Recommended Reading for Intercultural Couples

Family life in Finland from kindergartens, child education, language schooling and everyday life. Share information and experiences. Network with other families.
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anja
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Post by anja » Tue Sep 23, 2003 4:50 pm

Hank W. wrote:This kind of "helps people to know themselves" books are the first stage of calling madame Lula and asking for a seance.

This book in question might be a good read, Anja you can lend it to me before Oggie eats it after Phil smears it with liver pat'e :mrgreen:
HAhhaa!! Will do :lol:
Do you want to start with "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus"? Hear that's proven good, too! :wink: And goes for any ("western") relationship, so no need to have a foreign girlfriend for this one, I assume!!


"Did you ever walk into a room and forget why you walked in? I think that's how dogs spend their lives."
-- Sue Murphy

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Hank W.
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Post by Hank W. » Tue Sep 23, 2003 4:55 pm

No, for that book I'll bring over the paté... hope Oggie is starved.

Now I need to become an author: "Don't touch my buzzsaw and leave my underwear unstarched."?
Cheers, Hank W.
sitting here like a lemon looking for a gin.

arty fact
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Post by arty fact » Tue Sep 23, 2003 6:09 pm

Hey, I used to see funny comedy on Nelonen - Krishna Soikkoon (or something alike!). That was about all kind of intercultural bumps relationships!:-) (Indian- English, precisely). The passage about disgusting foods connected me to the K.S. And it's not even a matter of diplomacy to adjust to other foods than you used to eat for 20 years. Every time I travel home and hardly readjust to greasy, heavy foods, that I have to come back here and eat too rasvaton, light foods.;-) It's kind of amusing to see that the things you eat traditionally, mean "fear factor" to others!

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Samppa
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Post by Samppa » Tue Sep 23, 2003 8:04 pm

What is Marriage: The following are all possible answers!!!!!!
1. Marriage is not a word. It's a sentence (a life sentence).
2. Marriage is love. Love is blind. Therefore marriage is an
institution for the blind.
3. Marriage is an institution in which a man loses his Bachelor's
Degree and the woman gets her masters.
4. Marriage is a three ring circus: engagement ring, wedding
ring and suffering
5. Married life is full of excitement and frustration:
- In the first year of marriage, the man speaks and the woman
listens.
- In the second year, the woman speaks and the man listens.
- In the third year, they both speak and the NEIGHBOR listen.
6. Getting married is very much like going to the restaurant
with friends. You order what you want, and when you see what the other
fellow has, you wish you had ordered that instead.
7. There was this man who muttered a few words in the church and
found himself married.
A year later he muttered something in his sleep and found himself
divorced.
8. A happy marriage is a matter of giving and taking; the husband
gives and the wife takes.
9. Son: How much does it cost to get married, Dad?
Father: I don't know son, I'm still paying for it.
10.Son: Is it true? Dad, I heard that in ancient China, a man
doesn't know his wife until he marries her.
Father: That happens everywhere, son ,EVERYWHERE!
11. Love is one long sweet dream, and marriage is the alarm
clock.
12. They say that when a man holds a woman's hand before
marriage, it is love; after marriage it is self-defense.
13. When a newly married man looks happy, we know why. But when
a 10-year married man looks happy, we wonder why.
14. There was this lover who said that he would go through hell
for her. They got married, and now he is going through HELL.
15. Confucius says: man who sinks into woman's arm soon have arms in woman's sink.
16. When a man steals your wife, there is no better revenge than to
let him keep her.
17. Eighty percent of married man cheat in America, the rest
cheat in Europe.
18. After marriage, husband and wife become two sides of a coin.
They just can't face each other, but still they stay together.
19. Marriage is man and a woman become one. The trouble starts when
they try to decide which one.
20. Before marriage, a man yearns for the woman he loves. After
the marriage the "Y" becomes silent.
21. I married Miss right, I just didn't know her first name was
Always.
22. It's not true that married men live longer than single men,
it only seems longer.
23. Losing a wife can be hard. In my case, it was almost
impossible.
24. A man was complaining to a friend:
I HAD IT ALL, MONEY, A BEAUTIFUL HOUSE, THE LOVE OF A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN, THEN POW! IT WAS ALL GONE.
WHAT HAPPENED, asked his friend. MY WIFE FOUND OUT.
25. WIFE: Let's go out and have some fun tonight.
HUSBAND: OK, but if you get home before I do, leave the hallway light
on.
26. At a cocktail party, one woman said to another: AREN'T YOU
WEARING YOUR RING ON THE WRONG FINGER?
The other replied, YES, I AM, I MARRIED THE WRONG MAN.
27. Man is incomplete until he gets married, then he is finished.
28. It doesn't matter how often a married man changes his job, he
still ends up with the same boss.
29. A man inserted an ad in the paper - WIFE WANTED. The next day he received a hundred letters and they all said the same thing - YOU CAN HAVE MINE.

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Mikie
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Post by Mikie » Tue Sep 23, 2003 9:29 pm

hehe, Samppa. I actually laughed out loud to a couple of those. Nice list.

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daive
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Post by daive » Tue Sep 23, 2003 11:44 pm

Mikie wrote:hehe, Samppa. I actually laughed out loud to a couple of those. Nice list.
Yeah, there are a few gems there. I know it is still a long while off but I will save some of those to put in my wedding speech!! :twisted: :twisted:

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ajdias
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Post by ajdias » Thu Sep 25, 2003 12:59 am

Mikie wrote: IF Maria and I were to get married and have kids, we have already agreed that the children will learn English, Finnish and Swedish.
That's the way to go, although it might be very difficult if you're not living in Finland or Sweden.
A few months ago we were looking for a good kindergarden for our soon to be three year old. One of our options was Mi Casita a spanish kindergarden. We were wondering whether spanish would either support his portuguese or cannibalise it (if the kid decided that spanish would be good enough for me..) and if a 4th language would be too much for him..
My wife inquired at the university of Helsinki and was advised to contact Christer Laurén, professor from the University of Vaasa and an expert that had been responsible for implementing imersion classes in Finland, 20 years ago. His answer was something like "Go for it; and why not a swedish speaking kindergarden?" Unfortunately, swedish immersion is only available at the age of 4 (at least on the kindergarden we called) so it was never an real option.

And this story: In one of Laurén's articles he reports the case of a young italian girl, that was fluent in 3 languages. Nothing special, had she not suffered from the down syndrome...
Last edited by ajdias on Mon Sep 29, 2003 1:00 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Samppa
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Post by Samppa » Thu Sep 25, 2003 4:10 pm

Haven't been thinking about having little kiddies yet, but this forum motivated me to do so.

I communicate with Tiia with the help of English though it's not a mother tongue for both of us. Actually we don't even speak proper English between us, we developed our own "dialect" - English mixed with words from other languages and some weird sounds. (No idea, for example, how "lakka" would sound in English, so it's lakka). If we have children will they inherit our "dialect" or will they be "three"lingual if Tiia speaks Finnish to them and I speak my languages (I am bilingual)? Is it normal for kids to learn 3 languages at the same time? Or they won't learn any language because they will be so confused?

funnyman
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Post by funnyman » Fri Sep 26, 2003 6:32 am

Haven't been thinking about having little kiddies yet, but this forum motivated me to do so.
Language looks like a no-issue as far as children if the couple is from different religions. Example if you are jew and your wife is from a different religion then a discussion about the religion of the children is always helpful. Even if finnish wife is not very religious, she may have objections if you want to have children brought up according to your religion. A political answer you can expect in such a conversation is "they need not follow any religion", its a very funny answer when despite being "non-religious" most of the population pays a religion tax.

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ajdias
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Post by ajdias » Mon Sep 29, 2003 1:26 am

Samppa wrote:Haven't been thinking about having little kiddies yet, but this forum motivated me to do so.

I communicate with Tiia with the help of English though it's not a mother tongue for both of us. Actually we don't even speak proper English between us, we developed our own "dialect" - English mixed with words from other languages and some weird sounds. (No idea, for example, how "lakka" would sound in English, so it's lakka). If we have children will they inherit our "dialect" or will they be "three"lingual if Tiia speaks Finnish to them and I speak my languages (I am bilingual)? Is it normal for kids to learn 3 languages at the same time? Or they won't learn any language because they will be so confused?
Kids learn languages pretty easily and learning several languages is quite commom in non-western countries. People in Asia, Africa and other parts of the world are often able to fluently express themselves in more than one language or dialect (without learning it at school).

When parents have two different languages it is normally advised that they use the OPOL principle: One parent, one language. Each one of the parents should communicate with the children using one and always the same language, its native-tongue. Not all parents follow this rule, neither the need for its enforcement is the same with every family/kid or language (english or swedish are easier to teach than hebrew or servian). Here's a link that might interest: http://www.multilingual-matters.com/mul ... letter.pdf (note: PDF file)

If the parents speak a third language among themselves, like you do with your girlfriend, the kids are likely to also learn that language, to some extent. They'll be able to understand basic conversation, far more than the classic "MR. we know who needs to go to we know where (bed)" and pick it easily at school, if not somewhere else, like a multicultural playground.

Now, a parent speaking randomly two languages? I am sure that has already been done and that it is possible. But requires lots of discipline, time and energy and some method. Of course, an immersion kindergarden/school or Au Pairs an help a lot. Would be nice to hear from others that have or are raising multilingual kids.

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Freckles
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Post by Freckles » Mon Sep 29, 2003 6:53 am

ajdias wrote: Now, a parent speaking randomly two languages? I am sure that has already been done and that it is possible. But requires lots of discipline, time and energy and some method. Of course, an immersion kindergarden/school or Au Pairs an help a lot. Would be nice to hear from others that have or are raising multilingual kids.
I am not a parent, but working in an international preschool helped me understand a lot about children’s language learning capabilities. According to a study I read, children between the ages of 3 and 8 are at the prime age to absorb new languages.

One child, 5, was born of a Russian mother, Spanish father, living in Finland, and going to an English preschool! (This also brought up the other issue about whether a multi-cultural child should go to a Finnish school rather than an English one, whilst living in Finland. Another time…)

So this child was rather confused mixing up the languages. But over 6 months of English immersion and Finnish during playtime, he knew that he had to speak English to me, Spanish to his brothers, Russian to his mother and Finnish to his school friends. He was one amazing little boy. Fluent in four languages by the age of 6, I was so envious!

Speaking two different languages at home, and studying another at school can work. I think the most discipline is required of the parents. And in this case above, the teachers too!!

:D

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Cory
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Children and languages...

Post by Cory » Mon Sep 29, 2003 8:46 am

[quote="ajdias

When parents have two different languages it is normally advised that they use the OPOL principle: One parent, one language.

Now, a parent speaking randomly two languages? I am sure that has already been done and that it is possible. Would be nice to hear from others that have or are raising multilingual kids.[/quote]

Great topic!

We're a multilingual/multi-cultured/adoptive family. Lots of "stuff" going on in our "mix" but it's just so normal for us and one that we, quite frankly, would not be able to find a "fix" for in a book! A website and mailing list that has been an invaluable source of support and knowledge for us is the bilingual families mailing list...send a bland email to, [email protected] to go more info on the website and mailing list.


We use a mix of OPOL (Finnish and English) and [email protected] (minority language at home) but we also have Saturday morning and bedtime story ml2 (Quebecois francais) time with Mommy as well as Sunday morning ml3 (German) with Daddy. We will soon be bringing our newly adopted son home and will thus add a children's level of Russian to the mix.

Our 4 yr old has never been "confused" with the languages because we've remained "strict" and consistent with the rules...inside our home is English with both Mommy and Daddy and we speak English (ml) as a family outside our home. He speaks ML with Daddy outside our home if I'm not in the picture. I speak only ml (English) with him and he speaks only ml with me. French and German are not completely fluent languages but he is able to identify, count and follow simple children's stories.

I would love to connect with other families who have found pediatricians and other medical professionals who were particularily supportive of raising multi-lingual kids. Perhaps it's our location (rather provincial Päijät-Häme) but every medical issue that arises somehow gets back to the thought that our multilingual home is somehow the underlying cause. With the addition of our youngest son coming very soon, we would just as soon bi-pass the predjudices and uneducated opinions of the so-called professionals and find doctors, etc, who are indeed supportive.

Any suggestions for speech-therpists who have experience with bi/multi-lingual kids?

We'd also like to connect with families who share our ml's with their kids and to ask if they've found children's activities in the community which are ml...ie...children's musical events, story time, etc.

Corinne and Martti

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daive
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Post by daive » Mon Sep 29, 2003 9:11 am

Freckles wrote:Speaking two different languages at home, and studying another at school can work. I think the most discipline is required of the parents. And in this case above, the teachers too!!

:D
This has happened twice now that I have been sitting in the bus and there is a mother and daughter (about 7yrs old) that get on and the mother talks only in Swedish to the kid and the daughter talks back only in finnish. They just chat away the whole journey in the two languages, am I the only one that finds this a bit strange?

It doesn't seem like a learning thing as they are both so fluent in the languages!

Tom and Jerry

Post by Tom and Jerry » Mon Sep 29, 2003 10:11 am

daive wrote:
This has happened twice now that I have been sitting in the bus and there is a mother and daughter (about 7yrs old) that get on and the mother talks only in Swedish to the kid and the daughter talks back only in finnish. They just chat away the whole journey in the two languages, am I the only one that finds this a bit strange?
Yes. This can be a quite natural situation, which is only odd for an outsider listening to it. I speak my own language to my kids and they answer in their own.

Children are different though and within a family the first one may learn fluently two, three languages and the second kid only one language.

Usually this goes by itself. The kid picks up one language from the mother, another at school and a third one at the playing yard. The worst result comes when one person tries desperately to teach a child three four languages at the same time.

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Hank W.
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Post by Hank W. » Mon Sep 29, 2003 2:02 pm

[quote="daive]This has happened twice now that I have been sitting in the bus and there is a mother and daughter (about 7yrs old) that get on and the mother talks only in Swedish to the kid and the daughter talks back only in finnish. They just chat away the whole journey in the two languages, am I the only one that finds this a bit strange?[/quote]

That sounds like going to visit my kinfolk in Porvoo. :D
Cheers, Hank W.
sitting here like a lemon looking for a gin.


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