Hindi is my native language. I can write English well, and can speak English to some reasonable extent.

In order to teach the toddler English, I have been speaking English to her ever since she was born. She is 2.6 years old. I do not speak Hindi with her at all. For past 6 months, I have been speaking English with my spouse too specially in child's presence. Spouse replies in Hindi. There is no other person at home and we don't have many guests too.

Spouse doesn't talk too much with the child. I do all the talking. The child can understand all the English I speak.

The problem is that she has started speaking many complete sentences in Hindi with a near proper pronunciation (which I never spoke to her), but when it comes to speaking English she just can't speak it.

She speaks English when I tell her to repeat after me word by word, but when it comes to speaking sentences, I can see that she can't pronounce anything properly as compared to Hindi. She find it difficult to complete the sentence properly even without my help.

She indeed goes to daycare where Hindi is spoken, but those people have other children to care about too. Their job isn't to teach her the language.

So, my problem is that if she hears "anyone" saying a sentence in Hindi, she easily repeats it at that very moment itself.

On the other hand I keep on repeating same sentences in English 10,000 times throughout the day, but she speaks them only when forced with quite incorrect pronunciation.

So, I wish to know that for a toddler who has just begun to speak, is Hindi easier to speak as compared to English?

  • 4
    No. For a toddler, there isn't any difference. Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 9:44

2 Answers 2


There are several parts to your questions.

  1. Is Hindi easier to speak for children? No. All languages are about the same level of difficulty for children.

  2. How come the child is learning even when she is getting less attention from adults? Adults are only one source of language learning for children. Sometimes not even the main one. She is likely learning as much from her peers as from the teachers.

  3. Why is the child less willing to use English? This very common with languages that are 'put on' by parents who are not its native speakers. The child learns some of them passively but sees that nobody else is using that language for achieving important things (from their perspective). It's made worse by the child knowing that the parent can understand the other language/

  4. Children in bilingual situations often go through stages of skill in either or both of their languages. Their two languages are never perfectly balanced. So this could just as easily be just a phase.

  • 4
    All languages are about the same level of difficulty for children. source for this claim is missing from your answer.
    – CoffeeDay
    Commented Nov 20, 2015 at 6:05
  • Missing indeed. For example, the phonetics could make two languages more or less easy to learn to pronounce. (My speculation, wouldn't be that surprised if actual data disagreed). Commented Nov 29, 2015 at 18:40
  • 1
    This article says that Danish is actually harder for toddlers to pick up, because it has so many vowels. (But Danish children's language skills catch up with children learning other languages in grade school.) Commented May 11, 2019 at 17:44

Agreed that for the child there is no difference.

Likely your child is getting more exposure to Hindi through daycare and your spouse.

"You cannot control the way your children speak: they will develop their own accents and they will learn the languages they think they need." https://linguistlist.org/ask-ling/lang-acq.cfm

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