Is it harder for a child to acquire two languages at once?

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  1. Since I have raised my family in a non-English speaking environment (Mexico), I have seen many different cases of children learning more than one language at a time. None of them suffered permanent damage. My son is now finishing his PhD in mathematics and I have friends whose children comfortably speak two languages or more. We did note that children started talking a bit later than what the local pediatricians considered normal…but it was all within normal limits. The kids also knew who spoke which languages and used them appropriately. Some rebels refused to cooperate after a certain age. My daughter always said English gave her a headache, but at 8 she was able to explain how Christmas is celebrated in Mexico when asked by a Hungarian who didn’t speak Spanish. It was the first time I had heard her speak English in years.

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