My wife and I love Taiwanese/Taigi but we honestly never thought to teach it to our 4 year old son on the grounds that it’s utility is limited and we’d prefer that he try and improve his Mandarin.
My son is 4 and speaks mostly English although he generally understands Mandarin. My wife and I try our best to speak Mandarin (badly) with him at home, and we speak to each other in a mix of Mandarin and Taiwanese (with a generous dose of English mixed in).
Recently, we found that our son has begun copying our Taiwanese and will occasionally blurt out Taiwanese sentences. Interestingly, his accent on his Taiwanese is actually pretty good when compared to his Mandarin. This may be influenced by the fact that both my wife and I have better Taiwanese accents than Mandarin ones (For both of us, Taiwanese is our first language . . . and I have a strong ABC accent on my Mandarin). But I was curious if anyone else had a similar experience where a child seemed to have a better facility at picking up Taiwanese rather than Mandarin.
I doubt I’m going to make efforts to encourage my son to speak Taiwanese more, but I have mixed emotions about it. Not withstanding his ability, Taiwanese doesn’t seem useful anymore and I don’t want to divert his Mandarin efforts (especially since English is overwhelming his Mandarin already). But I feel some guilt . . . my parents went through the KMT’s pro-Mandarin regime and while they are fluent in both, chose to speak me primarily in Taiwanese when I was young in hopes of preserving the language. I feel like I’m not doing my part with my son, but it doesn’t seem realistic.
Anyone else with similar experiences or emotions with children and Taiwanese or other Sinitic languages?