Can you remember how you learned your mother language?

I remember when I was around 2-3 years, I cried a lot because I wanted to take the attention of my grandma. My uncle tried to comfort me, but I did not stop because I did not understand what he said. It was just the sounds to me.
I remember my first writing was the letter O. I tried hard to look nice, but it did not work well.
My first exciting reading was Doraemon. I thought it was cute. But I spelled it word by word to understand. It was hard. I gave up for the first time.
I think that helps my other language learning. How about you? Could you share your experience?


I don’t remember learning my native language, almost. Only small hints, like me thinking I knew another language before forgetting it in favor of the native one. Or not understanding some words in the book I was reading. And first learning “serious” words like “aggregate” at school. Later came grammar and punctuation, struggle with 19th century texts.
Looking at my children, I don’t think they are aware of the learning process, language develops along with the expansion of the internal picture of the world.

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I learned my native language from watching cartoons and reading newspaper comics. The big letters in the word balloons really helped. I also pronounced a lot of words wrong because I could read better than I could speak for a long time. My dad would get so mad because I always said “look likes” instead of “looks like”.
Now I am learning Russian and trying to repeat the process as closely as possible by being “reborn” into the language. It’s a surreal experience because I’ve never been closer to my child self.


I don’t think children in general are aware of learning to speak. But it’s an interesting process in how it varies.

My oldest son started speaking with very good grammar, but not too clearly. A speech therapist said that he really only needed two or three more sounds and that it would resolve itself, which it did. When my daughter, a year and a half younger than him, started speaking, we could barely understand her. But our son could understand and “translated” for us. We were also struck by her atrocious grammar, but were assured that it was normal, that our son’s early mastery was unusual.

My son now has two young daughters of his own. The older of the two has been a bit slow to start speaking but is picking it up well now. The younger of the two, at a year and a half, will “speak” long rambling “sentences” of nonsense. She is imitating the tones and phonemes of speech and will probably start really speaking soon, and I suspect that once she does, she will never shut up. ))

I do remember learning to read. My sister, older by three years, tried to teach me to print. I remember that I definitely mastered “a”. Back then kindergarten was not nearly as common as it is now, and children were not expected to already be able to read when starting first grade at age 6. I was the first in my family to attend a half-day kindergarten, and I remember that we did get some exposure to letters and words, but it was not a big focus. I remember well the books we used as primers when learning to read in elementary school, and I loved it. When in Grade 2 or 3 everyone in the class would take turns, each reading aloud a paragraph from a story, I’d read ahead after having calculated which paragraph would be mine to read so that I could come back to it when it was my turn.

We lived in the countryside with no near neighbors. There were no computers or Internet, and only 3 channels of TV. (And we walked to and from school through the snow uphill both ways, of course. :wink: When not playing with my siblings we were frequently reading. I remember our television breaking two summers in a row and my father bringing home stacks of books for us. Somehow that television miraculously started working again in the autumn when football started. I suspect my father removed a tube or something for our benefit, though I never asked him about it.


Obviously I don’t remember learning as a baby but I do remember being given 10 words of vocabulary to write a sentence about every day in grade 1. I also have a vague sense of being taught “correct” grammar and whatnot although I don’t remember the details and years later I had forgotten it all so I had to relearn when I was learning Spanish and later French and now Russian.

In my case it’s a little weird. My first language was Mandarin which I picked up from my mother and father, but then my brothers spoke English around me and now that is my main language, and I have basically forgotten all Mandarin. But for me, I vaguely have memories of my mom and dad speaking Mandarin around me, so I guess that’s how I picked it up. Then I do remember my brothers and me speaking English to each other. Now my mom is still trying to help me relearn Mandarin.

Mine was full of drama