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  • If the child were not deaf, would it be a problem to speak to it in sign language from the start anyway? Do children have trouble picking up languages? If I stay in America and have children, would speaking to them in English and Hebrew make me a horrible parent? Maybe my future wife will speak yet another language, and we'll be ostracized for destroying our offspring's poor branes with mindless moon-language jibber jabber.

    However, it seems this would present a problem in learning vocal language (especi
    • Don't worry about it. I spent from ages 0 to 3 in Australia, speaking only English. At 3 1/2, I was brought over to France and sent to kidergarden there without any prior knowledge of the language. I nevertheless picked it up completely in 2-3 months.

      I've seen the same thing with other kids that had bilingual parents which would speak to them in two languages, and the result is always a kid that speaks both languages fluently, is able to differentiate them, and is in fact usually rather good with language and literature.

      Of course, I can see how that could be a touch harder with sign language. To be truly honest, while I have no problem whatsoever distinguishing between languages, to me they're just one single language that I have to somehow filter to get the other people to understand me. The filtering is automatic, but when I think or dream I do it in both languages simultaneously so that it sounds a bit like some Leibniz manuscripts ;) How the same feeling would translate to sign language is something that I'd love to know.

      I'm anyway convinced that being glad your child is deaf for the quoted reasons is just braindead.


      -- Robin Berjon []