When James Yap and Michela Cazzola's panganay Michael James, was just starting to talk, the couple had a big realization about raising a mixed-race family.
“Translating in real time is hard,” Michela, nicknamed Mic, told Smart Parenting back in 2019 (read here), “so sometimes I just say a word in one language and point at the item, for example, without translating.”
James, a top pro basketball player-turned-newbie politician, hails from Escalante City in Negros Occidental where the Visayan languages Hiligaynon and Cebuano are widely spoken.
Mic, on the other hand, is an Italian expatriate working at a Philippine-based international financial institution who, aside from her native language, communicates in English and Filipino.
Their solution? "We mix English and Italian," Mic tells us in an interview this June 2023, "but the main is English. We mainly speak English 'cause James doesn’t understand Italian, so for faster communication.
"We use the language we don’t need to translate. It’s really time consuming if you need to translate everything. But when am alone with the kids, I speak Italian."
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Speaking of kids, Michael, who turns 7 on August 8, as well as their bunso Francesca Michelle, 5 on June 27, already go to school.
"They don’t speak [a] local language yet," Mic says of Michael and Francesca, "but they hear it from people around and they pick some words. I would like them to learn it. For now I just focus on 2 so they learn it thoroughly."