Part two of our Raising Your Child Bilingual series brings us to resources. With so many books, websites, and apps available to support your bilingual journey, it can get overwhelming. Certain translations may not use accurate vocabulary and did you know that animal sounds are different in different languages? I had no idea. Karen Trombetta is back to break down translations and share her favorite resources in the forms of books, apps, and mixed media. Karen shared her personal story of raising her son trilingual in our last post in the series. Check back next week when we interview different families who are all raising their children bilingual (or trilingual) in their own way. Please share your favorite resources and tips in the comment sections below and we’ll update our list. Featured Image by Katie Jameson
Before I share my favorite books, a quick word about translations…they’re not all great. Some are translated in Castilian, some may be in Colombian Spanish, some in Argentine Spanish, the list goes on. It wil be a little confusing at first, and you may have to pull out your own translation tool, but it will eventually give you and your child an edge. One tip I’ve found useful is to stick to one publishing house. By doing so, you will find uniformity to the translations. Below is a list of some of our favorite books that I’ve found to be well translated.
- Lil’ Libros Bilingual, first concept books available at Target. Started by two mamas who wanted to create a bilingual series of books that every Latina mama would love. And we do!
- La oruga muy hambrienta (Eric Carle)
- De la cabeza a los pies (Eric Carle)
- Huevos verdes con jamon (Dr Seuss)
- Asi es mi Corazon (Jo Witek – I think the original is French)
- Las aventuras de Winnie
- El gato Matteo se va de paseo (Eric Wenzel)
- Milet (awesome company for all languages)
- Another curious thing I’ve noticed is that animal sounds are different in different languages. When my Italian in-laws read books with Matteo, they make different noices than I would make for certain animals. It’s interesting and pretty hilarious when we’re all around each other trying to make the ‘same’ animal sound.
- When reading books that are bilingual and include both languages on the same book — read the full book in one language and then re-read in the other language. It gives some structure to the way your child will understand the book and help them understand it better by not mixing the two.
- Duolingo It’s simple and easy and has been a huge help while learning Italian
- Canticos They currently have two books, an app, and videos. The app is free! Canticos was inspired by nursery rhymes from all over the Spanish speaking world. We’ll be featuring the two authors soon. Stay tuned!
- Canciones de La Granja. Warning, this one has some odd lyrics but it serves the purpose of having entertaining videos and songs in Spanish for your kiddo. You can use it without wifi or data.
- Mamalingua A Spanish app for parents and kids who are not already bilingual. Mamalingua uses the chunk learning system in which you use available Spanish words and phrases in everyday situations.
- Pandora or Spotify station of Cri Cri and Topo Gigio. This is Italian but also has several songs in Spanish.
- News In Slow: Spanish, Italian, French. This one’s for the parent who wants to polish their second or third language.
YOUTUBE & MUSIC
Pollito Chicken – Puerto Rican song that is popular across all of Central and South America. It’s easy to learn and easy to teach. This is most normal version I found (without some extreme cumbia rhythm, or weird remixes)
The below all have a Castilian accent.
- Little Baby Bum
- Pequeno Leo
- Pica Pica youtube channel (their new dvd has English and Spanish subtitles)
Do you have an amazing resource or favorite game? Please share in comments below.
Karen Trombetta was born and raised in Celaya, Guanajuato and moved to Texas at 13. She has a deep love for travel and found the perfect partner in a Sicilian man with whom she’s traveled to destinations near and far. Karen has a one-year-old son, who rocks her world. She loves learning everything about different cultures; their food, language, and customs. Prior to focusing on her son, Karen was the Director of Special Events at LifeWorks.