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Adopted babies recall their mother tongue: research

Though they may equally yearn for poffertjes, Korean-born Dutch babies are more likely to be able to pronounce kimchi than their Netherlands-born counterparts, an international research team has found.

Their study, published in Royal Society Open Science, asked Dutch adoptees, originally from Korea, to recite Korean syllables. Their pronunciation was judged by native Korean speakers. The researchers found that the adoptees outperformed the control group.

They further discovered that neonates are just as linguistically impressionable and two-year-olds: adoption age had no bearing on the results.

“The study shows that even in the first few months of life, babies are building abstract knowledge about the language they hear,” the authors said.

So don’t assume bilingualism isn’t the go for your Chinese, Colombian or Thai tot. With exposure, they might just pick up a second language in no time.

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