Episode 55: A professional translator shares her family’s trilingual journey with Hanna Cheda

Episode 55 

On this episode of Bilingual Avenue, I interview Hanna Cheda.  Hanna is a corporate translator, interpreter and a writer.  She currently lives in Poland with her family and is raising her children, together with her husband, with Polish, Spanish and English. Hanna shares how she’s incorporating all three languages into her household.

Episode #55 Quick Guide

On this episode, Hanna discusses with us:

  • Her language journey starting from a very early age;
  • How languages are managed in her home with her two sons by using the One Parent, One Language strategy;
  • How she supplemented Polish while living in Spain;
  • How everything shifted when they moved to Poland;
  • The introduction of English and how she dedicates an hour a day to speak exclusively in English;
  • How she makes English fun by listening to songs, playing games and encouraging her sons to get the most out of their English time together;
  • Her professions as a translator and how her knowledge of languages opened many doors in the field;
  • Her daily language routine which involves four different languages;
  • Why it was important to her and her husband that the children become trilingual;
  • How now that they live in Poland their Spanish exposure has decreased;
  • The playgroup that she up by contacting other Latin American families in the community;
  • The strategies she uses with other parents to encourage the children to speak in Spanish to each other;
  • How she has to work with her husband to find ways to get him talking to his children more in Spanish and hence the exposure in that language;
  • The importance of working together with your family members to support the language needs of your children;
  • How she incorporates cultural tradition for family holidays;
  • How her eldest son is now the family translator given his diverse language skills;
  • How she has managed to leverage extended family to support her language efforts with her family;
  • How well her son did speaking English during a recent family trip to London

Once we hop on the Autobahn at Bilingual Avenue, Hanna shares –

  • Favorite resources:
    • For Spanish, Hanna recommends Pocoyo and Canta Juegos
    • For English, Hanna recommends Thomas and Friends and the book series called “English Adventure” and “Magic English;”
    • For Polish, poems by Julian Tuwim and Jan Brzechwa
  • Best advice received: Have fun and enjoy the journey.  There is no one way that works for everyone, find what works for you;
  • What has held her back: Her concerns when her son was very young that perhaps a multilingual journey could confuse him;
  • Great family habit: Her family tradition to incorporate story time before bedtime;
  • Favorite Books:
    • In Polish, traditional poems
    • In English, she recommends the Thomas and Friend series and classic stories like “Three Bears and Goldilocks”
  • Best Advice to others: Parents should tune out negative comments


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