ਹਾਇ! Punjabi is my mother tongue!

ਹਾਇ! Punjabi is my mother tongue!

More and more children all over the world are growing up speaking two or more languages. Being bilingual has incredible advantages for children, and speaking a language like Punjabi is super helpful for learning other romance languages like Italian or Spanish.

punjabi
Punjabi is the 10th most widely spoken language in the world. 122 million people speak Punjabi as their native language. Most Punjabi speakers live in India and Pakistan although it is also popular in the UK and Canada. Punjabi can be written in more than one way or script meaning there are two ways to write the exact same thing. This makes it a unique language as very few other languages have two scripts. how cool is that!
 
In this fun podcast we produced with RTE’ Junior you can hear Yasmine who speaks Punjabi with her dad & her younger sister, Sabrine. Her mother is from Latvia. Born in Dublin, she spent 4 years in Punjab, India, and here talks about Punjabi culture and food.

If you are a Punjabi speaker living abroad and want your child to keep up your language, here are some tips:

start as early as possible: speak Punjabi to your baby from birth, or as early as possible. 

make it part of your routines: use Punjabi regularly in your routines, from preparing breakfast, to walking to the park, to bed-time routines. 

make a plan: plan games and activities to do together in Punjabi, and check out our website for ideas and resources

identify resources: find books, games and other resources that can help you along the way.

find someone to help you: it is important for children to see that there are other families who speak Punjabi in their environment. Find a Punjabi speaking parent and toddler group in your area or arrange meetings with other families who speak Punjabi. For older children, try to find a language class so your child can experience the language and the culture also outside the home.

– Praise your child’s success: when your child says a new word, when they talk to you in Punjabi, or when they learn to read, don’t focus on the errors but praise their efforts and show them how much you enjoy speaking Punjabi to them. 

Want more? Check out our resources below!

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