Should I write to my sponsored child in his native language?

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My sponsored child speaks French; I am not fluent, but I know enough French to write a letter. Should I write to him in French or does that not make a difference?
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Abigail Joseph

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Posted 3 years ago

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KristenH, Champion

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All letters go through translation anyway, so writing in English is fine.
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Garry Sagel

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Hi Abigail. I am another sponsor. Where is your child? The reason I ask, is some people think Haitian kids speak French, when they actually speak Creole. 
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Christina, Employee

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Hi Abigail! I love your heart for wanting to write to your kiddo in their language :). Regrettably, in many areas where we work, they may not speak the general language, like French. They may speak a regional language instead. This is why we have wonderful translators that are fluent in the many idioms and lingo that are common in their areas. This allows them to accurately translate not only the words but the emotion and meaning with your letters :). I encourage you to please write to your child in English, so that our translators are able to easily translate your letters into your child's specific dialect. Thank you so much for your evident desire to create a meaningful connection with your kiddo! God bless you!
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Kathleen Young

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Sometimes I like to write in French to inspire and encourage our children in Haiti and Burkina Faso to learn their country's official language so they'll have more opportunities to prosper.  After all, the stationary is in French.  When I write to them in French, I tell them it is because I want to them to learn it in order to succeed.  I realize the letters in French, as in English, will be translated into their dialects.  I assume the translators know French in these countries and can translate from French to dialect.  It seems, at times, the translations from from dialect to English are a bit rough; so I thought perhaps facility in French might be greater than facility in English in those countries.   I'm truly interested in knowing whether or not my assumptions are valid.  I don't want to make things harder on the translators or fail to accomplish anything in the lives of our children by occasionally writing letters in French.  Thank you for taking time to reply.
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Garry Sagel

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There might be a problem with that. French isn't spoken in Haiti. Creole is. While somewhat similar, they are not the same. So, you are asking Creole speakers to translate French to Creole. They may not know French. I don't know what is spoken in Burkina Faso.
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Shannon Massey, Employee

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HI Kathleen! We appreciate your intention to help your child learn French. You are still welcome to ask your child if they know any French and encourage them to learn if they would like to. We do however ask that all of our sponsors in the US write in English so that it makes it easier on our translation team. Thank you so much for understanding!

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