Tag Archives: teaching children a language

A sweet way with language

Bengali (bangla) letters chocolate

Once on a school trip a friend of mine, whose mother was from Holland, refused to share his sweets unless I learned the Dutch for ‘can I have a sweet?’.

It may have pushed the boundaries of friendship but, decades later, I still remember most of ‘kan ik een snoepje hebben?’. Continue reading


UntitledOne of the stranger items that Son1 decided he wanted to pack for our recent holiday to Cornwall and Dorset was my copy of Teach Yourself Bengali.

Given his sometimes vocal opposition to learning the language – particularly pronounced when he was only three years old but still recognised he wasn’t being talked to in English – it certainly felt like a step forward.

The book was to help him learn how to write his name in Bengali, though he’s also recently been willing to sit and learn some vocabulary with me. Continue reading

How do you learn Bengali?

One of the more surprising things Son1 said recently, even more so than “but why can’t we go to McDonalds for Mother’s Day”, was “how do you learn Bengali?”

For now I’ve leant him my copy of William Radice’s Teach Yourself Bengali as a stop gap measure while I work out a) whether he really does want to learn and b) how I’ll go about it this time.

As with my own Bengali we’ve tended to have peaks and troughs in his learning of the language and recently it’s been less on my mind than in the past. Continue reading