickly one can pick up at least certain phrases of another language this way.”
“I’ve also started taking classes to learn his language, because, why the hell wouldn’t you want to expand your knowledge? Learning multiple languages as young children is great for their brains and knowing multiple languages can only help them in their future.” ~ MamaOf2Monsters
OP added some edits.
“Wow! Thank you all so very much for your kind responses.”
“I wasn’t expecting to get this much traction! I’m sorry I can’t respond to you all individually, I’ve got twin babies!!”
“So a lot of you seem to be getting confused. I’m actually not sure where several people have got Māori from lol, and I’m not American. The language I speak, which I was intending to keep private but on further reflection I feel actually needs to be shared, is Welsh.”
“I will be having a serious conversation with my partner later today about learning it as a family!”
“To those who keep suggesting we all learn French or something as a family, no offense but please stop. We are just not going to be doing that and it’s neither here nor there.”
“Also, despite my disclaimer at the beginning, I have had at least 30 comments cry abuse/coercive control. My partner is the best man you have ever met and I can assure you he treats me incredibly well, I think this issue is truly coming from a place of love for the twins.”
“He was completely aboard on learning sign for Freja, and I’m certain after we have an in depth conversation on the benefits he’ll also want to learn Welsh for them.”
Learning a new language is always a benefit.