When your kid knows more Farsi than you

Can I tell you how embarrassing it is to have your 7-year-old translate what a taxi driver is telling you? 

Yeah, I’ve had those moments. At the local fruit stand. Even at the airport. 

“Fatima, how do you ask if we have to take off our shoes?”

Although since I started school, my grip on Farsi has been much better. But still, nothing beats how our transplant kids pick up the local lingo. 

My husband is in charge of homework duty since sometimes I cannot even decipher what FZ’s teacher has written. 

But all embarrassment aside, I really do stare in wonder at how my daughter has picked up reading and writing Farsi so quickly. She’s enjoying reading Farsi more than English. 

Now she tells us she wants to learn Arabic as well, because she wants to become a doctor when she grows up and she wants to be able to help patients who speak different languages. 

I often wonder why many bilingual parents in America don’t teach their children how to speak other languages. It’s a loss, really, and not only when you’re in other parts of the world, but when you miss out on beautiful poetry or stories. 

Instill the love of language in your children, especially when they’re younger. It will open their minds and expand their worldview.

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