A commenter on social media wanted to find out if he was wrong for refusing to let his child speak her “native” language at home.
His Daughter’s Birth
“Title isn’t as bad as it sounds,” the original poster (OP) wrote.
It all began with the birth of his daughter. OP was disappointed by his wife’s choice of name 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 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 pointless.
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 spoke 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.
It Affected His Relationships
The father asked her to stop, but his wife said he was rude. He believed that his daughter speaking Welsh was pointless, and his wife offered to pay him to take lessons in Welsh.
“I really don’t see the point in learning a dead language when we can all just speak English?” OP commented.
This caused an argument between the two, and his wife made him sleep on the couch while they “think about their relationship.”
Was He Wrong?
He believes his wife is in the wrong for wanting to “disrupt” the child’s life for the sake of learning “a dead language.” He failed to see any wrongdoing on his part.
“Am I wrong for wanting my child to speak English??” OP wrote in his post.
Reactions From Social Media
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…”
Reactions From Social Media
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.
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),” one commenter shared. The response garnered over 2,000 upvotes.
“Meanwhile, in Australia, it’s randomly pronounced Mee-gan for some strange reason,” another user declared.
What do you think about this? Do you think the daughter should change her ways?
How It Ended
OP later regretted what he said as he realized he was wrong. He admitted he was “wrong and bitter” and took that out on his family.
How It Ended
The father decided to take Welsh lessons and attend couples counseling to work through their issues. He also promised Megan they would pronounce her name the Welsh way.
The Benefit of a Second Language
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.
Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.