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I read two bits of interesting trivia yesterday – on a pregnancy product no less.

The first, if the population of China walked past you in single file, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction.

And the second, the vocabulary of the average person consists of 5000 to 6000 words. I wonder how they know this and who does the research? After all, in this sentence alone there are eleven different words – make that fourteen – now sixteen. The mind boggles at the complexity.

I know that speaking a second language as a child enables you to pick up languages easier in later life, and I have often marveled at those that can seem to fluently drop in and out of different dialects – it seems so… exotic.  I have never learnt a language other than English, apart from the mandatory futile attempts at school. But these two bits of information sitting together got me thinking. I wonder if I could learn, and teach my baby Chinese, or Mandarin to be exact?

My logic is as follows. China looks set to become one of the superpowers in the future so being able to speak this language would no doubt be beneficial for our children in later life. Even if they never used the home taught Mandarin, just the act of learning a second language would set them up for future linguistic development. I would much rather be pouring out the beautifully rounded and sounded Italian or French but Mandarin was after all one of those languages I spent a year learning in school. I know I can still count to ten, so that’s a start right?

Maybe I am kidding myself and getting a Mum or Dad in English will be a miraculous achievement in itself, but then again, I’m going to be up at all hours breastfeeding aren’t I? Why not use it subconsciously absorbing language tapes?

Does anyone have any ideas or thoughts? Have you taught yourself a language? What worked or didn’t? Or is your native tongue hard enough to recall with the demands of a new baby?

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