A recent commenter on Reddit wanted to find out if he was wrong for refusing to let his child speak her “native” language at home.
His Daughter’s Birth
It all began with the birth of his daughter. The original poster (OP) was disappointed by his wife’s name choice for his daughter, which was a Welsh name. It was tough to pronounce and spell, even for his extended family, and he had to get over jokes people made about her name, which left a bitter taste in his mouth.
Attending The Local Welsh School
The problems came to a head when the Welsh mother got the daughter to attend the Welsh primary school in the area and started speaking Welsh to her at home. This caused an uproar from the OP, who felt that English should be the primary language spoken in their household, seeing as it was the language everyone else spoke. He wasn’t keen on learning Welsh either, seeing it as a pointless exercise.
He Couldn’t Understand His Own Daughter
While OP agreed to raise his daughter bilingually, he was annoyed that his daughter mixed English and Welsh in sentences he couldn’t understand. The arrangement seemed fair enough until his daughter started speaking in Welsh more than in English – even when speaking with her father. The poster was worried that this would negatively affect her education, and when she eventually went to university in English, she’d be left behind.
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It Affected His Relationships
Her father asked her to stop, but his wife said he was being rude. He believed that his daughter speaking Welsh is pointless, and his wife offered to pay him to take lessons in Welsh. This caused an argument between the two, and his wife made him sleep on the couch while they “think about their relationship.”
The consensus on Reddit was that the man was wrong. One user commented: “Like a true blood colonial, you can be bilingual as long as you speak my language mainly.”
“Also sad that he hasn’t been learning Welsh so he can speak with her family and learn the traditions. I know they all speak English too.”
Her name was later revealed to be “Megan,” which the commenters laughed at. “Really wasn’t expecting ‘Megan,'” one user said.
“Yeah, I was expecting her to be called Myfannwy or similar. How does someone struggle to pronounce Megan?” another user wrote.
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The Name Pronunciation
“The Welsh pronunciation is actually different from that commonly used elsewhere. In Welsh, it’s pronounced more like Mare-gen, with a strong emphasis on the first syllable (as opposed to meg-gan, with an emphasis on the second syllable).” said a Reddit user. The response garnered over 2,000 upvotes.
“Meanwhile, in Australia, it’s randomly pronounced Mee-gan for some strange reason,” another user commented.
What do you think about this story? Do you think the daughter should change her ways?
How It Ended
The father realized he was somewhat in the wrong and decided to take Welsh lessons and do couples counseling to work through their issues. He also promised Megan they would pronounce her name the Welsh way.
In the end, they were able to come together and understand each other better. They both realized that learning a new language, such as Welsh, benefits Megan’s education and life in general.
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This post called Dad Won’t Let His Daughter Speak Her “Native” Language at Home, Is He Wrong? was syndicated and produced by TPR Teaching. Find the source here.
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