How to Learn Key Words of Your Adoptive Child’s First Language


There are many reasons learning a few key words and phrases of your adoptive child’s native language before traveling to your child’s country is important. Learning even a few phrases of your child’s native language can help you have a more meaningful interaction with your child and caregiver. Being able to understand your child’s wants and needs is important and can help you begin to form a relationship. It will also enable you to interact more effectively with the locals when you venture out into the community.

Some people may find learning a new language to be intimidating. It doesn’t have to be! Your language may not be perfect but making an effort will go a long way with the people in that country. Very often, making an attempt to communicate in the native language demonstrates a respect of the country and the culture. The people, caregiver of your child, and your child will appreciate the time you took to learn how to communicate with them.  No one expects you to be fluent, but picking up words here and there will help you immensely!

Below I have gathered up resources for you to start your journey on learning key words and phrases.


HaitiHub on You Tube.

Top 20 Words for Your Next Trip to Haiti


BulgarianPod101 on You Tube

Here is a link to get you started on how to introduce yourself in Bulgarian.


Learn Ukrainian with Roman” on You Tube


FrenchPod101 on You Tube

Here is a link to learn how to Greet People In French.


Samoan Language 101 on You Tube

I also found a video of a young man who is Samoan but lives in America. In this video he talks about his first trip to Samoa and what he experienced.  Check it out. Other videos of his will pop up and are also very interesting.


Learn Spanish by SpanishDict on You Tube or go to

Here is a link to help you get started on learning how to greet people and introduce yourself.

There were many different video channels on learning to speak Spanish. Feel free to look at different channels as well; it may have different information that can be useful.

There are many ways you can begin to learn more about your child’s language if you choose to do so. Language programs such as Rosetta Stone are available for a more intense development of language skills. There will often be facilities and businesses in your community that offer group language classes. You may also be able to obtain an individual tutor from a local college, hospital or agency which provides services to foreign populations. Whatever method you choose to learn some of your child’s native language will help you to communicate with them more confidently when you meet them for the first time.

Please contact us for more information on our international adoption programs.

MLJ Adoptions is a Non-Profit, Hague-Accredited adoption service provider located in Indianapolis, Indiana, working in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Pacific Isles. We are passionate about serving children in need.