Sam is Growing Up Bilingual, Says Tiger Woods

09/26/2008 at 02:00 PM ET
Charlie Riedel/AP

The blow of any injury — in Tiger Woods‘ case, knee surgery — would cause any professional athlete anxiety, but for the 32-year-old pro golfer, he looks at his recuperation time "as a blessing as well as a curse." While the restrictions put on Tiger when it comes to playing golf can seem quite frustrating, he is instead focusing on the positive: the unusual opportunity to stay at home with his family. With his wife Elin pregnant with their second child — due in late winter — and a growing 15-month-old daughter, Sam Alexis, Tiger knows that this time in his life is very special and he couldn’t be happier to be able to witness it all. "It’s wonderful, being able to stay home and be with my family," says Tiger, who admits that he is normally "away from home for more than half the year in total."

Having grown up bilingual herself in Sweden, Elin feels that it is important for her children to learn not only English, but Swedish as well. With Elin only talking to her daughter in her native language and Tiger speaking to Sam in English, the couple feel that she will quickly catch on to the two, but are curious as to what accent she will eventually develop! Says Tiger,

"It’s going to be interesting, though, to see whether she gets Elin’s Stockholm accent, or if she’ll have some of that Northern dialect her grandmother speaks to her in."

Source: Svensk Golf

Thanks to CBB reader Jen.

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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carie on

I’ve had quite a few 1st generation American friends….and none had accents, even though their parents at home had strong middle eastern, british, latin accents. I read somewhere that kids learn their accents from their outside environment and peers, not from within the home. Isn’t that interesting? So I guess Sam Alexis will probably not get the great Swedish accent, but you’ll still be insanely adorable!🙂

Aurora on

My younger cousins present a simliar situation. My uncle is Canadian & speaks English (though he can get by in Polish) and my aunt (his wife) speaks both Polish and English, with a Polish accent. While M & L (my cousins) were growing up, all my aunt spoke to them was Polish, and her mother CAN only speak Polish. However, once they got to daycare/school they basically stopped being able to speak it themselves, but can generally understand it (polish). If kids are not competely immersed in it, they don’t seem to hold on to it/be fluent in it. Now, maybe in a few years they will realize how wonderful it is to speak other languages, and they will have a much easier time picking it up again! I hope!🙂

dawn on

I think hes speaking about Sams swedish accent . Swedish has different accents , depending up on wich part of the country you grew up in . I guess shes going to speaak like her mother since she has so littel swedish language around her .

Kate on

I also think he was talking about what kind of accent she will have when she speaks in Swedish, not whether she will have a particular accent when she speaks English.

I imagine she will have her mother’s accent since she is so exposed to it, rather than a grandparents accent.

Molly on

what is the other language elin was growing up in, are htey referring to different accents?

cindy on

she will grow up with no accent. As soon as she goes to school and hears standard American English, that is how she will speak. As someone whose foreign mother and aunt talked to me/ my cousins exclusively is Spanish (my dad always talked in English), I have never had an accent. Neither have my cousins. I have been bilingual as long as I can remember. When they are babies is the way to do it! It sticks in your head w/o even trying to “learn” languages. Good for Elin!

carie on

Dawn….I think you’re right. Now that I re-read it, it does seem he’s talking about what type of accent she’ll have when she speaks Swedish. I totally read it differently the first time! =)

Amanda on

My aunt did this with her son. They live in Switzerland and whilst she speaks to him in English his father speaks to him in German. Of course, he goes to school and speaks German in class and with his friends and the result is an adorable little accent when he’s speaking to me in English. I could listen to the little man speak for hours on end!

MB on

I wish I was fluent enough in my mother’s language to have my children be bilingual. She tried with us but my dad is American and so he always spoke English around us. I plan to at least teach my children basic phrases in Portuguese and my husband is supportive of this. One of my cousins was raised speaking nothing but Portuguese until she went to preschool and adjusted to English quickly and speaks both languages beautifully now.

Linny on

Awww, poor child, she’s growing up with the 08 accent (Stockholm accent). Well atleast everyone will know what she’s saying, the Nothern Swedish accent it’s terrible and really hard to understand. I’m a South West girl. Most people thing we’re norwegian😛 Still, go Elin!

Aelys on

What I’m curious about is whether Sam (and her sibling) will speak good Swedish. While we grew up in France with my dad speaking French to us, my mom would speak only Greek to my sister and I as kids and had us to reply to her in Greek as well. Now I’m unable to speak to my mom in another language than Greek. But I have friends who are Spanish and German, speak to their kids in their native language but never asked their kids to reply in the same language, and now they’re complaining that when they go to Spain or Germany, their kids can barely speak with their grandparents.

babyboopie on

I am English but I’ve lived in France for many years and I speak both English and French fluently. We live in Paris, my son and me, and he goes to a french school where he speaks French there but at home, he speaks English with me. He’s bilingual and can now hold his own in both languages- it was so cute when he was younger- he always used to say ” Yes, maman, je veux lu-lu, please!”

Hea on

I’m sure he is talking about her future dialect. We have many different dialects here in Sweden. If her mother speaks with a stockholm dialect/accent, then she will likely pick that up instead of one of the northern (I don’t remember which) her grandmother speaks. Her grandmother is a top politician in Sweden so she, Barbro, has begun to speak more standard Swedish.

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