Does a bilingual baby talk later?

The short answer: Bilingual babies don't talk later!

Many parents wonder and worry about the impact of bilingualism on their child's language development. And rightly so: it's normal to think that if a child has twice as much to learn, it could take twice as long. Let's start by reassuring everyone: bilingualism is in no way linked to language delay or language difficulties! Babies can learn 2 languages at the same time, without delay or confusion.

Numerous studies have debunked the idea that bilingualism leads to language delay. In fact, researchers have found that bilingual children reach language milestones at the same age as monolingual children.

Bilingual babies should therefore produce their first word between 12 and 16 months. What language will that first word be in? Surprise, you'll see!

Note, however, that it's not impossible for a bilingual child to speak later. However, when this happens, it's not the fault of bilingualism. A bilingual child can be just as language-delayed as a monolingual child.

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Julia Boulanger

I studied childhood bilingualism at the Masters and Doctorate degree. Today, I help bilingual families and create unique tools for multilingual children. I am here to share science-backed and real-life information and tips.