Yesterday I read an email from the foreign wife mailing list in Japan. About a Russian mother who speaks English to her daughter as a mother tongue instead of Russian. It's because of the parents want the girl to speak English and Japanese as the main languages. She said she will teach Russian later after the daughter speaks the first languages well.
This idea got confronted by a British woman. She said that the Russian mother should not teach English to her daughter because it is not her mother tongue. Because the daughter later on would speak "weird" English in term of pronunciation, intonation, and grammar (jahat amat!!)
Anyway those emails made me thinking this whole day. I also speak English to Iki as the main language meanwhile Hiro speaks Japanese to him. Of course he is familiar also with Indonesian because Hiro and I speak "GOOD" mixture of English, Japanese and Indonesian. Now I'm worried if my English is not good enough that Iki will speak "weird" English later on (quoted from that British woman statement). I had a chat with hiro about this mother tongue thing and he insisted that I keep English as the main language to communicate with Iki. No matter how "weird" the English would be. There are lots of English versions in this world. British, American, Australian, Singaporean, and many more. People from different countries speak "different" English. Maybe for that British woman, British English is the only correct English form in the world?! :p
It passed my mind to speak Indonesian to Iki. But even if I want to teach Iki Indonesian as a mother tongue, which "Indonesian" would it be?! The formal Indonesian "EYD"? (Well, I don't even master it :p), Banjarese dialect(I thought it's my mother tongue but in fact I don't use it at all lately), Manadonese dialect? (When I went back there I couldn't speak Manadonese dialect well, and didn't understand LOTS of words), Suroboyoan (I think it's my "language" now but Hiro doesn't understand at all) or The Kondo's Indonesian?! ("very" simplified Indonesian used in this house).
Oh well most likely he will master the Kondo's Indonesian since it's the Indonesian language we use at home. Then Iki's Indonesian will be "really weird", right?!
Look at our conversation few minutes ago:
Me: tadi Iki bangun then kamu ganti pampers dia?
Hiro: ya, sudah yo. tapi after change langsung dia tidur, tidak minum.
Me: oh sudah yo minum
Hiro: minum water? tadi baru dia bangun?
Me: ya, sudah minum banyak
THAT kind of Indonesian. Not to mention the intonation!!!
OK....Make up my mind now!!
I'll stick to English as the main language then hahaha
Additional note based on Sheila's comment (^_^):
Since I'm not an English native, I always switch to Indonesian whenever I don't know how to express something :p. And listening to his parents conversation in "our" Indonesian, Iki understands some Indonesian words pretty well though I don't talk in Indonesian that much to him. That's why he was able to "communicate" with my family back in Manado.
And living in Korea, environment puts some Korean words inside his (quoting Sheila) spongy brain as well. So whenever we go out, he can do greetings in Korean (like bowing when someone said "annyonghasseo") for example. Also can give response to simple Korean questions. I'm really amazed of a baby's brain capability in absorbing new things, including languages! Though he needs longer time to be able to make up his mind of which language to speak first.
Hence Hiro and I are not worried if his speaking ability is a bit late comparing to other children of his age. He's living in 4 languages now though his main languages are English and Japanese.